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Sunday, August 7, 2011
QJ - 7TH GRADE - HOME EC
QUILT JOURNAL – 7TH GRADE – HOME EC CLASS
When I was in the 7th grade – way back when – boys were required to take “Shop” and girls were required to take “Home Economics” (Home Ec).
“Shop” was a woodworking class in which boys were taught how to use hammers, nails, saws, screwdrivers, and such. They were taught to make something (useful?) out of wood.
“Home Economics” was a class in which girls were taught to cook and sew.
Mind you – this was back in the days when most women were housewives and – if a woman worked “outside of the home” – it was because her husband couldn’t adequately provide for her and his family. My how times have changed!!
Anyway – I don’t have any of my cooking experiences to share – lucky you!
I do, however, have three “sewing” stories to share.
#1 - PINK TABLECLOTH & NAPKIN SET
The FIRST thing I remember ever sewing was a Pink Tablecloth and Set of Four Napkins. I don’t have them any more – but the tablecloth looked kinda like this – and the napkins were just mini-versions of the same thing.
My mother took me to the store to buy some "material" for the project – but since I wanted to make it as a present for her – I couldn’t tell her much. All I knew was that we were not finding the right “kind” of material. She finally told me to tell the saleslady who worked there what I was making and ask her to help me. That worked! The saleslady helped me find some pretty pink – solid – tablecloth weight "material" – with a study weave. Perfect!
Because we girls were just learning how to sew – all we had to do was to sew a straight line about an inch away from the edge of the square that we had cut out - with scissors - oh, the horror! ;)) The straighter the line – the better the finished tablecloth. After we sewed the line – we took a straight pin - unraveled the cross-wise threads on the edges - and made “fringe”. Clever, huh?
#2 - GREEN/PINK APRON & POTHOLDER SET
The SECOND thing I remember ever sewing was a Green/Pink Apron and Potholder set. I already told you about that here. I still have the pattern - it takes only one yard of "material". I think I did a good job – considering the fact that I was only twelve years old – and left-handed! This project taught me how to make gathers, topstitch, and sew a hem.
#3 - GATHERED SKIRT
The THIRD thing I remember sewing was a gathered skirt. We were to buy three yards of “material” and a zipper and some hooks and eyes. (Funny the things you remember, huh?)
I bought some “polished cotton” – white with big flowers and leaves – very soft looking and very pretty (back then). It was about the weight of light-weight upholstery fabric - and working with it was a ROYAL pain!
I remember stitching three rows along the top of the skirt and trying to pull them to gather the waistline - three yards down to a twelve-year old's waistline! The damn threads kept breaking!
I HATED that thing! The zipper gave me fits – and the hooks and eyes didn’t cooperate either! And hemming three yards of fabric - by hand - was not my idea of fun at the time.
I FINALLY got it finished – and had to turn it in the next morning – to get credit for the project. I washed it and hung it out on the clothesline to dry (this was before we had a “dryer”).
When I went out to get it – to iron it before taking it to school – it was GONE!
It was windy – and it had BLOWN AWAY!
I wanted to cry!
I went looking for it and found it in the neighbor’s backyard about four houses down – (we didn’t have fences either) - caught up on a patio chair. God, I HATED that thing! Never wore it either!
It’s a wonder I EVER sewed again!
But – as you have probably guessed – I DID sew again.
I eventually sewed my own clothes and made little dresses for our daughter when she was younger. I loved sewing dresses for her – the shoulder seams were only an inch or two long!
Seems like I was always sewing something.
And always looking for the right "kind" of FABRIC.
Even if it was called "MATERIAL".
So - move over Madonna - I'm a "MATERIAL" GIRL, too!