I have always thought I was fortunate to have been born right in the middle of the century – 1950, to be precise. By 1957 (when the world of fashion and culture lost Christian Dior, whose New Look defined and influenced fashion for years to come), I was doing cross-stitch, other simple embroidery, and starting to make clothes (many clothes) for my dolls. By 1961-‘62, I was beginning to make some simple clothes for myself. I continued to sew throughout high school and college. It was during the early ‘70s that I developed an appreciation for designer patterns, produced by the Vogue Pattern Company. I learned so much by sewing with Vogue patterns and following their couture and fine sewing techniques. It was also during this time period when beautiful quality fabrics were available in specialty fabric stores (like Staplers on Walnut Street in Philadelphia and Britex on Geary Street in San Francisco), in high-end department stores (such as Wanamaker’s in Philadelphia and Belk’s in North Carolina, where I grew up), and through some mail-order companies. This was when I determined that I would only ever sew with the finest silks, linens, cottons, wools (and the occasional synthetics).
By the time our daughter and son were born in the early 1980s, much was changing for the world of the home sewer. Over the next decade, it became increasingly more difficult to find fine fabrics, as so many good fabric stores were closing. Concurrently, fashion and patterns were not nearly as attractive – and the emphasis was more on “quick and easy” instead of fine and complex. It was during this time that my sewing interests changed to quilting, sewing for my home, and, of course, sewing for my children. Now I have come full circle, as you can read in the “About” section of this blog.