Free Pattern Friday!

on August 24 | in Contests & Giveaways | by | with 144 Comments

We’re having a big Back-to-School (and back-to-sewing) celebration, offering 15% off all sewing patterns! Check out our newsletter to get all the details and the coupon code. (And sign up for our newsletter so you’re sure to receive future discounts.)

Today we’ll give away a Figgy’s pattern of your choice to two lucky winners. Our friend and the founder of Figgy’s, Shelly Figueroa, is up to amazing things. She has recently launched an indiegogo campaign to help her realize her dream of opening a sewing studio for kids. Shelly says,

This Indiegogo project is all about the kids.  With parents too busy to teach sewing, knitting, fashion design, screen printing or crochet (or need a class themselves) and the schools have eliminated Home Ec and creative classes, there are very limited places and spaces for the children to learn these invaluable skills.

We couldn’t agree more! Sometimes when you’re deeply involved in the online crafting community, it’s easy to lose sight of how true this is. Many kids don’t learn these time-honored crafts at home and definitely not in schools.  We love that Shelly sees a need in her community and is trying to do something about it. Check out Shelly’s campaign and spread the word!

To enter to win a Figgy’s pattern of your choice, tell us about your experience learning crafts. Did you have home ec? Did your kids? Did you learn from a family member? Do you have any studios like this in your neighborhood? We want to hear about it.

Have a great weekend!


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144 Responses to Free Pattern Friday!

  1. Senna says:

    I learned from my mom and a 4-H teacher! I’ve come a long way. Hoping to start teaching my 3 year old daughter soon.

  2. Alexis says:

    I got a French knitting kit for my 8th birthday, learnt to knit from my grandma (forgotten that tho) and got the sewing bug from my mum.

  3. Tara says:

    I´m self-taught sewer. I leant a lot from another bloggers and own faults

  4. Grandma Kaps says:

    During junior high school centuries ago when I was in school, two years of home economics was a requirement for all girls. Learning to cook for one semester, we spent the other semester learning sewing, knitting and mending. Among other projects, I remember constructing a blouse, a skirt, and a pillow which now would be at least vintage if not downright ugly. We knit a pair of slippers. Mending consisted of all the basics of repairing clothing like sewing buttons, hooks and eyes and other skills. Although as a junior high student I resented home economics, today I sincerely appreciate that I was forced to spend time acquiring what I now consider the most useful skills I know which I use every day.

  5. Hannah H says:

    My grandmother sews but my mom doesn’t. About two years ago I decided I wanted to learn how to sew, so I began teaching myself. Its been slow going but I really enjoy it. I love making stuff and being creative. I really hope that I can impart that desire onto my children!

  6. Michelle L says:

    I recently got into sewing to make babywearing wraps. I taught myself how to use my sewing machine (that my grandmother gave me) with my manual. It took me an hour just to get it threaded! lol…Since then I have made several baby wraps, a couple headbands, and diaper pail liner, and hemmed a couple pieces of clothing! 🙂

  7. Katie H. says:

    I was really inspired to learn to sew a few years ago. I had no one to teach me though. I decided to teach myself. It was hard at first, but I am SO glad I did it!

  8. DeniseMarie says:

    I remember my mom sewing when I was a kid – but it was strictly utilitarian stuff. I guess I’m pretty much self taught, but I love the thought of encouraging creativity in kids.

  9. Heather L says:

    My mom sewed but I wasn’t really interested as a kid…and I think as we grew older and she was more involved with work, she had less time for it. My grandma knit but never taught me. She died when I was 18. Right before I got engaged 11 years ago I must have felt like “nesting” in a “making a home sort of way” and learned to knit mostly with the help of and knitting blogs etc. A few years ago, once I had kids, I felt an urge to sew and with a little help from mom, and a lot of help from books and the Internet, I have discovered I can have two crafty passions! :). I’ve let my 5 year old try and sew a bit but she’s only semi interested…lots of time for that. I think it’s a great idea to have a sewing studio for kids…I notice that my kids sometimes just don’t want to learn from me, and having a sewing teacher would be great for them.
    Interesting question and love reading everyone’s answers!

  10. Meg says:

    My mother and grandmother taught me the basics of sewing, embroidery, and knitting. After that I learned by doing (or by frequently re-doing!).

  11. Cricket says:

    I got one year of home ec when I was 12, but I didn’t learn much. My husband’s grandma taught me to knit, and I learned to sew on my own. What a great idea of a studio just for kids. I have often dreamed of having a studio for kids and adults.

  12. Yzo says:

    My nana taught me some basics, and later I just kind of figured things out by myself (ie., did them wrong), and now many years later, I depend on blogs and YouTube to educate me in my crafty ways 🙂

  13. Rachel says:

    My Mum sewed, knitted and crocheted a lot while we were growing up and tried to inspire me to learn, but I was never interested. Now that I’m a bit older, and have been married and moved away from my Mum, I have discovered that sewing can be REALLY fun and my Mother in Law teaches myself and a couple of others. My Mum is very proud 🙂

  14. Edith says:

    I was first introduced to sewing in home ec while in middle school. I ruined a paper doll pattern several times over and was scared of sewin machines ever since then. Then etsy, spoonflower, you guys and a gazillion other blogs came along to inspire me!

  15. Kirsten says:

    I learnt to sew from a friend of my mums, who “took in” sewing to help with the family budget. My mum always said the craft gene skipped a generation – her mum sewed beautifully, and my paternal grandma was a seamstress! They were also beautiful knitters. I learnt to knit also with a family friend, as my we lived far away from either grandmas. We also did basic hand-stitching in home – ec at school. My kids were so excited to hear that my purchase of a new sewing machine meant that they would have free-er rein on my old sewing machine.

  16. mims says:

    i taught myself how to knit and sew, and i’m really looking forward to teaching my daughter when she’s old enough.

  17. Thea says:

    I had home ec but was very uninspired and discouraged by it. Luckily my mum and grandma were creative and crafty and I was inspired enough by them to teach myself. Now I’m lucky enough to be crafty with my own kids and teach sewing lessons at a local sewing studio – Spool of Thread in Vancouver.

  18. Jen says:

    I did have home ec – brightly colored jams were all the rage, and I crafted a masterpiece!

  19. amy says:

    My grandmothers, mother, father and whole family is crafty. I learned a lot young. My friend and her mother were crafty. I took home ec when it was dying out and was even the first in my school to take “sewing II”. I am trying to teach my kids what I know, but it’s not easy when they are so young and are both lefties;-)

  20. Pattij says:

    I made an apron in home ec, but had already started to sew and crochet, learning from my grandma who had broken a hip and was living with us for a while!

  21. Debbie Cameron says:

    My Mum taught me how to sew and then I was fortunate to have amazing Home Ec teachers to embed the skills I had already learnt. When I finished school I went to tafe and did some business study and also took some pattern making classes. I was lucky that all this was available to me. I am now part of the Australian Sewing Guild and I am starting to think about how I might be able to share my skills with this next generation, valuable skills that they seem to want to know, something I totatlly took forgranted until now, with small children.

  22. Mary says:

    I grew up crafting. I was quite ill as a child, and spent a lot of time hospitalized, so I learned needlework quite young. I had home ec in school, and my teacher nearly turned me off sewing for life. There was a short period in my teens when I didn’t do much sewing or crafting, but for the most part, it’s been a life long passion. I’m excited to teach my grandbaby when the time comes!

  23. carole says:

    I’m self taught and still learning – thanks to online tutorials such as yours and all the new books on the market.

  24. Kristie says:

    I am a blog and book taught sewer and crafter. My parents were crafty and handy growing up, but I didn’t learn how to sew, knit, embroider, etc. until I taught myself as an adult. I’m teaching my kids as I learn. kristie_keely(at)yahoo(d0t)com

  25. Ybat says:

    I was fortunate to have a mom who sewed, in fact she made alot of my clothes. The first thing she taught me to do was embroider. I use to spend hours embroidering from pictures that I copied from coloring books. I did every thing from strawberry shortcake to The Simpsons. Unfortunetly that was where I stopped learning until I took some classes at a community college. Since then I have fallen in love with making clothes for my niece and nephew and I have recently started making things for myself. I remember the wonderfull felling of acomplishment that I felt from my first embroidered pillow and its nice to feel it again when I finish a new project. Thanks Mom!

  26. AP says:

    A creative studio for kids is such an awesome idea! I had a mom and grandmother who sewed, but I never really “learned” from them. I guess I absorbed some watching them. After many years away from a sewing machine I now sew for my son. I’ve also taken classes to improve my sewing and learn other crafts.

  27. Virginia Grimsey says:

    My mum and nan were always crafty so I grew up doing some cross stitch and other crafts. We had to do sewing at school and I hated it. It wasn’t until I had my first child I asked my mum to teach me how to sew. She helped me sew a couple of things then I taught myself the rest. Now it is my main hobby and I love sewing, especially for my children.

  28. Alina Rodgers says:

    Wow, where have I been? I didn’t know that they don’t have home economic class in school anymore. That’s sad. Anyway, yes, I did have home economic when I was in high school. However, didn’t work out too well because I didn’t have enough patience then. I took sewing classes and quilting classes after I got married. Love it!

    Thank you for your generous giveaway; my little girl will love it.

    Have a nice weekend!

  29. Fenna says:

    I had one semester of home ec to teach me how to sew–the rest was all self taught years later as I did horrible in home ec! my mom did try teach me how to knit and cross stitch. I can’t remember ever how to cast on to start knitting 🙁

  30. jessamyn says:

    My mom was a spinner/weaver and she also sewed our clothes and costumes. We were always doing crafty stuff at home and I just picked up stuff rather easily. I had a sewing machine as a teenager and would make all sorts off fun things. I also went to a school that had classed like “Beading” and “Poster making” so it was just all around me and has stuck with me through the years. I always have projects going.

  31. Krystina says:

    I learned to knit at a local knit store, but it’s scary how all the local knit shops are closing! I mostly learned to sew from the Internet but I wish there was a local in person resource available to me!

  32. chibidani says:

    I took home ec in gr 8, which was 6 weeks each or so of sewing and cooking. Somehow, neither of them dealt at all with “economics”. I would have loved home ec to be about budgeting for food, rent, etc. I learned a bit more about sewing from my mom, and I learned cross-stitch from one of her friends. Other than that, I’ve read a lot, and the Internet is super handy too.

  33. Taryn Oakley says:

    I am a self-taught crafter… with a lot of help from friends along the way!

  34. Stefani says:

    I was also lucky enough to have a crafty mother! We started out knitting washcloths when I was a girl, moved onto sewing bags, and then made a quilt when I was a teenager. I can’t wait to teach my little girl (who just turned 1) the things that my mom taught me!

  35. Emili Day says:

    I grew up in an uncreative home. My mom and dad both worked and did not have time for such things. I have always been creative but never really knew it. Now that I am stay at home, I have more time to explore my craftyness. Hope my kids get it earlier than I did!

  36. Andi says:

    I learned to use my mom’s sewing machine when I was quite young. I sewed using commercial patterns but with varying degrees of success due to limited fabric choices (think quilting cottons!) and Big 3 pattern drafting. When I was a new mom I started sewing in earnest again and learned heaps of new techniques and discovered knit fabrics. My knowledge has come mostly from trial and error but I also got tons of help from various internet sources, which is so much different from when I was young!

  37. beverly says:

    My crafting was delving in the world of cross-stitch, latch hook rugs, & other things I could do by myself. My mom was not a confident enough seamstress to teach me, which frustrated me at the time, but I can appreciate now. I was not able to take home ec in high school, so all my sewing has been self taught, or through one day classes.
    Now that I have a daughter, I encourage her w/ hand sewing & embroidery projects. She gets very creative & I’m so proud of the work she has done. We’ve tried sewing on the machine, but I think she feels intimidated by it. Maybe when she’s 9 or 10 I can give her more independence on the machine. Unfortunately, it’s probably my own neurosis about her working w/ an electric machine that could poke a needle through her little finger that make her nervous! Like I said, we’re still working through it all!

  38. Marci Girl says:

    My mom taught me a lot. Then I took home ec, didn’t learn much. Majored and graduated in Industrial Design where I learned the rest!

  39. Paloma says:

    I was lucky enough to grow up in a pretty crafty family/community so learned lots of crafts as a child. I learned to embroider as a very young child from my mother, to crochet and sew on the sewing machine, to quilt from a family friend and knit from another woman in our community. My daughter loves to create and its been so much fun teaching, creating and learning with her.

  40. Bonnie says:

    I learned to sew from my great Aunt Betty who came over once a week during the summer. We started with a lot of handstitching (I recall a felt pillow with very even blanket stitch around the edges) and eventually moved on to a corduroy skirt and rainbow dress. My finale was sewing my own clown costume for a school show. But then I gave it up for 25 or so years until my second girl was born. Since then, pretty much self-taught. My older daughter (almost 9) has been taking sewing lessons at a local fabric store, learning to sew for her 18″ doll. She will now go up and improvise on her own. The younger one (4) is excited to learn soon too!

  41. Shola says:

    I had a crafty mum who could sew,knit cross stitch and crochet, she taught me the basics when I was young but once I was older I forgot about it all, it wasn’t until my own daughter was 2 that I decided I wanted to learn to use a sewing machine and it all went crazy from there! I also recently re-learnt to crochet by using online tutes and following blogs, now I’ve made a quilt, sewn up dresses and crocheted a skirt!

  42. Rebecca says:

    I was mostly self taught in “crafting” as a child, but I did take a few classes in drawing, painting, and rubber stamping for fun. I learned most of craft skills from the UC Davis craft center as a college student. I took many classes there myself and even taught adult and children’s classes. The facility there is amazing and anyone can take classes, not just university students.

  43. Elizabeth says:

    I struggled with sewing as a child and teen with most sewing sessions ending in frustration when my garment didn’t fit right. However, after my first daughter was born, I was very grateful that my mother had taught me to sew when I was a girl because sewing for my baby turned out to be so much fun. Four years later, many of her clothes are made by me.

  44. wendy says:

    My mom taught me to sew, starting with hand-sewing everything… I used to sew in bed in the mornings (I was an early riser, but not allowed out of my room til a ‘reasonable’ time). I’ve never really stopped 🙂

  45. Leandre says:

    I was exposed to crafting first by my mom, but it was my sister’s influence ( she is now a children’s wear designer) that got me excited to sew. Now we plan long weekends away just to sew.

  46. Erin Palmer says:

    When my mom was nine years old my grandma was in a terrible car accident and was paralyzed from the waist down, she could still move her arms but her hands were clamped closed all of the time limiting what she could do. This left a lot of responsibility on my mom to help take care of her family of eight kids. Sewing clothes for her and her siblings was one of the responsibilities my mom took upon herself; which made her an amazing seamstress. Growing up my mom made a lot of my clothes especially since I was freakishly tall and skinny, which made finding clothes that fit incredibly difficult. I didn’t have a lot of interest in sewing until I was in high school and the formal dances started coming up. This is when I want to sew start sewing, and I had the best teacher in the world to teach me. I learned all the basics of sewing in high school, during college I didn’t sew much but when I got married my mother in-law happened to be a big quilter so I have started quilting a little. I made my daughter a quilt for her bed and it turned out really cute, thanks to my wonderful mother in-laws guidance. Since I had my little girl I also LOVE sewing clothes for her. Dresses are the most fun to make for her and she loves them, plus she looks cute an anything. The last two years of my life sewing has been a pure joy and I hope to continue learning and creating great things for my kids. (Sorry my stories a little lengthy, I got carried away.)

  47. Ileen says:

    My mom tried and then I joined 4-H and tried again. It was only recently, in the last couple of years, that I wanted to sew a simple bag or a skirt, that re-energized my curiosity. I search the internet for tutorials and books then try my hand at whatever my whimsy happens to be. I am teaching my daughters and my teenagers lament about how there is no ‘home ec’ in school. Thanks for the giveaway

  48. Sara says:

    I taught myself crafts from the internet, from the basic use of a sewing machine to flat-felled seams and buttonholes, etc. At first I just wanted to make cheaper throw pillows than I could find at Target, but I got addicted. 🙂

  49. Paula says:

    I am mostly a self taught crafter. YouTube helps a lot too!

  50. Alisa says:

    Getting into sewing late in my life, though I wish I had taken home ec in school. YouTube and blogs like yours are such a lifesaver for us new learners 🙂

  51. Danielle G says:

    I’ve always been into DIY/crafts. When my children were little, it was beading and jewelrymaking. Then I moved on to knitting, which i remarkably learned from a book. My latest obsession is sewing, which has also been completely self-taught, although I do have distant memories of my mother sewing our Halloween costumes year after year. I recall being enthralled with the tools and the patterns, the process. I love and appreciate the art of making things from scratch.

  52. Amy Dunn says:

    My mom sewed, knitted, wove baskets, everything. I wasn’t interested at all until I had children of my own but it made it a lot easier because I had a great role model to look to. I learned using online tutorials and just jumping in with both feet but I could always call my mom if I needed help.
    Thanks for a fantastic giveaway!

  53. Joann says:

    I took a sewing class at the Singer Center when I was 10.
    I loved it and have been sewing ever since.
    Thanks for the giveaway!

  54. Gill says:

    No one in my family sewed so I learned from a teacher at my primary school! Everyone thought she was terrifying!! but she and I got on really well!

  55. Maree says:

    My first experiences wern’t good ones when at school I had a crappy sewing teacher and because of this I dropped out of the class. I also wasn’t a fan of the craft classes either no patience for that sort of thing. It wasn’t until 25 years later or so when I had two little girls that my mum’s sewing machine that she gave me to do some mending with finally sparked an interest, especially when I looked at little girls clothing in the shop and saw the price tags and realised this simple skirt which is $30 or $40 could so easily be made for a fraction of the cost. I then discovered Etsy ‘OMG’ there were pdf patterns and fabrics to die for, so much cheaper than anything I could purchase here in Australia.

    In the 1.5 years since I started my girls have great wardrobes with gorgeous dresses and skirts, me on the other hand am still working on!

  56. rachelmp says:

    I was lucky enough to have our grandma live next door to us, and she taught me to sew, knit and crochet. She was also a keen artist and gardener. I have been creative ever since and studied Visual Arts at uni. Craft groups, blogs, books and skilled friends have help me increase my skills, along with some very well designed patterns. My kids are learning by my side.

  57. Jennifer says:

    At about 14 my father taught me how to work the machine then I took home ec for as many years as I could. Then worked 9 years at a fabric store then 7 at another fabric store. Working at a fabric store I had the best teachers (my coworkers) who inspired and helped me hone my craft.

  58. Sara says:

    I first learned to sew in a neighbor’s garage! She held a class for all of us neighbor girls to learn to sew a wrap skirt – I think it was a trial to see if she could start regular classes? At any rate, I chose pink, strawberry shortcake fabric and loved my skirt 🙂

  59. Wendy MR says:

    I have very fond memories of my mom making us Halloween costumes and even dresses for our birthdays. My mom would give me some of her left over scraps, thread a needle for me, and just let me go at it. I rember making Barbie dresses and pants for my cabbage patch. 🙂

  60. jen says:

    I loved crafting right from young – but my mom doesn’t have a creative bone in her so she would buy kids crafting magazines and supplies and I had to teach myself lol

  61. Tobie says:

    My mom taught me how to sew–actually I don’t think she really taught me much-just gave me a needle and thread and fabric and I made clothing for my dolls. When I was in Jr. High, I took home ec and made and apron and a jumper. I used my mom’s sewing machine that had a lever you pushed with your knee. It was a great machine.

  62. Peggy Grow says:

    I took a few classes from a local studio here (The Stitch Lab in Austin Texas) to learn to sew. Then I was hooked! From there, I taught myself to quilt and now I am crocheting. I am teaching my kids to sew too and some of the neighborhood kids come over to learn. There is definitely a need for sewing classes for kids out there. If I had the patience, I’d do it here!

  63. Doreen B says:

    I took Home Ec in Grade 8 to 10. This is where I learned to sew and from then on I sewed my own clothes and then later my children and husband’s clothes. I am basically a self taught crafter after that, which includes stitchery, quilting and crafting. It has brought me much pleasure over the years.

  64. Faye Nettles says:

    My mother said I drove her crazy asking her to teach me to sew. She could sew beautifully and finally taught me all the basics. I also took home ec. but it was never as much fun as sewing with my mom. I love dainty stitches that do not show. I love sewing for children. Rule #1. Make the garment so that it” doesn’t itch or isn’t scratchy.” LOL

  65. Amber W says:

    I learned to sew from my Mother, although I don’t actually remember learning. I feel like I have just always known. And I have the crafty spirit naturally, so i took it from there. I now enjoy teaching quilting to adults and am looking forward to also start teaching classes to youth in the area. I love how Shelley is pursuing her dream!

  66. Veronica says:

    Sewing was a way of life for generations in my family. My grandmother sewed for years for a clothing manufacturer of fine suits in Georgia. She along with my mother made most of my clothes as a child, and as a teenager and young adult, my mom still made me dresses upon request! I remember at the age of 8 learning to cross stitch along with my mom, then I learned to stencil, make braided barrettes, craft hand-painted earrings, sew doll clothes, write calligraphy, and the list goes on-and-on. I don’t think I’ve ever met a craft project I didn’t like! I thank my grandmother, grandfather (who worked at the factory, too), my beautiful mother, and our neighbor (who tried to teach me to crochet once) all for sharing with me the knowledge of their craft. It only took me 20+ years to realize these skills were not just a part of a hobby, but a calling, a way of life!
    Thanks for hosting this contest and making me put into words my feelings for all these wonderful people that are no longer with me except in spirit!

  67. I did have home ec. but I really knew pretty much everything before I took it.

  68. Shelly says:

    HI Everyone! I love hearing how all of you learned your craft. I was so blessed to have a mother who had the talent and patience to teach me. I aslo had 4-H and art and I LOVED it. Unfortunately not everyone has a family member with both the talent and the time to teach not to mention patience. Not only will these kids have someone just for them but for those children that can’t afford a class we will offer scholarships and aid. I want to give everyone a chance to craft! Everyone deserves it. 🙂

  69. JP says:

    I learned to sew in 2009: I used books originally, but the best teachers turned out to be DVDs from the library! Being able to watch and rewatch all the stitches in detail was an incredible boon, especially as I don’t always have time to attend classes in person.

  70. Shiv says:

    My mom taught me to sew when I was 7. I was very impatient and didn’t really get it but I would hear her sewing machine all the time-stopping and going. Now, 32 years later I design and sew up cycled kids clothing and cant get enough of my serger. My daughter is 6 and my mom just gave me the sewing machine she bought for me when I was 7. So flipping awesome. My theory is that “I make, therefore my kds will make.

  71. Wendy Crim says:

    I have been teaching myself to sew. Largely through this blog and a handful of books & other online resources. I feel like I will never get good at it but I love it so much I just keep trying. Thanks.

  72. Sara says:

    My mom taught me the basics of sewing as my home-ec requirement. I was homeschooled in high school and got to take whatever art classes I wanted at the local art center. I took photography, card making, weaving, pottery, calligraphy and more. The introduction to sewing I had with my mom was the “art” I disliked the most and now, here I am all these years later and it’s my biggest creative outlet!

  73. Clover says:

    I have never had a creative bone in my body nor was I taught much about sewing or crafting. Until 3 years ago I started sewing and it has unleashed a whole side of me I never new existed!

  74. Crystal says:

    I was first introduced to sewing at my grandma’s house when I was 8 or so and later on took sewing in home ec. Since then I’ve taken some “learn to sew” classes at a local sewing store and plan on taking a pattern drafting class in the fall!

  75. Morgan says:

    My mom was a home-ec teacher before having kids; she and all my aunts sew. I learned to knit in 4-H. I was a stubborn kid so I really only got into sewing as an adult but I’m lucky to have mom around to help me out now and also to grow up with the idea that it’s normal to sew/craft.

  76. Tammy Goins says:

    I am 37 and just learned to sew about 2 years ago. My parents gave me a sewing machine for Christmas and it sat in the box for a year. Then I took the plunge, and signed up for two back-to-back sewing classes at Joann Fabrics. I have been sewing ever since – learning a lot from online tutorials and good old-fashioned trial and error. I mostly sew clothing for my 6 year old daughter, mainly from stuff I buy at Goodwill and tear apart. I also occasionally make other pieces and sell them.

  77. Kimberly F says:

    I learned to crochet from my mom, and she gives me sewing tips too. Other kinds of crafting I learned from my beloved craft blogs!

  78. Rachel says:

    My aunt and grandma taught me to knit and crochet but there were no serious sewers in my family and my very academic school didn’t have Home Ec. A few years ago I took a class and finally learned to sew. It’s definitely the creative medium for me. Recently I started teching my daughter to crochet, and both of my kids sit with me at the sewing machine and “help”.

  79. Candi says:

    My grandmother taught me as a young girl how to sew, cross-stitch, arrange flowers, and how to weild a glue gun! She’s still interested in what I’m sewing up, especially since her arthritis has slowed her hands in making things of her own.

  80. Bethany says:

    I sewed, crocheted and knitted a little bit with my mom when I was little and had no home ec in school. I still use her as a resource. One of my favorite things to do with her was to use paper and my mom’s sewing machine to make perforated pictures to hang on the windows. My 5 year old loves to do this on “her” machine.

  81. nopinkhere says:

    I didn’t take home ec. (I was in band instead.) My mom taught me sew and crochet as a child, and a friend taught me to knit after my son was born. I do wish I had more “art” skills though.

  82. Melissa says:

    I, unfortunately, only remember my ma and gma fighting while sewing so I didnt want to learn from them. I taught myself in college. I did learn the basics of knitting from my gma. I plan to teach my girls and boy as they grow.

  83. Courtney says:

    I was never much into sports growing up, but my parents invested in pottery and painting classes for me. I didn’t start sewing until four years ago, and I’ve pretty much taught myself. I can’t wait to teach my kids!

  84. Sonja says:

    I grew up in a very creative household. My Mom did it all. Knitting, sewing, crafting, gardening, animal husbandry, and the list goes on and on. As a kid I had no desire to learn to knit and sew. My mother and grandmother sewed beautifully. Really beautifully. Because at one point they had to sew it if they wanted clothes. The knitting my mother did still blows me away. Mom and grandmother tried to teach me. I did not learn. Maybe I refused to learn. It was the 70’s. I didn’t need to know how to do that stuff. I sew now. No where as beautifully as my predecessors. But how I wish I could. In the midst of a fustrating moment at my sewing table I often kick myself for not paying attention to those that sewed before me. Those that really sewed. Fitted day suits, wedding dresses, swim wear all custom made to perfection. Hopefully I will be able to pass my sewing knowledge on to my children.

  85. Pam says:

    I learnt to sew at school in the 60s in Australia. We had lessons from age 8 until about 14, when sewing became an elective subject and I then chose languages instead. Unfortunately I didn’t pass these skills on to my daughter as I always worked full time, but I’m now teaching her as an adult… or rather, she’s teaching herself and I’m helping where she needs it. I do regret not making the time to teach her when she was younger. Thanks for the chance to win such a fabulous prize.

  86. Thao says:

    Mum was and is a tailor for 40 years and taught me to sew when I was 8. We were refugee and so had to carve out a living so mum used to see 22 hrs a day and I used to help out so for a time gave up because I was doing it for survival. Now as a mum of 2, I use that talent to make handmade clothing for my daughter and realize how much I actually do love it when you do it for the love of it and get to be your creative self so now I have a small home ec

  87. kelly says:

    Did you have home ec? Did your kids? Did you learn from a family member? Do you have any studios like this in your neighborhood? We want to hear about it.


    I was fortunate enough to have a parent who sewed. When I turned 23, my mother bought me my own sewing machine. After having children I got very interested in sewing again. I now sew regularly for my family and for others. My favorite work is custom clothing for children.

    I am an engineer by education, but looking back, home ec was one of the most fun courses I got to take in school. A combination of creativity and trade competency, it was a true joy to sew. My husband also has fond memories of whipping off his pants in high school home ec to sew up a seam, much to his teacher’s consternation.

    I teach a few courses both at the local community college and at a shop in town. I love teaching children, and wish more children had more open schedules to pursue their own dreams.

    Go Shelly! I’ll be sharing your campaign.

  88. Shannan says:

    We had Home Ec in school, but I managed to transfer out of it. As a result, I never learned how to sew. I finally taught myself a few years ago and I’m kicking myself at all the years missed!
    As a result, I’m teaching my own children all the home ec skills: cooking, sewing, canning, gardening, budgeting, etc. I even teach beginning gardening and canning out of my home because it is a lost art so I appreciate Shelly’s cause.

  89. Kristy Kaye says:

    I did have home ec growing up and the first thing we made was a sweatshirt! I think that was junior high, I continued sewing my own clothes throughout high school and even made my prom dress. Now I am sewing for my little girl, and love the patterns that are available today.

  90. Tara says:

    Mu school was too poor fora home ec elective. My grandma tried to teach me sewing very early on and I was too impatient. So I learned after I got married by Internet tutorials!

  91. ste says:

    Home Ec and my mom taught me in the beginning, but I’ve been figuring out most on my own with the help of some amazing friends.

  92. MarciaW says:

    I learned through 4-H as a youngster, took 9th grade home ec, and had mother, grandmothers, and aunts who took an interest in teaching me how to sew.

  93. jill_dalrymple says:

    My high school home ec project was a nightmare. A stuffed cow pillow..very country cheesey. It wasn’t until I took a few fashion courses in college, a Clothing Construction course that I finally started learning sewing technique.

  94. Janice says:

    Home ec class – 7th grade. I had to make a jumper as my first project. I’m short, so I could only pick a pattern that came in “petite”. For some reason, my pattern was more complicated than the other kids in the class…I remember being up at night the day before “poor work slips” came out thinking I was going to get one because I wasn’t as far along as the other students….of course, my teacher didn’t give me one! I’ve been sewing ever since – for my 3 older kids, and now for my almost 3 year old…

  95. Jessi says:

    I made an ice cream cone pillow in our home ec rotation in jr high. Although most of my skill set I have either learned from my mother or we learn together by experimenting and online tutorials.

  96. Anne says:

    I had the privilege of learning to sew on the machine at around 8 years….under the patient eyes of my mother and grandmother! By the 6th grade I was adept at making my own back to school outfits! Later, as an adult, I learned to knit from my mother-in-law, a master at the craft. Another fun and creative art! I would love the chance to continue my education with knits with a Figgy pattern!

  97. Lynn says:

    I learned to sew from my mom, and did all sorts of crafts from kits at Michael’s. I would have LOVED to have a studio for week long camps when I was a kid! Nowadays I mostly learn everything online, but classes like craftsy (shelly’s class especially) are really great.

  98. Katy says:

    I actually just taught myself how to sew two months ago by making a quilt on my mother in law’s sewing machine! I have really enjoyed it and am now going to attempt a few things for my 16 month old daughter. I have always been a lifetime crafter because my grandmother always had fun crafts for us to do when I would visit. Family crafting is the best!

  99. I sewed with my granny when I was very young. However, everything I know know I taught myself– learned from doing and reading online.

  100. Chloe Read says:

    I am pretty much self taught from the I internet and going to classes. I am fixing this for my kids by teaching them too, when they show interest. The studio sounds like a great idea -it would be great to have something like that around. here!

  101. Melissa says:

    I stayed in the art room in high school and when the art class wasn’t offered during my semester I took what was essentially a craft class. We all called it Underwater Basketweaving 101. lol

  102. KerryQ says:

    I had a semester of home ec. In jr. high. It was painful. It only covered cooking, sewing happened in later classes (if you weren’t on a college track). There was a lot of sitting, lecturing time, and not enough cooking time in my opinion. Even the cooking could have been fun. It was not. I did have a crafty grandmother who sewed and knitted, and my Mom has it in her (but she doesn’t know it). My grandmother used to send me fabric scraps in the mail that I would play with. She died before I was interested in learning from her, but I blame her for my fabric obsession.

  103. Margaret says:

    My mom taught me how to sew, and I took a summer school class in knitting and crocheting when i was 9 or 10. But I would say that I am mostly self-taught. A lot of trial and error. I’m still learning.

  104. Melissa Paruzel says:

    I remembered growing up, my mum would hand me crepe papers and set me to make roses under her tutalage. At the same time, I also learnt to draw still-life and water colouring from her. At four to six years of age, that was perhaps too much but I learnt to be patient especially when it comes to art. Then at seven, she introduced me to sewing because I wanted a dress for my newly acquired doll. Perhaps, that stem a lifelong interests in paper craft, painting and sewing which I pursue it still.

    There were no craft studio then. Even if there were, we were a poor family who prefer to keep the money and make sure there’s food on the table.

    My child is an age where she is given free reign what she wants to do. I will teach her crafts like how my mother had taught me, but it would be several years before I start.

  105. Joy says:

    My mother taught me to sew. I got away from it for. Years but having kids has sent me right back into sewing frenzy.

  106. My mom taught me the basics as a kid. I had home ec, but my mom had already taught me all that the school was teaching… From there, it has been trial and error and a lot of you tube videos and blog tutorials. I’m a cross your fingers and jump in with both feet kinda gal 🙂

  107. kathyh says:

    I learned from my mom and other family members.
    Handmade has always had a value in our family.
    Too busy taking college prep courses to take home-ec.
    Didn’t miss it as those who took it were taught the “you are wrong” method of school instruction.
    Whereas my mom, god bless her patience, would answer every stupid question of ours with kindness even though we just asked her how to do the previous step five minutes ago. She even taught my brother to sew for his GI Joe doll/figure.

  108. Jerri says:

    My deaf mother taught me how to sew when I was about 6 years old. Now I am teaching my own children. We are also a homeschooling family and we do a lot of crafting. I love mix media especially when it involves sewing. I used to just look at mix media crafting/sewing books and just dream about what I could create. I was really scared to do it for some reason but this past five or six months I have jumped in with both feet and I feel free with creating and crafting without worries about doing it right. Sewing for me became a natural extension of just being creative with whatever I make. I am no longer afraid. Thank you for the opportunity to express myself by sharing on your blog wonderful creation, Have a blessed day.

  109. Lindsay C says:

    I have to say, I really missed out NOT taking home ec in school. Luckily, I learned, and probably got the crafty gene from my wonderful mother. She loved doing crafty things like making tables out of an old shutter, and of course sewing clothes for myself and my sister. My favorite Halloween costumes were always the ones my mom made (what’s cuter than a strawberry or an adorable sunflower, and probably the most creative in my opinion, a slice of birthday cake) Of course, I didn’t realize how crafty she was until I saw her make costumes for various plays I was in since middle school. She has been the best teacher I could ever ask for. I wish we had community crafting classes in my neighborhood, I think it would be fun to take my daughter and to connect with other crafters.

  110. Belinda says:

    I did Home Ec at school but being a surly teenager I didn’t enjoy it and felt sewing was more of a chore than a fun hobby. I have always been crafty and decided to learn to sew a few years ago.

    I would have loved to have had some community classes and I have seen some advertised around the town where I live but they were too expensive for me at the time so I opted to teach myself to sew.

  111. Dayna says:

    I’m part of the home-ec generation, and when all of my friends were taking other electives, I stuck with it all the way through high school. When I got married and had (5!) children, my sewing time was intermittent. A few years ago, with terribly rusty skills, I determined to practice and improve. My three daughters (20, 18, & 13) are at different skill levels with sewing, and they don’t all share my enthusiasm; but I think it’s useful for them to at least know the very basics. We have multiple machines, a sewing room, and a big kitchen table – which means no excuses!

  112. Linda Murphy says:

    My craft experiences came from many areas: sewing with my grandmother, art classes in school, lessons from my mother. Also, teaching school for 30+ years gave me an opportunity to create with my kids.

  113. Jenny says:

    What a great campaign. We did Home Ec here in NZ when I went to school – but I’m not sure if they do it any more. My Mum was pretty good on the sewing machine and encouraged us all to get into crafts and made stuff with us. But it wasn’t until I had my kids and finished up working fulltime that I got back into crafting in a big way.

    Jenny 🙂

  114. Brandy says:

    Girl Scouts, 4-H, Home Ec and a crafty cousin and mother all helped me find my strengths in creating.

  115. Jayme says:

    My mom taught me to sew. My grandma taught me to crochet. I did have home ec as well. One of the things I’m excited to do through home schooling is teaching my daughters how to sew and cook and craft!

  116. Diana W says:

    My mom taught me to sew by hand. I learned how to sew on a machine in college. I studied technical theatre and took all the costuming classes. I did so well that I got a job in the costume department. Now, I sew for our home, my little boy, and as gifts.

  117. Liz says:

    I have been completely self-taught, with some guidance from friends showing me the very basics of what I’ve learned. My mom, who knows how to sew, knit, etc. hates to do all of that and never taught me. Therefore, I was left to my own devices to teach myself. 🙂

  118. KarenH says:

    I started sewing on my own, took home ec and got a lot of help from a neighbor who sewed for other people. My children know how to sew and have their own sewing machines.

  119. db says:

    sewing experience – I had home ec. Helped – minorly. Mostly learned about sewing, knitting, crocheting from my mom. Daughter took home ec – but told me “I don’t need to learn that mom, I have you!” She does do a GREAT job with photography and other craft mediums. I still do her sewing. 🙂

  120. Serena says:

    I learned to sew and crochet from my mom. I did take a home ec class in junior high (no home ec in high school), but I can’t say I learned much, since it was pretty basic stuff I already knew.

  121. ginny says:

    I am completely self taught! Its amazing what you can learn off youtube!!

  122. Lauren says:

    My mom and grandmother taught me how to sew. Now I am teaching my children!

  123. natali says:

    Unfortunately I didn’t have anyone at home to teach me, my family isn’t all that crafty. So I want to break that circle, we love making things (stick people & boats are a favorite) and I’m learning how to sew and hope it will be something I can teach my sons when they get older. I can’t remember having handwork in school, that’s why I like Waldorf schools because the kids learn how to knit, sew, woodwork,…

  124. rae says:

    I did have home ec but as a twist, at our school the girls took shop for a semester and the boys took home ec! We made these rings out of layered plastic- very 60s.

  125. In high school I wasn’t able to take home ec (due to transfering from a school that didn’t have it and being considered too old) so they put me directly in advanced sewing. I learned some there but mostly I’ve learned on my own, figuring out what makes the most sense.

  126. Erin says:

    I originally learned a little from my Mom and some in Home Ec but really got the bug once my girls were born. Now I try to get information from anywhere. Mom, MIL, internet, books, ect.

  127. Julie says:

    I took Home Ec in jr. high. That was around 1970-71. My mom griped about having to spend $20 on a pair of scissors (just the cost, not me having to have them). I still have and use those scissors today and the apron that I made! I loved the class and the things that I learned to make. Been sewing ever since.

  128. Susan Vojtik says:

    I learned some crafts from my grandmother and others were self taught. I had home ec in school. My kids chose not to take it but I had already taught them a lot.

  129. Siew says:

    My mom taught me how to sew, knit and crochet starting when I was 5. I remember sewing buttons on to a piece of fabric, listening to stories about how she had to sew everything she wore, even her underwear! It was such a foreign concept for me. Trying to carve time into our busy schedules to pass this on to my daughter with the hopes that she’ll love it as much as I do.

  130. Terry Kessinger says:

    My mom sewed clothes for us kids. I took Home Ec in jr. high, but the t-shirt I made in class had too small a hole for it to go over my head! It’s in my blood to create, whether it’s food, sewing, needlework, etc. It seems to have a resurgence these days, which makes life a whole lot more fun!

  131. Christine says:

    Growing up in rural Ohio, I had no cool neighborhood shops in which to learn how to sew or craft. So when I was 12, my parents bought me a sewing machine and my love affair with fabric began. Shelly has a wonderful idea to teach a new generation! I have a few of her Figgy’s patterns and love them.

  132. Mama Rachael says:

    I did take home ec in high school, but it was my Mom who first introduced me to sewing. She helped me put together some outfits for a doll I had. I loved it! When I got to high school, I took the traditional 1 year (1/2 of cooking, 1/2 sewing) home ec, and then an additional semester of sewing. I loved it!

    Little Boy is only 15 months, but he is so interested in The Machine. I might be able to induce him to try it out when he is old enough, because it is a machine, it moves and has a light. Oh, yeah, I’ll use whatever bluffs I’ve got!

  133. Veronica says:

    I watched my mom make things for us because we couldn’t afford to buy them. Clothes in the summer were made for us, valentine’s cards and Christmas gifts. Sometimes she would let us help her, but most of the time they would just ‘appear’ overnight. I wish she had taught me how to sew on her sewing machine, but I think it was one of those things she couldn’t afford to have broken and as I got older I forgot to ask her to teach me. She passed away just after I graduated from high school and I never got the chance to go back and ask her for help! So now I learn on my own and the internet and tutorials are AMAZING help at learning to do things on my own. Learning through doing is the best, but I do wish I had learned earlier on! So now I teach my daughter, 4, about my sewing machine. It’s not the end of the world if something goes amiss with it, and she knows to ask first. I wish I could teach her how to knit and crochet, because I think it would help her to calm down at times and think through some of her emotions or problems. Crafting is an outlet for me, a stress reliever and a way to put some of me into what I give my children for Christmas or birthdays or just for the fun of it. They love to help pick out the fabric for their clothes, blankets or dolls! I love that they dearly love what I make for them, and then ask for more or ask to learn how to make their own! It means less TV time and more craft time at our house!

  134. brooke says:

    I would love to have a studio like this in my neighborhood, but alas, I do not. I took a home-ec class in high school but it wasn’t until I got married that I became interested in crafting and have mostly taught myself from there.

  135. Kelly says:

    I learned to sew early on from my mother but did not pick it up again until I was an adult and had kids of my own. There are very limited sewing/crafting studios in my area. Unfortunately there do not seem to be too many creative outlets for children in school anymore.

  136. Janne says:


    I learnt to sew by my mother. My mother is extremely good at any craft like knitting, sewing, crocheting, weaving and EVERYTHING else!

    I also went to a waldorf school in which the children learn all crafts to help educate the whole human being, which again helps the child to learn better.

    I am now 48 and do all sorts of crafts. When I’m well, I suffer from CFS and sometimes I cant do any craft at all. I really miss it in those periods!

    My kids are/were also in a waldorf school, so they learn it all. My youngest is 8, and yesterday she said: I want to be as good as you, mommy! You can do just everything! 🙂

  137. Sarah Cameron says:

    I learned to craft at a very young age. My mother often crocheted, but I think the first craft I learned to do was embroidery. I bought an embroidery kit at Toys R Us with some Christmas money sometime in the mid eighties! I learned to knit in school as part of a pioneer learning experience. My mother taught me to sew, grudgingly, as she didn’t enjoy it, and after a home ec class in Grade 8 taught me the basics, the rest was self taught! A friend in University taught me to cross stitch. All of these crafts I still enjoy and I recently taught my oldest daughter to knit and some basic machine sewing! So I hope that I am also passing it on – my youngest daughter seems to think that I can make just about anything and regularily asks me to make her things. So maybe it’s just about time to teach her too!

  138. Dora says:

    I learned from my mom or I am self taught. I have all boys, so passing down my skills is not really feasible. They know the very basics, because I taught them when they were still young and they thought it was neat. Maybe my daughters-in-law will want to learn!

  139. Sarah R. says:

    What a cool idea! My school offered basic home ec, but I never took it. I learned some crafty stuff from my mom, learned some from books and blogs, took a few classes here and there, and make a lot of it up as I go along!

  140. Wendeeg says:

    My mom made clothes for us when we were really little but was a full time out of the house working mom so she soon gave it up. She pushed me to take home ec when I was in Jr high. I waited till my last year of high school to take sewing and learned some basics. Still not that interested in sewing though until I had 2 girls of my own and realized I could make some of those cute outfits I was seeing around. I now have a small home based business selling hair-bows and clothing & accessories for children.

  141. I was lucky because I grew up in a home with a mom who loved to make things by hand. She was a fantastic baker and cake decorator, she canned a ton of food, baked bread and she knits, crochets and sews! She *made* me take 4H sewing as a teen for 2 years and I hated it! When I had my own children – 3 daughters! – I wanted to make them so many beautiful things. My husband bought me a sewing machine a few years ago and now you can’t keep me off it! I have taught hand sewing to my 2 oldest and am now starting my oldest on the sewing machine. She loves it!

  142. Alisa says:

    I learned to sew in home ec. I am teaching my own kids right now but I hope they take home ec too. As far as I know we don’t have studios like this in my city.

  143. Darby says:

    So thankful for a mom who let me lean over her shoulder while she sewed when I was just a tiny thing. Later, I was given scraps and bits to use along with use of her machine. Took many years off, then with the arrival of my kids, I started sewing again. Thanks mom!

  144. Amy says:

    My mother taught me how to crochet and sew as a little girl. Only a few years ago, she taught me (now as an adult) how to knit. I find so much creative express from these skills. I think it’s great what Shelly is doing.

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