Sewing Love/Criminal Activity

“I’m a fabricaholic on the road to recovery. Just kidding, I’m on the road to the fabric store.”


My love of sewing began at an early age. As one of six children, and the fourth girl in the family, I soon realized that hand-me-downs would be my life if I didn’t figure something out. My Mom was a great seamstress and I soon tagged along, learning from watching, and making a lot of my own clothes.

At that time, there was a dress line called Villager, and the sister brand Ladybug, classic shirtwaist, preppie, sold at a little shop in our small town.  We definitely couldn’t afford those outfits, but my friend Renee and I decided that if we just had the little ladybug stickpins that they placed on the lapels, our homemade stuff would look professional.

The coveted label

The coveted label


So one day, we visited the dress shop and stole some of the bugs off of the dresses. Yes, that’s right!! Went right down the row, “picking them off” as they say. And don’t worry, I knew better! I was so excited…that is until I got home and my sleuthing Mom discovered them and promptly made me march back to the store and admit my thievery to the store clerk. Yikes!  So embarrassing!

Well, that was the end of my criminal career, sort of, kind of, more to follow on that subject someday…

Apparently, I wasn’t the only one who longed to be a part of the Villager/Ladybug sorority, as I came across this great article in The New Yorker…albiet from a very different perspective:





the villager shirtdress pattern

The villager shirtdress pattern I made

By the time I was in high school, I was sewing most of my stuff and getting a lot of positive feedback.  In Home Ec class, I made a flowery shift dress, matching green coat, lined with the flowers. When I opened my coat, I thought I was so dreamy in it. Probably, actually, looked like a garden that threw up, but I got an A!










Early Dressmaking! And I thought I was so cool...

Early Dressmaking! Why am I posing??













When we were first married, and had no money, I continued to make a lot of my clothing…even made swim trunks for the Kev and a bathing suit for myself!  Now in retrospect, I wish I had kept some of those early pieces.

Everything eventually comes back (words of wisdom). Although I have often heard, If you wore it the first time around, you probably shouldn’t wear it the next time (more words of wisdom).

But what I wouldn’t give for that denim jacket I made with all the hand embroidery on the back…ugh! It would be a classic today. Well, maybe not the matching bellbottoms with floral embroidery up the sides, not sure I could pull that off, but the jacket….

I am comforted by the thought that somewhere out there, that jacket is being worn by someone who got a great Goodwill deal….and they are probably cruising around in my little yellow VW with red interior.

Today that sewing tradition is continuing on for many thousands of young gals, including my own daughter who has begun a lovely etsy shop and website… …visit it for beautiful baby things.

And I am back into making a lot of my own clothing, just for the fun of it!  But if you see my jacket walking around, call me!

If only I had taken a photo of the back!

If only I had taken a photo of the hand embroidered back!


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