Sewing Without Fabric


By Sara Ray

Knowing how to sew just about anything is becoming a lost art.  They don’t even offer Home Ec. in most schools any more. Maybe I’m just getting old and don’t realize it or maybe I’m ready to start teaching others the things I learned growing up and now take for granted as an adult.DSC04792.JPG

There have been many teachers in my life whom I have learned little sewing tricks.  I still use them to this day.

In my early years, I thought hand sewing cloths for my dolls was so much fun.  I can remember as early as 7, sitting on my bed with needle and thread making skirts and tops for my dolls.  My brothers even picked up needle and thread so that they could make fur boots and vests for their Heman Action figures.

My Mom has always been supportive of all her children and grandchildren.She always seems to be sewing something for someone. I a reminded of the first time my Mom let me use her sewing machine.  I knew that if I could learn to sew like her, I could make all kinds of clothes.  Learning on the sewing machine I could make them so much faster.

Delighted that I was being trusted ( I was only 8/9 at the time) to use my mother’s sewing machine I sat down eager to learn.  Mother showed me all the basics that I needed to know, like how to turn on the light and where to place the foot peddle.  Most important was to be careful of the rapidly moving needle.

20170308_183334-1Excitement arose inside of me thinking of all the things I could create…My mom then handed me a small pile of white paper with different rows of lines and swirls on them.  I was seated at the sewing machine with my Mother standing just behind me.

“What’s this?”  I asked her a little confused.

“Before I let you use fabric and thread, you need to learn to go slow.”

“What?”  I replied how hard could it be to go slow, if I was the one controlling the foot peddle?  I thought to myself.

Mother held firm that I would not be allowed to use fabric or thread on Her machine until all the papers she had just handed me were filled with tiny holes as I traced their lines and swirls without sewing outside the lines.

I was a little disappointed then I was kind of irritated.  I thought Mom was teaching me how to sew not how to follow lines on a piece of paper.  Sewing without fabric…what kind of crap lesson was that?

Mom held firm to her rule of NO fabric until I learned on paper.  So following the lines was my first lesson.  WOW!  I never realized how much fun and how fast you could go on the sewing machine.

I placed my foot on the peddle and let the needle race up and down so fast. Trying to control the paper took me awhile.  Ok I went through a few stacks of line pattern paper.  Sewing at such a fast speed was oh so much fun. I don’t remember much more of my first official sewing machine lesson, except that I went through a lot of scrap paper until my Mom felt that I was ready enough…or had gotten the need for extreme speed out of my system.It’s been well over 30 years now from that first lesson and every time I sit

It’s been well over 30 years now from that first lesson and every time I sit down to work on a sewing project and start to get stressed and yes many times I have to unpick my threads and start over because I went too fast and didn’t follow the lines.  I think of my first sewing machine lesson with my Mom and how I learned to go slow by sewing without fabric.



1 thought on “Sewing Without Fabric

  1. This is really good Sara Ray…thank you!!!


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