Growing up a tom-boy taught me a lot of things...I WON'T be told I "CAN'T" do something, I'll try it at least once which is how I knocked out my front tooth (bicycle), mangled up my right hand (dirt bike) and found a way to take care of my family as a single mom (sewing machine)!
Oh..I've been a "jack-of-all-trades" in my lifetime, some were not so smart -- receptionist/secretary (smart), doughnut maker (semi-smart), worked in a yarn shop (not so smart...no paycheck by the end of the week), built race cars (smart), auto body (smart), worked in a fabric store (again, not so smart), lettered vehicles (pre-vinyl decal days...smart) and a seamstress (very smart)!!
Though at the time I didn't want to do it, I can't thank my Mom enough for sending me to those sewing classes when I was 10...Oh, Granny had a needle and thread in my hand much younger but I was never allowed to use her sewing machine till later.
I started out making bridesmaid dresses (even a few wedding dresses) but this was all too monotonous for me...7 dresses just alike -- ugh! Then the opportunity came to do some sewing for (now closed) Virginia's Explore Park, that lead to sewing for 100's of Civil War reenactors...literally! I had dresses shipped all over the US, as far West as California! It too got a little like making bridesmaid dresses...I made nearly 100 Confederate soldier jackets called "Depot Jackets" and well over 50 battleshirts (reading these two links will probably bore you to tears, but just in case you were curious). But there was something a little more intriguing about this type of sewing, I researched each request, visited as many museums as possible and learned the various sewing techniques used during the time period. This is also how I met my wonderful Hubby!
Clients would send me a "period" picture with any changes or requests and I would make a reproductions to their specifications. This was fun!! My clothes have been in several movies...one notable one is Gods & Generals...I was even on set a several times (I stood beside Stephen Lang in my 19th Century best)...now you won't find my name in the credits, you see we reenactors are often used as "unpaid extras" at various events. But I have made uniforms for several units and individuals who were some of these "extras" -- my BIL & nephew were paid extras in a couple movies in which they were completely clothed by "moi"!
Sometimes I miss it, but carpal tunnel began showing up with all the handwork that this type of work required, I prefer to be able to feel my fingers later...and a big chicken when it comes to surgery.
I hope this slideshow works, I found an old disc the other day that contained my old files. Here is a small sampling of my hard work ~
I am quite proud of this time in my life. As you can see my fiber addiction goes way back!
Keep on Knittin' - Spinnin' and Sewin'!!