I am laughing so hard right now.
Earlier in the day, Cate Prato, online editor of Cloth Paper Scissors Today, sent me an email: "When you have a minute, I have something funny to show you from my past."
|A page from Cate's home ec
sewing techniques book.
Intrigued, I ran down to her desk the first chance I had to find Cate grinning and holding a blue plastic three-ring binder. She opened it to reveal a project called "Sew Business." It was the culmination of her work in her 7th grade home ec class.
Among mimeographed (yes, mimeographed) pages of how to prepare your fabric to "grain perfection" and how to interpret the symbols on a sewing pattern, was a self-evaluation of Cate's physical assets and liabilities, labeled "Mirror Check."
Cate herself was laughing uncontrollably as she noted that the best she could come up with for an asset at the time was "average shoe size." Like most adolescents, she was painfully honest about her "weak points."
The point of this assignment was revealed on the next page, where Cate had pasted a picture of a dress pattern that would flatter her figure and coloring. I love this 1970s maxi dress!
But, as we paged through the binder, I could see that, fashion anachronisms aside, Cate's home ec book contained instructions on basic sewing techniques that are relevant today. There were directions (accompanied by Cate's own successful samples) describing hand basting, staystitching, backstitching (or back tacking), and slipstitch hemming.
Her book also included small sewing projects like a wrist pincushion, an apron, a potholder, and place mats. While creating these projects, the beginner learned basics like measuring seam allowances, pressing, and how to make a casing.
What's funny is, these are the same sorts of projects the new breed of home sewists are creating today, albeit with a few sophisticated twists and contemporary style (though Cate is quick to point out that owl and mushroom themes were popular back when she was a teen, too).
|Tricia Waddell demonstrates staystitching.|
Today's younger sewists didn't learn these basics in school, where home ec is now pretty much extinct. That's why I love the fact that in our sister publication Stitch, Editor-in-Chief Tricia Waddell always includes a stitch glossary and tutorial for basic sewing techniques.
However, as Cate knows from her home ec class, it's almost always better to watch a demonstration. And now, Tricia and her crew have put together a Stitch WorkshopTM video, "Sewing Tips + Tricks with Tricia Waddell."
This new video teaches the beginning-to-intermediate sewist easy embellishment techniques like sewing appliqués, embroidery, and beading; construction tips (like how to create the perfect skirt dart or how to reinforce seams when making softies); and easy projects you can personalize, like a sweater makeover and an artistic silk scarf.
If you are looking to increase your sewing expertise and get more creative with your projects, Sewing Tips + Tricks with Tricia Waddell is the video for you!
P.S. Where did you learn your basic sewing techniques? In home ec? From a friend or relative? Do you have some funny or educational stories to share about the experience. Anything you learned that has stuck with you all these years? Don't let Cate feel alone! Share in the comments section below.
Sew along with Stitch magazine editor in chief, Tricia Waddell and project editor, Katrina Loving ...