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!
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!