All About Me, pt. I

Monday’s Mish-Mash

All About Me: Part I

How Long Have You Been Sewing?
I began sewing at the precocious age of four. The first thing I made was a hand sewn dress for my Barbie® doll. No one showed me how. I simply wanted to imitate my grandmother, who’d made an entire haute couture wardrobe for my Barbie dolls. So, I took a rectangle of fabric, cut a small hole in the middle for her head to come through, then sewed the sides together. I despised that you could see the stitching—but no one taught me to sew from the wrong side and then flip the fabric, and I was too young to figure it out.

I took a children’s sewing class when I was eight or nine. I chose a pattern for a simple pull-over blouse (just two pieces: front & back), and made it from a lightweight aqua cotton batiste. I never wore the finished top, but I was quite proud of it. It had interfacing! And a ruffle along the bottom! Of course, you could see my gathering stitches, and the zig-zag along the edge of the interfacing was nowhere near straight . . . but I loved it, all the same.

My First Blouse

My First Blouse


Around the age of twelve, I began sewing in earnest. I didn’t know it was a legitimate hobby at the time, but I loved refashioning. In particular, I remember the time I took a hideous polyester crepe de chine 80’s bridesmaid’s dress from the thrift store and completely remade it. I removed the puffed sleeves and cream colored lace, altered the neckline to a halter style, shortened the hem to a manageable length, and reinstalled the zipper—all by hand, since I didn’t have a sewing machine of my own.

Bridesmaid's Refashion

Bridesmaid's Refashion

During my teenage years I turned home decorator and made myself curtains, shams, and matching throw pillows, usually out of a set of sheets, or leftover scraps from one of my mother’s projects. I never bought fabric and I never used a pattern! My favorite was a plain black (purchased) bedspread with (hand made) accent pillows of a vibrant teal and fuchsia geometric print—loved because of the sophisticated black lace and ribbon-trimmed bolster that I made, and the pillow shams that were crafted in genuine envelope style.

About nine years ago, after a long break, I started sewing again. This time, I was drawn to doll clothes. I made several gowns for Barbie, before I decided I wanted to try sewing for myself.

Medieval Barbie

Medieval Barbie

My first attempt was a medieval gown intended for the premiere of Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. It turned out so badly that I almost gave up sewing altogether! But, when I fell in love with the costumes from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera, I decided to give it one more shot—and this time, I succeeded. (For more information, please read the Sewing Diaries: Christine’s “Wishing” Dress, parts I & II.)

Wishing Dress

Wishing Dress

I never looked back! Today, I sew a little of everything: home decorating, doll clothes, modern garments, and historic costumes.

~~*~~

How old were you when you began sewing? Who taught or encouraged you to sew? What kinds of projects got you started?

About Lisha Vidler

I am a sewing instructor living near Memphis, Tennessee.
This entry was posted in Monday's Mish-Mash and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to All About Me, pt. I

  1. Pingback: All About Me: II | Yesterday's Thimble

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *