Wednesday, January 14, 2009

My sewing history

Tia Milo and my mom

Lindsay posted about her sewing history and ask that we share ours.

The ladies in the picture were my sewing inspiration. I did not start sewing at a young age like many of you, it wasn't until I was married that I started sewing, I needed curtains for my new home and I have always loved fabric so it wasn't hard to jump in. I did however grew up while in Cuba exposed to garment sewing. My mom not only sewed for my dolls but she made almost everything I wore. She grew up having her clothes made by tia Milo (Aunt Milo), who sewed for all the women in the family.

Tia Milo was one of 15 siblings (one of them my grandmother). She was the oldest of the women and it was her responsibility to help in taking care of all the children that came after her. She was not formally schooled but she had a talent in sewing. My mom tells me that she would describe to her a dress she had liked and tia Milo would pick up her scissors and newspaper and create the pattern for her. She never married so she always lived with one of her sisters and to earn her keep she sewed and clothed the family. When I was ten or eleven I started spending afternoons with her sitting by her old Singer (she had it motorized when that was possible) making clothes for my dolls and listening to her stories. In confidence she told me "Unlike your mom, you have the patience for sewing". Mom and I now laugh when we remember that, my mom did persevere out of necessity and love of clothes, but she knows tia Milo was right. I never forgot that tia Milo believed I could.

Once in the US my mom, as soon as she was financially able, bought herself a Singer in the late 70's which she still has and uses. The dresses she made for me! I never went to a dance during my teens without a new dress. I enjoyed picking pattern and fabric (either at a great local store or in the fashion district) but mom did all the sewing;sometimes I did hems or finishes but nothing more.

I went to college and my mom still made me party dresses but I never picked up sewing. I got married and after moving to a new house with my newborn I needed to make curtains and I did. Later on as I started sewing costumes for the kids I got interested in quilting and bought my Bernina. I had been using a Singer from the 50s my mother-in-law had given me but it finally could not be repaired any more. I can't remember exactly when I became fascinated by making garments but once I did I couldn't get enough. I got my mom to help me and I read every book and watched every show on the subject.

As you all know my desire for sewing is still going strong, I only do home dec now by necessity. Quilting I still like and enjoy but garment sewing is what I want to do most.

What is your sewing history?


  1. What a neat story! It's cool to see your sewing "ancestry" traced down from tia Milo.

  2. What a lovely story and what a sweet picture!

  3. Hola Lisette,
    I found your blog andando por el internet.
    I really wish I could sew; I am trying to learn ... but my sewing experience goes so far to sew straight lines =)
    I also enjoy crocheting and cooking.
    Congratulations on your great sewing talent.
    Saludos desde California,
    Mucho Gusto de conocerte.

  4. That's a lovely story! It's never late to start sewing and you are doing a wonderful job at it!


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