Free Stuff Friday Giveaway

sewingtips Free Stuff Friday GiveawayAny plans for the weekend?  I’m going to be finishing up my dress from Nancy Zieman’s Sew Knits with Confidence pattern collection.  Be sure to come back on April 23rd to see how it all turned out.  Make a comment about my dress or sewing with knits and you will be entered to win Nancy Zieman’s book Sew Knits with Confidence AND 4 of her knit patterns.

For today 200 Sewing Tips, Techniques  & Trade Secrets by Lorna Knight is what we have on the sewing table for Free Stuff Friday.

This book is packed with awesome tips, hints and time saving secrets.  Great for beginners and intermediate sewists, but might just teach a few ‘ole timers and thing or two as well.    Answer the following question in the comments section below:

Who taught you how to sew? Was it a home economics teacher (do they still exist) or your mother, grandmother?  Maybe dad was the one who was handy with needle and thread.   Or, are you like myself who was largely self-taught.

Please let me know in the comments section below! One winner will be announced on Monday.

Happy Sewing!

About Jill

I write for the Sew News and Creative Machine Embroidery blogs. I love sewing, vintage and would love to get a comment from you!
This entry was posted in Free Stuff Friday, Nancy Zieman's Blog Tour and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

113 Responses to Free Stuff Friday Giveaway

  1. Savannagal says:

    These kinds of books are great to have on hand. I took a 6 week beginning sewing class years ago that taught me to make a simple vest. It’s the only thing I knew how to sew, so I ended up making about 12 of them. I then learned to make a flannel nightshirt. I have at least 10 of those too. That’s about all I’ve made. I’ve tried to make a few things on my own with not that great results. I really need more hands-on training.

  2. Bettie F says:

    I learned to sew in Home economics class many years ago. I had a great teacher! So glad I had the experience. Love books!

  3. My mother was the first person to introduce me to sewing AND I did have a Home Ec teacher. But after that I explored it further (such a lost art) — the sewing machine will be a part of my life forever. This summer I’m teaching my six-year-old grand daughter how to sew!

  4. Jeanne says:

    My mother taught me the basics early….at age 7 or 8 because I wouldn’t leave the sewing machine alone. Then I started 4H as soon as I was old enough and had great leaders, Home Ec. classes were added in 7th grade and I was sewing for the Make it with Wool contest by the time I was a high school Sr. ……and I headed off to college to become a….Home Ec. Teacher….yes we do still exist..though I no longer teach. The title and the methods taught have changed, but not the love of sewing,quilting and more!

  5. debbie katz says:

    I sewed my first dress in Home Ec class way back in the 60′s! Sewed for many years, teaching myself along the way. Got discouraged with patterns, so took up crafting, crochet, knitting etc…Then in 1996 took a quilting class and started all over again! In 2007 went to a Louise Cutting/Linda Lee retreat and started sewing clothing again.
    I would love to win this book!

  6. Anne Walker says:

    My mother taught me how to sew and darn, and I learnt how to use a sewing machine at school, but I always did and still do love sewing by hand. If my mother was throwing away and of her clothes, and if I liked the colour of the material, I would ask her if I could have it. Then I would unpick it and make something really nice out of it for myself, or I would change the style of it to something more youthful for myself. Although I do have a sewing machine, I still prefer to hand sew to this day :)

  7. Anne Dale says:

    I love sewing books – I collect old ones from as early as the 1800′s not useful info these days but it is fun to read. I am hoping this book has something new to teach me :)

  8. cindy z says:

    I was taught by my loving Mother and Grandmother-(I was fortunate to have 2 teachers!). I was in 4H and my mother also helped other girls in our group:) From there, I read Sew News for years and picked up many, many tips and techniques! Thank you Sew News!

  9. Lynvamp says:

    I love these books! My mother taught me to sew when I was 6 on my grandmothers treadle sewing machines. Sear Roebuck Minnesota’s. They still work great!!! Nothing gives me greater joy then knowing I made something out of a flat piece of fabric. Turning it into something to wear or use!!! And making it with a machine handed down through the family!!! So much love!!

  10. Jaye Gause says:

    My mom and older sisters taught me to sew, but I also took home ec and learned a lot in those classes too. Had a Girl Scout leader that had much to share also.

  11. Jean Collins says:

    It’s hard to say just who taught me to sew. I was exposed to sewing in 4-H, Home Ec, However I really credit my father with the fact that I learned to sew. One of the things I remember about him before I lost him was he bought my mother a really nice sewing machine. It did a lot of nice stitches and my mother was not able to learn to use it. We had it my mother was unable to make a living wage that allowed for purchasing ready made clothing. We had the sewing machine. I learned how to use it and by Jr High was making my own clothing to wear to school. I learned to love sewing and have been doing it ever since. I kind of feel like I was self-taught but never seem to learn it all. There is always more to learn and try.

  12. Elizabeth says:

    My mother taught me to sew – and her mother taught her. My grandmother actually was a seamstress back in the day, and was paid to make many fancy dresses. Mom says I was sewing when I was 4!

  13. Kirsten J says:

    My mom taught me to sew on her 1963 Singer (which I later inherited). I also took a Home-Ec class in high school and learned some more sewing skills. Those were the good old days. There are still more sewing skills I need to learn.

  14. Jill Hicks says:

    My grandmother taught me to sew on her treadle sewing machine which I now have. My mom tried to teach me, but I really refined my skills with my home economics teacher, Mrs. Van Zant.

  15. Virginia Darwin says:

    My mom taught me to sew. We sewed all my pagent and prom dresses!

  16. susie says:

    My dear grandmother taught me how to sew a running stitch to make a very simple little doll dress when I was six. It was like learning magic to me. I have never lost my fascination with needle arts, and am 63 now (with 2 daughters who do not like sewing LOL).

  17. Jackie Abel says:

    My older sister taught me to use the sewing machine when I was in 2nd or 3rd grade. Before that I cut up lots of fabric scraps and hand sewed very crude doll clothes. I think I may have taught my home ec teacher some sewing skills:) My daughter is now 11 and I’ve struggled to get her interested in sewing but without much luck. She’s starting to ask me to use fabric out of my stash and even though it kills me somedays to say yes I always do in hopes it sparks the sewing gene I know is hiding in there somewhere.

  18. Sue Haver says:

    My sweet Mom started me on this journey some 50 years ago as she sewed our clothes. I then “practiced” on Barbie doll clothes, which was the hardest thing ever! I took 2 Home Ec classes while in school. The rest is history. I look at what others have sewn, read books, look at pictures, and watch programs. I’ve learned you’re never too old or experienced to learn a new technique about sewing. I LOVE IT!

  19. Regina says:

    I used to watch my mom sew for me and my sisters and then her grandkids. I learned from her and my sister. Then when i got older i got my own sewingmachine and started sewing myself. I need to put my skills more into practice.

  20. Renee says:

    I learned to sew in Home Ec in the 60′s…Made a lot of things in the 70′s…Then got away from sewing.. In 2001 I joined a quilt guild and started sewing again….I now make childrens quilts to donate and really enjoy my embroidery sewing machine,,,

  21. Katherin says:

    I must say I largly taught myself, but I was greatly imspired by my aunt Gloria. When my sister and I would visited Chicago for the summer we stayed with her. She would always be making something for herself or her daughter. I would be so memerized at how she could take a piece of fabric and turn it into something beautiful. I begged my mom for a sewing machine. My sister and I somehow decided to use newspaper to trace a pair of our pants to make our first home sewn pants. (we both were twiggy sized then) From there we would save up and buy fabric, that was then $.50-$1.00 yd. and make several pairs for school. As teenagers we began to design skirts and blouses. My sister kinda fell away from sewing as she got older, but I never stopped. I bought books to help me better understand how to make and fit a better garment. I made clothes for my family,and held a small fashion show at a family ran restaurant. I taught myself the language of sewing and I am still learning. I have never owned a Serger so all my garments have been made with a sewing machine. I taught myself how to finish a garment with french seams, etc. My wish is to now teach myself how to use a Serger, after I get one. I am trying to decide which one is best for a beginner.

  22. judy revell says:

    My mom taught me, i really didn’t realize it at the time because i did what she did.. before i knew it i was laying my dolls down on news paper, drawing around them and cutting out a pattern, to this day i rarely use patterns.

  23. Diana Dunham says:

    what couldn’t i do with free sewing stuff!!

  24. Diana Dunham says:

    i learned to sew in home ec and have never looked back!!

  25. Nancy Dennin says:

    Our school required Home Economics in 7th and 8th grade, one semester of cooking one semester of sewing. In 7th grade I made an apron, in 8th grade an a-line skirt. After that I started sewing my own clothes. I don’t know if there is a sewing gene, but I think I got it from my mom and my father’s mom and sister. I currently enjoy home decor sewing and machine embroidery.

  26. Kate says:

    My mother taught me some basics using her Old Singer Featherweight , but, I truly learned to sew in Home Economics class. Once Mom saw my enthusiasm she bought a Singer Golden Touch and Sew and enrolled us in sewing classes at the Stretch and Sew store.

  27. Susan Winnie says:

    I was a Tag a long with 4 h at the age of 7. I learned from the leader who also happened to be my next door neighbor! Continued to sew from then on. I made my own clothes as a was a plus size growing up. I don’t make clothes now but do a lot of sewing with crafts. I make bib, blankets,quilts. Kinda u name it, I do it!

  28. Sheila Preville says:

    My mother taught me to sew. She also had me take private lessons at the department store in our town. The lady had a great deal of knowledge, and she was very patient.
    When I took Home Ec, in school, I would disagree with the teacher because I did not agree with her methods of sewing. I did get a good grade and learned how to make spoon bread. My girls know how to sew, but leave it up to me to make items for them. I now do some quilting which is a whole different ball game.

  29. Kim Tait says:

    My grandmother and mother taught me the basics and everything else has been self taught. Thanks for the giveaway.

  30. Karen says:

    Had an interest in sewing before taking home economics in junior high school. Largely self-taught after that. Been sewing/quilting for almost 30 years now.

  31. Peggy Bibb says:

    I started sewing a very young age making Barbie clothes. Of course, no pattern so I made my own. Mom gave me scraps and I used a needle and thread to make these “wonderful” creations. At age nine, I made my first dress on the sewing machine. I wore it for school pictures that year. I have been sewing ever since. I love having reference material for new techniques. A new techniques is always fun to try!!!

  32. Karen says:

    Had an interest in sewing before taking home economics in junior high school. Largely self-taught since. Been sewing/quilting for almost 30 years now.

  33. Linda S says:

    My mother taught me to sew and let me use the treadle sewing machine even before I started school. Another project I remember from the same time period was a house shape outlined by buttons each one sewn on by hand. My Mom took it all in stride but my Aunt and Grandmother were amazed!
    I took sewing (and cooking) in “Home Ec” in Grades 8 through 12.
    I continue my learning with online classes like Craftsy and lots of embroidery blogs.
    Now, in my retirement I have developed a deep passion for all things sewn – especially machine embroidery.

  34. Karen says:

    Sorry – didn’t meant to post twice. It looked like first comment didn’t post.

  35. Anne Marie Reilly says:

    I could not learn from my mother who worked in sweatshops since she was 14. She was an awesome sewer but she never basted anything and ran her machine at top speed as they did in the factories. She was frustrated because I had to run the machine much slower. So I took lessons at the local Singer store and after that we could discuss techniques better.

  36. Diana says:

    I took sewing in home ec and then taught it to young children while a teenager at a local community center. I learned alot more about sewing my shadowing a local woman who had a public television show. I sewed a suit with her that summer and was proud when I attended High School with my suit! I sewed alot of my clothes on my grandmother’s old Singer which had all these attachments and only a back and forwards. I stopped sewing while my children were born, until my daughter started to do Synchronized Swimming and I know make custom swimsuits for this sport. Now I sew suits and other custom items and have included a serger (which I love!!!!) and a embroidery machine. I love books on sewing and even if I only learn 1 new thing from the book, it is worth the cost and shelf space to have it.

  37. Barb Hilton says:

    My mom taught me and my home ec teachers took it from there. It’s my therapy. I made my wedding dress, bridesmaid dresses for our daughters weddings, flower girl dresses and on and on. What I’m most proud of is making a granddaughter’s baptism dress from our youngest daughter’s wedding dress.

  38. Barbara Gallentine says:

    I learned to sew in 8th grade in home economic class. Then rest was self taught. Been learning ever since. Never too old to learn something new. Did take a quilting class a few years ago.

  39. Sue says:

    My mother tried to teach me how to sew but gave up. It wasn’t until I had children that I learned to sew out of a book. I made all the clothes for our children, even pants. I went to second hand store to buy pants, took the labels off and sewed them to my pants. Then I learned how to quilt and that’s my latest love. I always want to learn new things.

  40. MARY STOTT says:


  41. Julia Mitchell says:

    My mom knew how to sew, but it was my Home Ec. teacher that actually taught me. My mom, sister and I would make our dresses for church choir. Our choir leaders thought that would be the most economical way for us all to look alike, they would give us a pattern number, and the type of material to use and we would all go buy and make our own dresses. That is where I learned my love for sewing! So much fun and awesome memories!

  42. Kathryn Patch says:

    Got a start at the feet of Mom sewing for my doll. But nothing real big until high school home ec. class. Then lost interest until I had 3 beautiful daughters. Loved sewing dresses for them —all to match of course. We were a hit at church on Easter Sunday!

  43. Lynda says:

    My mom taught me to sew when I was 8. I remember making a frog filled with beans. I’ve sewn ever since. I was so excited when, at age 22, I purchased my first sewing machine … a used machine that I bought on layaway. I’m still sewing on that machine all these many, many years later. I’ve taught all three of my daughters to sew on that machine and I’m not teaching 4-H members how to sew. Some bring their own machines, some so with my told workhorse! Such great memories! Thank you for bringing it to the forefront of my memories!

  44. Karen Poole says:

    I was pretty much selt taught! My Mom has bought some panels that had pre-printed Barbie Dresses on the panel, this was the first things I made and that was it, I was hooked!! That was maybe 6 to 8 years old and I have been sewing for almost 50 years now and STILL love it!! High school we had to take a Home Economics class (I domt think they offer that anymore! But we made aprons and of course I got an A in the class, best class I loved in school!!

  45. Mary Mac says:

    My first sewing experience was HomeEconomics class in 9th grade. I won’t say what year that was. I did have a great teacher. My mom continued helping me thru out the years after that.

  46. Suzann McCoy says:

    I began to sew in 7th grade Home Economics class, but as my mom realized I liked to sew, she brought out my grandmother’s old black Singer machine. My mom helped me at home in addition to learning at school. My first at home project was a pair of culottes with a front pleat! As she and I progressed and did more projects together, she decided to upgrade to a new (1969-70..ha) zig zag Singer machine. I used this machine until just a few years ago, but it still works fine.

  47. Zaida says:

    My grandmother and mother taught me to sew and the first machine that I ever sewed on was my grandmother’s treadle machine. I wish I still had that machine. I took Home Ec. in high school, but while the others were making an apron I was making a fitted skirt. Been sewing ever since, still love it. Love to watch how to sewing shows and then apply it to what I make. Since there are mostly boys in our family it is always a challenge to find new things to make for boys and young men. I certainly have done a lot of patching over the years.

  48. I was in the Camp Fire Girls in the early 50′s. The local Singer Sewing Center offered sewing classes so that our group could make nightgowns for poor infants. They then offered 8 sewing lessons for $8.00 so that we could learn about sewing garments. Mom would scrape together dimes each week for my “tuition” and later told me that it was the best $8.00 she ever spent. After I married and moved to the Bronx, one of my neighborhood girlfriends had worked in the sewing trade and taught me a bunch of shortcuts that took a lot of anguish out of my projects. I’m still learning.

  49. I took a home economics class, but learned very little. Over the years a class here and a class there. Now I.m serious about learning how.

  50. Carol says:

    My mom taught me to sew when I was about five years old. First I sewed a straight line by hand on recycled paper, then by machine. I graduated to doll clothes, and now I am a bridal seamstress!

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