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mooregreen | Posted in Photo Gallery on

Hi everyone,

I just looked that photo gallery. You guys are amazing at sewing. I’m still trying to sew table mats and runner for Thanksgiving. I hope the family and friends that you all sew for appreciate your special talent.

Go Mooregreen


  1. solosmocker | | #1

    Hmmmmm,,,I think I hear a loud collective "Thank you".

    Please put pics of your placemats up in the gallery when done. I would love to see them.

  2. Lilith1951 | | #2

    Seeing this post prompted me to recall a discussion I started with youngest daughter (27) last night.  I thought it odd that her father is a builder and none of our three children wants to build anything (my only son is fascinated with energy conservation, but he only builds heating and AC systems, not houses), and I've been sewing since I was 12, but neither of the two daughters sews, except to replace a lost button or a sagging hem.  When I commented on neither of them sewing, she said that she hated to do anything she wasn't really good at. 

    Wow!  It is amazing to me that these kids actually thought they should be GOOD at it right from the start.  They never realized that I wasn't good at it when I started out either!  All they saw was that I had sewed their childhood dresses, my own church dresses and by the time they were in high school, their homecoming and prom gowns.  It never occured to them that I had to sew A LOT to get good at, since they didn't see---or were too young to recall-- my earliest efforts.  I was making "acceptable" garments when I was in my early 20's, but was another 10 years before I considered myself even halfway "good" at it, and I'm now 56 and still feel that I have a lot to learn. 

    My point in this long posting is that you are doing great to start with simple things, but please (and I mean this for all the beginners out there) don't expect that if your beginner's finished item isn't great, that it means you won't be "good at it."  There is absolutely NO substitute for doing, doing, doing.  And that means a lot of things will come out less perfect that you would wish.  NO ONE is great at it right from the start.

    Our female ancesters had needle and thread put in their hands at very early ages, so that by the time they were teens, most of them really could sew a servicable garment.  Of course, some "excelled" in fine handwork and decorative needle arts, but virtually ALL of them could sew their families garments.  Why do our youngsters think if they don't do something perfectly (or that it isn't easy) that they shouldn't do it?  Where did that come from?

    A rather confused mom here.  I would have loved for my daughters to love sewing like I do and neither of them did.  Now I realize that I could have fostered a different attitude about it that might have got them into it more.  Maybe my own rushed life didn't allow me to have the patience to just let them play with the needle and thread more and make doll clothes.  I was too busy getting their clothes done and didn't realize they weren't seeing the true picture of getting from Point A (beginner) to Point B (experienced) and that the "getting there" was fun. Hmmmm.

    1. Stillsewing | | #3

      Please tell what a homecoming drress/gown is?

      1. GailAnn | | #4

        Homecomming is a football game, on Friday night, followed by a dance on Saturday night at a school, both high-school and college.  In the Autumn, usually after the "home' team has played some "away" games at other schools, and is now comming "home".

        It's a pretty 'big deal" and there might even be other activities during the week prior.  Such as a bon-fire, a parade, selection of a King and Queen, a banquet, Mother-Daughter Tea, Assembly of the Whole School for a program, band concert, or such like.  Gail

        Edited 10/28/2007 5:55 pm ET by GailAnn

        1. Stillsewing | | #5

          All I can say is WOW! you statesiders never cease to amaze me!!!!!

        2. Teaf5 | | #18

          "Homecoming" in our area means a big football game at which all the alums come back to root for their team, and we have a spirit parade with floats made by each current class, plus an election of a Homecoming King and Queen.  In a nice twist, no names are on the ballot--everyone writes in a favorite pair, so the outcome is often unexpected.  In a soccer town, it's unusual for our high school football team to win the Homecoming game, but they did this year.

      2. Lilith1951 | | #7

        I see your question got answered and very well, too!  It was quite a big deal when my daughters went to their homecoming dances.  The dresses are shorter than prom gowns, but always very quite fancy.


        1. GailAnn | | #8

          I appologise to you Miss Lilith 1951.  I jumped in and answered a question addressed to you, How rude of Me!

          Much like you, my daughter (30) has no interest in sewing as an adult.  At about age 9, she made several nice shorts sets for Summer and some decorative pillows for Christmas gifts, but then it was like, "O.K. I can do that, so no need to continue on...."

          The harder something is the harder she will work on it.  Grad school now for Nurse Practitioner................But.............married 6 years, no children, no home of thier own.  I sometimes think education and work are a substitution for family, committment, growing up and real responsibility.   I. too. wonder what I did to her.  (She is lovely and kind, but OH SO DRIVEN.)  Gail

          1. Lilith1951 | | #10

            No need for apologies, GailAnn.  Your answer was perfect.  Be glad your "driven" daughter is working hard to improve herself.  Both of mine have higher education, also, but neither is actually using the education they worked so hard at (one has an M.A. and one is very close to that.)  I don't mind that they aren't interested in sewing, if that isn't their "thing,"  but I was shocked to think they thought it should be easy the first time they did it, and because it wasn't, they figured they weren't good at it, so let that go and do something that they have a natural talent for.  I don't think I have a natural talent for sewing.  Many people sew so much better than I do.  I just love it as a form of self-expression, so I keep doing it and gradually, the results get better.

          2. Gloriasews | | #11

            Gail, you didn't do anything to your daughter, so don't worry about it.  Things are so different now than when we were their ages - we had jobs, they have Careers!  They are driven now, as the stress level in offices is tremendous - too much work & no time to do it in, & most employers don't want to hire more people - they believe in "work wiser, not harder" - not an easy thing to do.  Besides, young people today have their life milestones much later than we did - look at how many women are putting off child-bearing until their 40s (I don't know how they have the energy & patience at that age to be raising babies, working, etc. - & they're lucky if the kids are grown up by the time the moms retire).   "They" say that 40 is the new 30 nowadays, so maybe that accounts for a lot, eh?  We've done the right things raising our kids - their decisions & mistakes are now theirs to make & learn from - all we can hope for is that make the right decisions, eh?  Of course, they don't want our advice, either :)


          3. GailAnn | | #12

            No they don't want our advice. 

            My sister had her children relatively late in life and enjoyed them fully.  Truly believing she had made the best decision.   UNTIL she found herself with both parents and inlaws, physically and mentally infirm, children still in Jr. High and High school when menopause set in hard!  She had a near break down.

            I don't know how any 45 year old chases a pre-schooler, or 55+ waits up for teenages to make curfew!  I don't think I could have done it!  Gail

          4. Gloriasews | | #13

            Oh, your poor sister!  To have to cope with that all at the same time!  That is happening so much now, though, with the generations piling up on each other - that's why so many women are exhausted & stressed out - too much to handle at once.  One crisis at a time is enough to handle.  How is she doing now?  Was she able to get help with anything?

            You're right - I couldn't have done it, either.  Take care!


      3. Josefly | | #14

        I want to jump in to explain that "homecoming" refers to school or college events to which alumnae and alumni are invited, to "come home" to their "alma mater" for a celebration in their honor. The festivities, often but not always occurring during football season (some schools celebrate homecoming without even having a football team), were originally meant to honor the previous graduates, but that part has largely given way to celebrations for the current, not past, students, especially at the high-school level, in the form of homecoming dances and parties. If a football or basketball game is part of the celebration, winning is more crucial than almost any other time (lest a loss bring disappointment to the home-comers). That's why there are bonfires and pep-rallies and so forth, to inspire the athletes to do their best. Is there nothing similar in your part of the world?There are so few other reasons for kids these days to get dressed up and practice social skills, it seems, so this is a valuable part of the culture.

        Edited 10/30/2007 9:01 pm ET by Josefly

        1. GailAnn | | #15

          I'm jumping back in to thank you for filling in that part about the alumni, I had no idea or homcommings original intent.

          When I was in school Homcomming dance dresses were nice party dresses, but hardly the glamourous formals they are now.  Gail

          1. Josefly | | #16

            Yes, homecoming dressing has become almost like the prom! It was a much simpler affair when I was in school and it was a rude awakening when my children told me what was expected.

        2. Stillsewing | | #17

          Thank you for such a fullsome explanation. We don't have anything as formal an event as your description over here in Ireland. However I take it that the "homecoming" events take place in the smaller towns and villages and are a more community feature than in the type of cities that I have visited when in the U.S. We have had some welcome homes for teams who have played abroad particularly when we qualified for the World Cup in Football. That would definitively be a jeans and sweater outfit in the team colours -- definitely no dressing up. As most of our schools are single sex here the girls would not be involved in welcoming home a school football team. Over here all the football teams are mostly organised through clubs and the school teams would not be significant (except of course to the youngsters playing in them). Here the main sport is G.A.A. then Soccer and Rugby all played at senior level.Another point, when you live on an island that at most measures 400 miles by 150 it is rather difficult to be away long enough to have a "homecoming". For any of our matches the players would return the same or the next day.All this from someone who hasn't been to any kind of a "ball game" since the 70s when a colleague of mine was playing G.A.A.at championship level. Since then I attended a game in Austin, Texas just to get a local flavour. Mind you, that was another story!! they kept stopping every few minutes and I don't think we got more than five minutes of continuous play. My husband amused himself by watching the longhorn cow? to see if it would do a poop but it was well trained! I'm not sure what type of game it was but two Universities were playing. I can't get my head around 30 or so grown men running around a field after a bag of wind with another man blowing a whistle, and more importantly so many others watching them. A homecoming just adds to the mystery for me.As I said before in a previous post statesiders continue to amaze me with your different customs. As a footnote we have graduations here from what I think you call high school. 17 --19 years old but there are called debs (debutantes). Even the boys' schools have jumped onto this bandwagon. For the dance they all dress up in formal gear make a night of it and generally have a ball. Is this a "prom"?

          1. Ralphetta | | #19

            Actually, I think most major high schools and colleges still have Homecoming.

          2. Josefly | | #23

            I enjoyed reading about your customs, too. I was surprised to learn that most of your schools are still single-gender. I got a good chuckle at your experience at the Longhorns' game in Texas... Isn't it funny how strange and even ridiculous sports games of other cultures can seem? I don't especially enjoy watching team-sports of any kind, but I always giggle a little when I see a bit of a cricket game. And rugby seems wild to me. To answer your question about the prom, yes, the high-school prom is similar to a formal graduation dance. It's usually planned and produced by the junior class (11th graders), for the senior, graduating class (12th graders). Members of both classes can attend with a guest from any class. It's another huge production - photographs, limousines, dinner before the dance, and sometimes a breakfast party at someone's house afterward. Prom Dances, in our part of the country, at least, are no longer held in a high-school gymnasium or cafeteria, as they were in my school-days, but in a fancy hotel or other location. Ironically, at least among the kids at my children's schools, almost no dancing was done - nobody knew how, and most were too embarrassed to try to dance. So it was basically a fashion show. I think the pendulum has switched directions now, though, and dancing is back in style, and kids take lessons, etc.I wanted to stress that, so far as I know, homecoming really refers to the home-coming of previous graduates, and not to the athletes coming home from out-of-town, or "away" games.Anyway, at the high-school level, "away" games usually just mean at another school across town, at least in the urban area where I live. In fact, since many urban schools don't have a football stadium, a few stadiums (stadii?) serve all the schools in an area, so every game is, in effect, "away". In smaller, or more rural, communities, where there may be only one school per town or even county, and they all must have their own gym and stadium, football, basketball, soccer, and baseball teams do travel to other nearby towns for games. But unless it's a district or state play-off, it's rarely very far away, so everyone returns home the same evening as the game, and there is very little hoopla involved with the team's return, win or lose. I believe the area within which most high-school teams compete would be quite a bit smaller than Ireland. College and university teams, of course, compete much more widely. I live in the South, and customs may be very different in other regions. Somehow, I doubt that New York City or Chicago high-schools field football teams, but basketball, certainly.Oh, dear, I've written another tome here - more than you ever wanted to know about high-school social events in the States?

          3. Stillsewing | | #24

            No you haven't! That was a most interesting answer. it is AMAZING the differences between our different ways of life. Even further it is also quite different the differences between when i was at school and and what happens now. i do not have children so I don't really keep in touch with the changes.
            Any way I was delighted to hear about the homecoming and i think that it is a lovely idea to welcome home the alumni of the school or college.

          4. sewelegant | | #28

            This posting is a good read and it makes me smile because I have a comment for everything that has been said!  Isn't it amazing how we all see things differently, but still very much the same.  There doesn't seem to be much about sewing though so I'll interject something... my younger daughter was a competitive swimmer.  She was invited to the prom and we could not find a dress anywhere that would fit her developed shoulders and waist so I ended up making a dress for her.  We followed a Vogue wedding dress pattern ... the bridesmaid version, and it was a challenge for me to get it fitted properly.  It was blue satin and the bodice was overlaid with white lace and I made lace sleeves that were a little puffy, but not quite as nice as I wanted or imagined them to be and I felt kind of bad when she went off thinking she looked beautiful.  But then, the best part was when she came home and thanked me for making her the prettiest dress at the prom!  Everyone complimented her on it and she was so proud.  It made my day and probably inspired me to go on and make many more ball gowns (my husband was a career naval officer and we had a ball to attend every year.   Having a dress that no one else will be wearing... and making it nice enough to be proud of, is truely a joy.  I feel very fortunate that I loved sewing.

          5. MaryinColorado | | #29

            What a wonderful gift you made your daughter!  To feel and to be told that she had the prettiest gown, topping it off with knowing you made it with love just for her!  A memory she will always treasure.  Mary

            I was so tiny in high school, store bought clothes didn't fit me at all.  I made most of my clothes.  I made beautiuful velvet dresses for homecomings.  (My mother didn't sew although she did lovely perfect handwork. ) She had a dressmaker make some clothes for me and my prom gown my junior year.  To this day, I love one of a kind clothing.  

          6. MaryinColorado | | #25

            The cities here also celebrate "homecoming" with a pep rally, football game one night and a formal dance the next.  In some states there are still bonfires and sometimes parades with floats.  Here in the high desert of Colorado, you'd be arrested for starting a fire unless it's in a designated campground or fireplace!

            Yes, our "prom" would be like the graduation formal dance, usually held in May before graduation and open to all students.  My kids weren't "allowed" to go until their Junior and Senior (11th and 12th grades) to go as we feel that some things are a privelege for the older kids and something to look forward to.  There may also be a seperate graduation dance.

            Some schools have more formal or semi formal dances than others.  There are sometimes Winter Balls, Sweetheart dances around Valentines Day, and Military balls and such. 

            The kids usually may invite a date from another school so you never know how many opportunities a child might have, or not. Mary

          7. Stillsewing | | #27

            Thanks very much for your explanation of the homecoming and the prom. I think that our "Debs" could be called more rightly a "prom" as it has nothing to do with "coming out" (all that nonsense was done away with years ago) or graduation from school/college as it is not dependent on results etc.Once again thanks very much for filling me in on the different customs -- all very relevant to this website as it influences the type of dresses that we sew. I have just returned from a wedding in the UK and although it is our next neighbour there are many different customs and when I attend my English in-laws functions I really have to mind my ps and qs!!!

    2. solosmocker | | #6

      Lilith, your observations are so spot on. We have amongst us a generation who takes instant gratification as the norm and cannot always focus on a higher long term end goal, ie, 30 year old children who still live on the couch. They are waiting for the instant job, the instant wealth, the instant relationship. All of these things take nurturing and fostering and somehow us baby boomers have missed the boat on this one. I am as guilty as the next one.

    3. rodezzy | | #9

      Lilith 1951, I'm 55 years old and I started sewing because it was my make up, I loved making things as a child.  I took home economics in high school, my mother couldn't sew on a button, but she was a great cook and she allowed me to experiment in her kitchen.  Some of us just have it in us to do certain things - I feel.  She made sure I had a sewing machine.   She also encouraged and stressed academics.  I took college prep courses too.

      Also, I've seen a lot of hard working people who don't want their children to work for anything and do everything for them, cooking, sewing, washing, cleaning, thinking, all household chores.  Then when they come up not doing anything you wonder why. 

      This is a sore spot with people, so I'm putting my neck out here, but that's how I see it.  I just believe that children need to share in the daily chores of making a home a home and be encouraged to express their talents and academic prowess.

      1. Curiospat | | #20

        Oh, yeah, I can relate! My daughter, bless her heart, is soooo creative and finished college, works in a vet's office; a tech, not a Vet. But that's OK, she works hard and is very active with her husbands volunteer fireman job/duties to help. Now, my 18 yr. old son is another STORY.
        Washing clothes, pretends to not know which goes in first, the Tide or downey, can cook three things: pizza, pasta, soup. OK, that's a start. and seems to have forgotten his home chores (he's busy studying). If I broke a let tomorrow, will he fix coffee???? I'm a baby boomer who wonders if this kid will survive on his own (he's glued to his computer and I usually have to pry him off) to get going on yard work!!! But then he will comply, So,
        Se la vie,

        1. rodezzy | | #21

          Thanks for your comments, no one else would touch the subject I guess.  Oh, well.

          1. MaryinColorado | | #26

            I will!  My son and daughter both were able to plan and cook meals, do thier own laundry, handstitch a hem, clean up after themselves in general, do yardwork, and help with simple home repairs, put gas or oil in a car, and change a tire, etc.  They were typical teenagers and preferred not to, but then, there were repercussions of course.  We tried to teach them to be self reliant and accountable for thier actions or lack thereof.  They both worked while in high school and were involved in extra curricular activities as well. 

            Both grew up to be loving, compassionate, giving people.

            My son is doing great, in College, works two jobs, very well rounded, married, mature and I can't say enough about his personality and character. 

            My daughter has always struggled, is a single mother of 3 children, had the first when she was 18, is a phlebotomist making minimum wage, had a terrible abusive husband who never sees the children or pays a penny of child support.  We have supplemented her income for 17 years and no end in sight.   We supply all the clothes, most of thier meals, activity costs, etc.  she currently doesn't even have a car so we have to drive her several miles to the nearest busline.  She is a hard worker but just seems to be one of those people who's life is a constant uphill battle. 

             The choices she made in her early "adulthood" have and will continue indefinitely to affect her, her children, and our entire family.  I wish there was a way to help young people comprehend how thier chocies can change so many lives in so many ways.  Our family has been affected emotionally, physically, and financially by our daughter's choices. 

            So you young folks out there reading this, please try to think ahead to the future.  There is more at stake than just YOU!!!  Everything you do, affects someone else's life. 

            I am not bitter, just realistic and resigned to a life of financial difficulty in spite of my husband and I having had two very good incomes and good planning that was shot to heck.  The worst part for me is feeling powerless to control ones own destiny due to another's decisions.  Lots of prayer helps to prevent becoming resentful and angry though there seems to be no cure for the frustration and sadness.  Mary

          2. katina | | #30

            Are you able to teach your grandkids to sew?


          3. MaryinColorado | | #31

            Yes, they have been sewing for several years.  The older ones had a wonderful 4th grade teacher who had the class make a quilt each year.  That really inspired them, she remains thier favorite teacher, they go back to the grade school to visit her.  Her creativity enhanced her teaching in so many ways. 

            The grandkids help alot with chores when they are here during the week.  The 2 boys are great at fixing things.   All 3 cook, do laundry, etc to help thier mother.  We don't get much time for sewing during the schoolyear.  We will be embroidering pillows and making them during their winter break from school.  I also bought some plain Tshirts for them to machine embroider with the high school mascot, bulldogs.  Mary

          4. katina | | #32

            It's good that they're all able to handle these tasks;  you've all done a great job in a difficult situation.

            Good luck!

          5. MaryinColorado | | #33

            Thank You!  So far, they are all remarkable, well mannered, compassionate, kind youngsters that stay away from trouble.  I pray they remain so, and grow up to be good responsible adults.  Mary

      2. Crazy K | | #22

        I've been busy but I've been following.........yes, I, too, agree that we're doing our children a huge disservice by not insisting that they learn to do domestic things and help with things around the house.  Not that I've been such a success with my children........but I did teach them the basics.  My boys could cook and do their laundry (in a pinch!) but they learned lots of other things......fixing their cars, learning to weld and all aspects of building construction.  My daughter could cook but I could never get her to do laundry.  She does a fantastic job of it now though!  Maybe she learned by osmosis! LOL  She does sew but isn't too insterested at the moment.  For a few years she was into pillows and seasonal placemats and she did sew quite a bit for a little girl in the family.

        I grew up on a farm with me as an only child so I helped outside as well as household chores.  Didn't hurt me one bit........I was more prepared for life.

        There......you have my nickel's worth.  It is a touchy subject to some but not all!


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