How I started sewing

I was always creative growing up. I loved drawing and painting from a very young age and my parents and other adults around me encouraged me to explore lots of creative outlets. I am so thankful that I had that encouragement and support growing up. My mother had a sewing machine and she sometimes made clothes for or with me and my sister. We used to go to fabric shops and pick out a pattern and a fabric to go with it. Oh, the wonder of being a little girl walking down row after row of gorgeous fabric rolls... well I still enjoy it to this day! 

My grandmother was an excellent seamstress. She worked as a textiles teacher and she went to school for sewing and pattern making in the '60s. I have some of her old sketches and school things still. They are a real treasure!
She also knitted a lot and taught me when I was 6 or so. I never really got the hang of knitting. I can do some basic knitting, sure, but it was always sewing I liked. So, my mother and her mother were the foundation of my first learning to sew. I remember when my grandmother asked me and my little sister to draw dress designs that she would later make into real garments. Like magic! She taught me how to cut fabric straight and tried to teach me patience. If she had still been here I know she could have taught me so much more but I'm thankful for the years I got to spend with her. 

I started making my own clothes when I was around 9 years old. I would describe myself as a reckless sewist. No rules, no fear, just experimenting. I think that's how I learned most of my sewing and pattern making skills. I made a lot of mistakes and didn't listen to my mother when she tried to teach me how to do things correctly. As the years went by I taught myself draping on a dress form, some basic pattern drafting, and sewed a lot. Then when I was 20 I decided to learn sewing and pattern making for real. I took a course with a focus on tailoring and learned how to do things properly and neatly. I still enjoy my "reckless" sewing from time to time. It's really useful when developing patterns actually. Rip a seam, cut through a piece of the garment to see what happens, open up a design line, and re-pin it.

For the actual part of sewing a garment I'm thankful for my strict teachers who taught me how to correctly finish seams and create a neat and professional look. I want to wear the clothes I make nowadays and not just discarding them...

I always loved the technical part of fashion the most. I didn't know garment technician or pattern designer existed as a career. Looking back I realize that it was always the construction that spoke to me the most. I love to solve problems, find clever solutions to fit problems, and find new construction solutions. When I found a school in Stockholm that taught pattern making I was all in. But all that and my career in the fashion world ever since is for another day and another blog post.

Now I want to hear from you! How did you learn sewing? Who taught you? How did you get started? Any stories about your earliest garment sewing adventures? Leave a comment and share your experiences!

Until next time,
Happy sewing!
Ploen Patterns


  • Hello Josefine, so pleased to meet you 😊. I am a self taught sewer although I hail from a family of seamstresses/ dressmakers… Grandmother, Mother, Aunts, Sister, but I had no interest in sewing until I was married and in my 30’s when I decided to be brave. My husband bought me a sewing machine and I got busy. My mistakes were numerous and the number of throw aways too many to mention. 🙈. I persevered and 30 years later I am able to sew elaborate garments. My only regret is that I did not enrol for a course in pattern making, however, I am able to make minor adjustments to the commercial patterns that I use. Look forward to hearing more from you. Kind regards, Daphne in South Africa

  • I learned to sew at school with a very strict teacher, she covered hand sewing – cross stitch – then followed making an apron – trendy trousers , I made hand sewn toys for dolls at 11 years old. I did not sew again until I was 17 then I made a dress so I was hooked. I am now 62 love to make wall hangings + anything christmas last thing was 2 large nutcracker wall hangings

  • Hi Josefine I always loved to see mi mother making clothes for us. I Have 4 sisters.I am the only one who is sewing .Since a child my mother used to give me the leftover fabrics I than made clothes for my dolls .Later I began buying cheap fabric to sew for myself with the help of my mother .Later I took sewing lessons which I enjoyed I am an addict to fabrics At the age of 71 I am still sewing but I don’t
    buy fabrics anymore for I hope to use those I have (I have a little fabric store here.) I do also sew bags, utensils for to use in the kitchen etc. I just love to create with fabric Hope to enjoy your Mails


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