Mentors – A Thank You Note

Do you have sewing mentors?  I’ve had several throughout my sewing career.  I’d like to share my thoughts on their impact on my sewing and personal life.  A public thank you note of sorts on the one year anniversary of The Seamless Sailor.

First, of course, is Mom.  I grew up with her sewing or crocheting or crafting any number of projects despite various challenges of the family happening around her.  I suppose it was her way of relaxing and something she could create.  She grew up making     things out of need on the farm in a little town in Ohio.  Later more for fun and to share a home crafted item with others.  She would offer me suggestions when I hit a snag in a sewing project as a teen.  I often thought that I could figure out a better way and probably should have listened to her more.   She was a smart lady with a smile, a light easy laugh and encouraging word for everyone.  I hope I can be a bit like her.   I miss her.

Dad.  Huh?  Yeah.  He bought this Singer Slant – O – Matic sewing machine for Mom and my sisters and me.  He said it was one of his best investments having four girls.  I still have it.  My sister and I were recently saying that parents get smarter as we get older.  Hmmm.  I miss him too.

The Cleckner’s sewing machine (1959)

My favorite Home Economics teacher, Mrs.  Nelson.  Yes, this dates me.  I took Home Ec in junior high and high school (including being a leader of the Future Homemakers of America) and I majored in Home Ec (and business) in college.  That was the college at the time that offered the Consumer Affairs program.  I also took a sewing construction lab class.  That 4-hour”A” really helped my GPA!  I doubt you could take a Home Ec course now if you wanted to.  A girlfriend recently referred to me as “so home ec-y”.  I’m not sure if I should take that as a compliant or not . I’ll take it as a compliment.

My Aunt Ruth, my mother’s sister, had a fancy sewing machine and took in sewing to add to the family income.  I marveled that she could make anything – suits, ties, and pies (another story).  And my sister-in-law has that same skill.  It seems she can make anything.  Plus she does beautiful needlework.  Maybe that’s one of the reasons my brother married her!

Marie is one of our sailing mentors.  She is also a sewing mentor.  I was amazed that she took on big boat projects like making an enclosure.  She introduced me to Sailrite and canvas projects.  She helped me figure out that I could turn my home sewing skills into Seamless Sailor skills.

Lastly, Matt Grant and the Sailrite team, including Dan in the former Annapolis store.  Dan sold me my Sailrite machine.  He showed me all the options and what I would need to adapt my basic sewing skills.  Although the Annapolis store closed, I still get great service from the Sailrite team – when I have a question about a purchase or how to solve a question that arises about an ongoing project.

I also learn a ton reading other sailing sewing blogs and reading sewing books.  Thanks to all for sharing your experience and knowledge.

Lastly, my husband and captain, Anthony, who is always encouraging me with his support.  He provides much in the way of engineering design, quality control and never-ending ideas and goals.  And he doesn’t let me give up or get away with a less than perfect product.  He saw that my sewing skills could be used as a contribution to the boat.  Who knew there was so much canvas on a sailboat?

One last person to recognize is my sister, Rochelle, who gets the credit for the name of this blog.  I bet you were wondering how it got its name.

A big thank you to all of my sewing mentors mentioned here and others I may have overlooked who have provided support, ideas, and encouragement along the way.  They all have contributed to my knowledge and pleasure while sewing and creation of The Seamless Sailor.

Who are your sewing mentors?


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