The first time I got a buzz out of wearing something me-made

OzViking (Lene) got me reminiscing about the first piece of clothing I ever sewed…and I just happen to have a picture of me wearing it….


(I got to pick that wall-paper for my bedroom…I loved it! (still rather like it). And how about that psychodelic orange spirograph? The cat poster? I’ve been a cat-lover since I took first breath. And that wig??? No idea why I am wearing it. It was made by my mother for a Raggedy Anne costume I wore to a Halloween Party. Finally, who remembers those tube bracelets with fluorescent paint or bright dye floating in them…the wrist-wear de jour!)

I thought I was just the bees-knees in this red+white polka dot halter top…complete with chubby mid-riff (my first ’round of that fashion cycle; there was a second in the 90s…definitely won’t be partaking when it swings around again.) And oooh…white Lee jeans…I was the height of coolness!

I was somewhere around 11 or 12. Sewing classes were held in a rickety school demountable. My recollections are of a teacher who pretty much just let us rip …ie: gave us an idea and then sat back and waited to see what we’d come up with. There were scraps of fabric and scissors and treadle machines…I can’t recall her name…she wasn’t a major force, rather a gentle encourager. Lucky me!

Mum was generous with letting me play with her then state-of-the-art Singer. She was a Home Economics teacher before I came on the scene, so she was well-versed in how to teach someone to sew…but like my teacher at school, she pretty much left me to create. Thanks Mum!

And thanks OzViking for jogging my memory re: the first time I got a buzz out of wearing something I’d made!



    • Ooh, I didn’t know of William Morris wall paper – really like that too! Australian Designer, Florence Broadhurst is my favourite wallpaper designer…see:
      My mum’s major was Home Economics too. At my daughter’s high school they call it Design and Technology – which includes some sewing (she taught me how to thread my serger!), cooking, woodworking etc…she’s fortunate to have these opportunities.

  1. I still rather like that wallpaper, too. I made one of those halter tops as well. We were all so predictable. However, I was not a child of the 70’s, but the 60’s. Those halter tops had been around a while by the time you made yours! It’s fun to read what was in style in the 70’s from younger people. All I remember well are the neon colors and the platform shoes, which unfortunately for women’s knees and feet, are back.

  2. That’s a cute top and I would seriously get that wallpaper design printed on fabric via
    Our primary school craft teacher was the same. She left us to make a skirt using a wrap pattern but at our own speed.

  3. I love the whole vibe and would it worry you to know that my kids have those tube glow in the dark bracelets? I wonder if they ever went away actually …. probably radioactive or something lol.

    • LOL Calico… my bracelets were before the days of glow-in-the-dark. I recall I paid something ridiculous for them but just HAD to have them, like all my friends. They weren’t radioactive but made glorious stains on school uniforms when they leaked (which was frequent). Mum was not impressed.

  4. That is priceless!!!! So glad your mom got a piccie of that totally cute top – you should put it on BurdaStyle as a completed project 🙂

  5. What a perfect top and photo! Halter & Lee’s indeed. Love that wallpaper, too. It’s a lot of fun reminiscing through old sewing projects. And to think you have a picture of the first one! My first ever sewing project was a red cotton apron for my Walking Emily doll – life size toddler! I made it on a Singer treadle machine and I was hooked.

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