Sunday, 17 April 2011


Any good adventure has a beginning, so I thought I’d share mine. I was introduced to sewing in the obvious way – my mom had a sewing machine. Mostly it collected dust; but she did make a few things for me and my siblings over the years.  The only one I really remember working out was a couple of blue poodle skirts she made for me and my sister. They didn’t fit for very long, but we loved them; especially the spinning in circles to make them fly out as far as we could, then falling over because we had made ourselves so dizzy. After that my sister and I tried to make all sorts of things (doll clothes, mostly) that never worked out.

In sixth grade, Home Ec. started. I got my first real lesson in sewing; and discovered I had been doing all sorts of things wrong. In hind sight I really should have realized this earlier as nothing we tried to make worked out. The class made pencil cases, which was pretty ambitious for a bunch of eleven year olds as they had zippers. We also got to draw on them with fabric paint. Mine was supposed to be a cat sitting on a tree stump. It looked like a cat on a stump post-apocalypse. I don’t have it anymore.

In high school I made a pair of boxer shorts and a straight black dress. I didn’t get to do anything in grade 12 as not enough people had signed up for the class (short by two), so they cancelled it. I was really disappointed. By then though, I had started making my own Halloween costumes.

Mom made me a cat-woman costume for me for ninth grade I think; she had a lot of help. In defense of my mom, she may not be that great at sewing, but she is very good with a pair of knitting needles. She tried to teach me once, but I just didn’t have the patience for it. My older sister had made a few costumes for myself and my younger sister. I was a pumpkin one year and she was an oreo cookie. The cookie costume actually won a contest!

Tenth grade was a really awful Super girl costume. I didn’t have enough material so it was too small. I did get up on stage at the school’s annual costume contest because at the time I was really proud of my work. I also have really bad stage fright to this day, and the moment I looked out and saw the ENTIRE SCHOOL STARING AT ME, I froze. I remember some guy who was supposed to be the MC gave me a bag of candy because he had to for all the participants, made some comment about my costume that made me turn the same colour as my cape and shoved me off the stage. I never participated again.

Eleventh grade was much better. My older sister was getting into historical costumes. Together we made her a really nice dress. We made me a belly dancing costume. It was tan with bright blue sleeves and a veil with stretchy silver sequined band, which was also on my waist band. I was very comfortable, but I was really self-conscious that people were tiring to look up my sleeves, so I changed at lunch. I don’t know if they were or not, but my 15 year-old self is still insisting that they were.

Grade 12 I was really obsessed with Sailor Moon; so that was the costume I wanted. But not the regular costume from the first season. I had seen pictures by then of the later seasons that had not yet been translated and made “kid-friendly”. I wanted the one where she had wings. They even had patterns for the costume by then. I was a least six years too old for the pattern, but I was determined to make it work. I did, for the most part. The sewing machine was broken that year, so I had to do it all by hand. It took forever. Ironically, the only part I couldn’t do was the wings. I even tried to do a wig but the hot glue melted the synthetic hair on the long wig I had bought, so I had to settle for putting my own hair in pig-tails. That year they really were trying to look up my skirt; even going so far as to lay on the floor as I walked by. It was a body suit with the skirts on over it, so I didn’t care. I wore that one all day. I had the costume for years; somewhere in my many moves it got lost. I’m a little disappointed I don’t have it anymore.

Since high school I have made many more costumes and with every experience I am getting much better. But that will be the subject of my next post.

1 comment:

  1. I still have all those historical costumes, and your cat woman costume lol Okay, I would need to double check on cat woman, the costume bin got so big I had to do a purge. *sigh*

    LOVE the blog and I am so thrilled you are finally going to take your sewing seriously! I can't wait to see what else you come up with.