Week 26 – Hobbies & Crafts

Sewing, knitting, crochet are some of the crafts that I learnt as a child. Nanna Herbert taught me how to knit and crochet when I was 8 or 10 then at about the age of  12,  I learnt how to sew on mum’s treadle sewing machine. It was a long time before she allowed me to have a go on her electric machine.

I managed to sew a few straight lines with the treadle and was even given a toy sewing machine for Christmas and I managed to make some dolls clothes with it. Teenage Dolls were all the rage, I had a Sindy doll, she was in competition with Barbie and was a much more realistic doll than Barbie ever was. Interestingly, Sindy isn’t around anymore, but Barbie is still going strong. Sindy had a sister Patch and friends Mitzi and Vicki. I had all four of these dolls.

I would spend hours, cutting out patterns from the Enid Gilchrist pattern book and would make all sorts of clothes for the dolls, Patch’s clothes were ever so tiny. Even hats and handbags from felt. I did have some bigger dolls and would make clothes for them, but mostly it was for the teenage dolls. Not that I was a teenager yet!

When I was away at boarding school, we learnt how to sew during home-science classes. I made my first ever dress at one of these classes, but I’ll never forget I had to have the hem down to my knees. The early 1970s were the mini skirt years, so hems on the knees were not a good look. It didn’t take long once I got home on school holidays, to cut the hem and sew it to a “decent” length!

At Stella Maris College in a skirt that was a maxi first, then a midi, eventually a mini.

With my girlfriend Liz wearing a mini-skirt.









I made this skirt in the picture above during my last year at college. It started out as a maxi, nearly to the ankles, then I took it up to be a midi, just below the knees and eventually it became a mini-skirt. That was the 1970s fashion, maxi, midi and mini-skirts!

Home-science certainly taught me skills for later in life when I went on to make my own clothes and knitting and crocheting for my kids.  I still have some of Enid Gilchrist’s pattern books today. These photos are some of the clothes I made for Helen, our first-born; a knitted dress, crochet dress and a sewn pair of overalls.

The 1980’s was when the stretchy material became fashionable, so I went to classes to learn how to make t-shirts for the kids. I even had a go at making myself some lycra bathers. That was in the days when I had a figure that looked kinda ok in them.

By this time the girls were going to school so I made their school uniforms too.

I never got into patchwork. Mum was good at it, I had a go, but it just wasn’t my thing. In 1986 I was introduced to genealogy or family history and that’s been my main hobby all these years. Researching and putting together the history of both Bob’s and my family. It never stops, there is more and more information coming online every day with many major companies plying for your $.

In 2000, scrapbooking was taking off and I joined a company called Creative Memories. We taught people at workshops, how to preserve their photos into memorable albums. I did that for 10 years until it went digital. I would hold classes at home showing people how to use the scrapbooking software, but everyone had a different level of computer knowledge, it became too difficult. I still dabble in a bit of digital scrapbooking and have heaps of photos of the grandkids that I need to put into albums…one day!


About Jenny MacKay

Just a person who is looking forward to retirement and enjoying the golden years!
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8 Responses to Week 26 – Hobbies & Crafts

  1. Jenny MacKay says:

    I was very pleased recently to find a newspaper article where my grandmother won a prize at the age of 14 for her crochet work at the Annual Northam Show. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article211683697

  2. Aaaaahhh Barbie and Cindy or Sindy. I remember Joan Smith making dolls clothes for Barbie and knitting them too. Janine and Christine were the happy recipients. Now my girls’ old barbie dolls are the treasured toys for my grandchildren to play with – even the boys.

    • Jenny MacKay says:

      My Sindy/Cindy doll disappeared, no idea where. However, my girls had Barbie dolls but over the years, they deteriorated and seemed to perish. Had to throw them out as I read that the plastic was toxic. Such a shame. I do have their Cabbage Patch dolls, but no grand daughters to give them to.

  3. I had a Cindy doll too. Apparently a nicer girl than Barbie. My favourite outfit was the jodhpurs and jacket with boots, helmet and whip for horse riding. Most of the other outfits Mum or I made including knitted cardigans. Enjoyed your reflections very much.

    • Jenny MacKay says:

      Thanks Fran. I noticed you spelt the name Cindy. I always thought that’s what it should be until I did a Google search. Maybe I should have gone with my memories and not that of modern day Google. 🙂

      • Interesting. I clearly opened the parcel and started playing. From your comment I googled images. Looks like Sindy is it. Well you always learn something from family history. 😁

  4. tstatton says:

    Congratulations on yet another interesting blog. You are doing really well keeping up with the challenge.

I hope you enjoyed reading my blog. I'd love to hear your comments.

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