Unlike many, maybe even most, children these days I had no say in the clothes I wore before I was about 12, that’s when I started Secondary School. We had sewing lessons once a week and Mum decided I could make a school blouse. It took all year for me to draft the pattern and cut out the material, it was still in pieces at the end of the year! When I chose some material and a pattern for myself I quickly finished the article but it wasn’t exactly satisfying.
I had plans to go to the beach with a friend and decided I’d make a “playsuit” for the occasion. I bought some pink, Hounds -Tooth Check material (It’s the signature David Jones pattern). I‘d bought a Simplicity pattern because I hoped it would live up to its name. I cut the material out and sewed, sewed, sewed then inserted the elastic and attached the shoulder straps. It took me until about 1 o’clock in the morning. I went to bed happy I’d managed to finish it. In the morning, disaster. I tried it on. That’s when I discovered my torso is longer than average, the finished playsuit didn’t cover my nipples. I flung it at my sister, after all my effort it was useless for me but fine for her. (We didn’t get along even before that!)
To avoid having to sew anything Mum decided I was better at it than she was and one day she gave me my brother’s trousers to fix. The zip was broken. I didn’t want to do it but no way could anyone win an argument with Mum. I’d never sewn a zip in pants before and really struggled but eventually finished the job. I gave the trousers to Mike and off he went but he was soon back again. I’d sewn the zip in very neatly but I’d also sewn both sides to the backing material so undoing the zip didn’t open the trousers. I left Mum to deal with them.
Luckily for me “shifts” were in fashion during my teenage years so there was no need to mess about with umpteen pattern pieces. I did however discover that not only was my torso longer than average but armholes on everything I made were too tight so I had to make them bigger. Simple? Not really because then none of the facings fitted so for years everything I ever made was lined. Sewing would have been simpler if I hadn’t been “abnormal”!
You didn’t know that about Nana did you?