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If you sewed as a youngster
Where did you get fabric?
tourist
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tourist  Friend of PR
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Date: 12/31/11 12:23 PM

Ariadne's post about her 6 year old sewing got me thinking of my early sewing years. I was much older than 6 - more like 12 - but I had a massive supply of my mom's and my twin aunties' late 50's, early 60's full cotton skirts to play with. They gave me a good amount of fodder to experiment on until I could afford to buy my own fabric.

I clearly recall taking two dresses that were more or less like this sort of thing and cutting godets out of one to make the skirt of the other fuller for square dancing. That would have been in 1975 or 76.

A high school friend always talked about using old sheets for lining. Her mother and sister also sewed, so I couldn't help wondering where they got the outrageous amount of old sheets they must have gone through!

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http://bgballroom.wordpress.com to follow the progress on my next ballgown.

skae
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In reply to tourist


Date: 12/31/11 12:27 PM

I used my mother scraps to play with.

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Ecclesiastes 11:7,8 Nothing on earth is more beautiful than the morning sun. Even if you live to a ripe old age, you should try to enjoy each day, because darkness will come and will last a long time. (CEV)

SunnyAlta
SunnyAlta
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Date: 12/31/11 12:36 PM

Mom had a drawer of fabric I was free to work with. Mostly scraps, so started with doll clothes. Mom decided it was time for a few lessons from Grandma when I did a skirt on my own. Grandma enjoyed sewing & didn't mind using a ripper when necessary!

katlew03
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Date: 12/31/11 1:18 PM

When I first started sewing, I can remember buying fabric at J C Penney's. They had a fabric department in the basement. I made a gold cotton blouse when I was around 12-13 in Home Ec. and accidentally cut a hole in the sleeve when trimming threads. Before that I know I must have made the mandatory apron. I also remember buying a piece of ugly brown plaid at a neighborhood grocery store when I visited with the kids I babysat about 45 miles from home and borrowing their mother's SM to construct it. (I lived in for the summers) The next thing I remember was a red and white wool houndstooth suit I made and a couple of plaid "straight" skirts -- none of which were not matched since I knew nothing about that at the age of 14. I believe I got all that fabric at Penney's. I had never been in an actual fabric store until I went to college in Seattle and discovered one that provided all my fabric until I moved to Florida. I made about a dozen full gathered skirts while I was in high school because that was what everybody wore in the late 50s and early 60s. I can't remember any fabric source other than Penney's.

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Sewn in 2012: 176.212 yds.
2013 Goal: 400 yds (again)
Total sewn in 2013 -- 225.848 yds.
Total yards in inventory 1/1/14 -- 1752.5
Goal for 2014 -- 400 yards (for the third time)

Machines: Designer Diamond, #1+, H Class 100Q, and Viking 400 Serger: 936

Michelle T

Michelle T
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British Columbia CANADA
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In reply to tourist


Date: 12/31/11 1:58 PM

I started to sew about 1985. I remember buying fabric at Eatons department store in both Duncan and Victoria with my Mum prior to that.

Mum and Granny did not have stashes. Fabric was bought for a project, sewn up and worn.

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Proud parent of a Dwight International School Honour Roll Student

ladyv
ladyv
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Date: 12/31/11 2:02 PM

Bags of scraps from the sewing my mom did for our family served as a treasure trove for making doll clothes. When I graduated to sewing for myself, there were feed sacks and JC Penney would have sales of cotton print at 4yd/$!. I thought it was terrible when I had to pay more for fabric as prices went up. My grandmother came to visit one time and bought out every rummage sale she could find. She would then repurpose the fabric from all the clothing. She would literally go into the sale late in the day when they were almost ready to close up and offer them five bucks for the lot. She made a lot of quilts for us while she was there.

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Mardella in N. California

PattiAnnJ
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PattiAnnJ
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In reply to tourist


Date: 12/31/11 2:34 PM

I started reconfiguring my grandmother's scraps of cloth and jewelry for a junk yard doll then started sewing at 10 when I was forced by my mother to join 4-H. This interrupted my tomboy adventures, but when I won a ribbon (and money!) at the local fair I soon traded tree climbing for needle and thread.

For sewing, we had fabric from department stores and every department store sold fabric.

If I go back to the late forties, we had feed sack cottons. Everyone scrambled for certain patterns of the feed sack cottons as they were free with the purchase of grain! If you raised horses, that was a lot of feed sacks.




-- Edited on 12/31/11 2:41 PM --

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"Improvise, adapt and overcome." - Clint Eastwood/Heartbreak Ridge

Vintage Joan
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Vintage Joan
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In reply to tourist


Date: 12/31/11 2:54 PM

Usually in the fabric departments of Kmart and the Bay (Hudson's Bay Company). Occasionally I/we went to a "real" fabric store, but the department store fabric selection and prices were great, so it wasn't usually necessary.

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my shield and my very great reward ~ Gen. 15:1

ItzMePenny

ItzMePenny  Friend of PR
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Date: 12/31/11 3:58 PM

I've been trying to remember how I got my fabric, and don't really remember shopping for it! We did have a couple of fabric shops in town, though, so I'm sure my mom took me fabric shopping. I also had access to decorator fabrics, since my mom had a drapery workroom.

When I was older I got lots of fabric from my future MIL (who became my DMIL) who was the floor lady for a sportswear manufacturer. I got a lot of leftover pieces or cutting mistakes if the designer didn't demand the fabric back (some designers wouldn't let even an inch of fabric leave the shop). That's where I also learned to shop wisely, because the exact same outfit made from the same bolt of fabric by the same shop, could be had at Sears or Bullocks for much different pricing.

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PennyZ

1betsy1
1betsy1  Friend of PR
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Date: 12/31/11 4:27 PM

Oh what a great topic!

I began using my mom's scraps to make doll clothes. We did go shopping JC Penney, Woolworth's, TG&Y, and my all time favorite fabric store was the Home Silk Shop!!! Cloth World was around then too.

We didn't know then how lucky we were to have so many choices. I do most of my shopping online now.

Betsy

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