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Learning to Sew: A Trip Down Memory Lane with Rob Younkers!

Learning to Sew: A Trip Down Memory Lane with Rob Younkers!

Welcome to our first blog post!

It only makes sense that our first post is about...firsts!!

The first pieces I remember sewing were clothing for my troll dolls. My mom took me to the Five & Dime (I can't believe I am old enough to use that term!) I bought several sheets of felt and cut out cute little outfits to clothe my little "good luck" buddies, figuring out what colors worked best for each with their bright poofs of hair.

I pulled out my mom's old sewing kit, a quilted box with random buttons, threads, trims, and needles, along with her lime green plastic thread box (I think I have this in storage, I am such a nostalgic and sentimental guy!). I can still remember being excited by the gold plastic spools! I have always loved shiny things! My mom showed me the snip and lick trick to get that thread through that teeny tiny hole in the needle! That sparked what would become a lifelong love of fashion and sewing. I have continued to share the snip and lick trick with my students!

Growing up, we had an old-fashioned Singer sewing machine in the kitchen; it had a wheel and no electricity. Every once in a while, I would open it up, but it felt extremely intimidating! What I would give to have that machine today!!! Whether you have started thinking about sewing or are a pro, you know what intimidation feels like when you set your eyes on machines!

I can relate to everyone who says, "Rob, I love Threadymade but don't know how to sew!" Well, here's some excellent news….it is not as intimidating as you think! Today's machines are SO easy to operate. And I can promise you -- you'll use it much more often than those other machines you have impulse bought….you know, like that pasta maker, bread maker, or ice cream maker. I have ALL of the above, and they just sit in a cupboard! BUT my machine is always out!

Why not have your first sewing project be something crazy fun, cool, and educational?!

I was 12 years old when I took on my first machine sewing project….I wanted to create a wizard costume with a purple cape for the local Halloween parade.

My grandparents, "Poppie and Bema," picked me up and took me to Ben Franklin's to get the pattern and the fabric. They were so patient as I slowly browsed each and every aisle. I am a Virgo, so making decisions is done methodically and carefully….and for this project, my fabric had to be perfect! (aka lining fabric!). I wanted something light enough that if the wind picked up my cape, it would float! We headed back to their house and pulled out her heavy Bernina protected by the bright floral cover she had made for it. We set up our workspace, the white and pink floral linoleum kitchen floor. We laid the fabric out, creating a center back fold, gently placing the tissue-thin pattern on top of her floral linoleum floor, put on the am radio, and got cutting!

Bema was a very experienced sewer and thrilled that I wanted to learn! She was so good that she managed the local sewing and fabric shop, Calico Cat! After a few trial and errors with scraps, I stitched the hood to the cape, hemmed the edges, and inserted a black drawstring around the neck to create volume in the hood! Thinking back, I can still feel the sense of pride I had that day while my grandmother cheered me on. I can hear her saying, "WOW, you are really talented; you are better at sewing than me!"

I was so proud of myself! I believe that cape is still floating around somewhere in my costume archive! I kind of keep everything! Hence my 5 storages between New Jersey, New York, and California! I digress...

Sewing is fun and learning to sew should be fun too!!! Don't be scared! I love Threadymade projects because you aren't dealing with those tissue-thin patterns that take hours to figure out and tear so easily…a few measurements, some marking and cutting, and within a few hours, you have made something you can proudly wear! The kits cater to all types of learners! All of the steps are clearly explained with great visuals in the quick start guide -- or, you can follow along with me on the YouTube tutorials. If something comes up, or you feel stuck, shoot us a quick DM or email, and we'll get you through it!

Thready, Set, Go!!!!!!
Rob Younkers

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5 Incredible Sewing Tips, from Threadymade's Very Own Rob Younkers, That are Guaranteed to Make Your Life Easier

5 Incredible Sewing Tips, from Threadymade's Very Own Rob Younkers, That are Guaranteed to Make Your Life Easier