This year Mom and I finally buckled down and began taking classes at the Manhattanville Tailors Institute in Harlem. I have always wanted to learn how to sew. My maternal and paternal grandmothers were all seamstresses and made their own clothes. My maternal grandmother, Georgia, was a designer and dressmaker who came to New York City to study fashion and created a small business for herself making clothes for women in her community. Growing up my mother studied under her and learned the fundamentals of sewing.
Unfortunately, my mother’s sewing hobby diminished after the deaths of her mother in the late Seventies. I remember her sewing periodically when I was a child but after her sewing machine broke the last time, she didn’t return to it for a long time. In the meantime, I grew up loving fashion and wanting to sew but only learning the bare minimum (sewing buttons, darning a hole in my socks or shirts).
Recently, Mom and I decided to begin taking sewing lessons and we enrolled in classes at Manhattanville Tailors Institute where we studied under Master Tailor, Henry Smith and his assistant Walter.
It was difficult for me at first because I had never used a sewing machine before, especially a professional machine that moves at the speed of lightning. But eventually, I began to learn and we completed a few projects including an oven mitten, a bag and a vest.
I will continue to take lessons because there is so much I want to learn. Now, I feel that a whole world has opened up to me.
Here’s to more sewing!