I've had quite a few people ask me in the last week or so 'how many clothes do you think you have
made?' and I really can't answer. Sewing has been part of my life for so long.
I can vividly remember the first party outfit I made. I was around 11 or 12 and I had my first sewing machine (secondhand for my 11th birthday) so a whole new world of faster and more substantial sewing had opened up to me. I bought 2 yards (yes that long ago!) of a turquoise and white striped cotton and created a little sleeveless cropped top and matching gathered mini skirt fixed onto a wraparound waistband (fastened with a press stud or two!) I styled it with a collection of necklaces down to my waist and poodle perm tied in some leftover fabric, Madonna style (remember those fingerless gloves?!) No pattern, just a bit of trial and error - and I WISH I had a picture of it! But then again, maybe it's best that I don't...I felt like a million dollars at the time, and that feeling is a far better memory than a real picture (which may or may not be dreadful!)
The kids club sewing classes that I run after school remind me so much of those early days of sewing discovery. The sheer delight in being able to create something from your own imagination. Those tentative first steps with a sewing machine - followed by a rush to 'make it all'! I truly love helping the girls (and yes, boys!) who come to my classes on this journey of sewing discovery and hope that they too will look back with fond memories of their first makes.
I thought I would share some pictures of just a few of the things they have made to inspire more of you to take those first steps. I have tried to be sensitive to the fact that they are growing up in a world where everything is photographed, edited and presented to show the best possible image - but also want to embrace the little quirks that every make has (handmade items are all unique in their own special way!) All of these pictures are of items made by 9-14 year olds (including the hoodies they are wearing). I am so very proud of them all - and they inspire me to make new things too.
I think you'll agree - these 'makers-in-training' are absolutely amazing! If you would like to come along to my after school classes (or indeed any class) - please email me for more info on firstname.lastname@example.org or check out the book online page of my website www.sewjobaker.com.