Who taught you to sew?
Being the youngest child of six girls and one boy, we all sewed. Our mother helped us and we learned from each other. When I was five and my sister next to me was seven, we would take turns paddling the treadle sewing machine for the other to sew. I remember clearly, we made doll clothes.
Why did you start sewing?
Never really wondered why I started sewing. It was just something we did. Everybody sewed either by hand or machine, even our neighbors came over and sewed with us.
What inspires you?
I get inspired with the designing aspect, especially making formals and wedding dresses. I love listening to another’s description of how they want their special dress to look. I then sketch it out until it meets their vision, and then make it happen!
I’ve made special dresses for both my girls and both granddaughters, and a niece, and my girls’s high school teacher who did not have a mother to do it for her. In fact, for Leola, I designed the whole wedding, picked out the material, beading, lace, and even designed and made the hats worn by the bride and bridesmaids.
Leslie & Leasa getting ready for prom night
Leslie's petal sleeves
Working on Leasa's dress
Leasa's finished dress
Leola and Oleta
Leola's soft train
Close up of Bridesmaid dress
What do you love most about sewing?
Making it right the first time without having to rip out the seam and start over.
What are your favorite things to make?
Things that a family member would like to have.
What is your favorite sewing tip or trick?
After testing first on a scrap, always press anything that has a nap to it by first laying out a terry hand towel then place the garment face down on the towel. Lightly put the iron on the wrong side.
What is your favorite project you have created?
One day I brought in a large brown paper sack filled with pieces of white, shaded with blue, fur skins and the tape I’d gotten at a furrier. From the pieces, I made a fingertip length coat. I only had it a year, before someone took it during a home burglary.
Another favorite project was the designing and making of my high school Senior Day outfit. It was a red linen two piece dress with a bright print sash, a white hat with a band of sash material, and white shoes with a band of the sash material. I received the opportunity to model it and present my fashion drawings to the Dallas Sportswear Meeting of Representatives. This effort resulted in winning the Neiman Marcus Design Scholarship to Southern Methodist University in
What are you currently working on?
Well, I was going to make a print skirt for a yellow jacket I have to wear to a last club meeting before Fall arrived. But, that was before I stepped on a needle and had to have eleven stitches in my right foot! Maybe I can get it done before next spring!
Thank you, Oleta, my sweet momma, for sharing insights into your world of sewing! I hope everyone stopping by leaves her a comment!