Karlene's Workshop

My sewing, refashioning and upcycling projects revealed

My Sewing and Craft Background

I’ve been sewing, crafting and making “stuff” for most of my life and it just gets more fun!

My first memory of sewing was when I was just five years old. At school my class did a project where we drew a simple picture on a piece of card, punched holes on the lines, and then used wool threaded onto a needle to “sew” the lines of the picture. I was hooked.

I was taught basic knitting and how to make pom poms by my paternal grandmother and finger knitting by my mother, who didn’t really have the patience to teach me other crafts, even though she was a sewer herself and did crochet!

My maternal grandmother was a passionate sewer with a pattern-making background. She made clothes for my mum and aunties when they were young, all their dolls and teddies, clothes and bags for me and my cousins, and for our dolls as well! This is the person I am usually referring to when I say “my Nana”. She passed away when I was 19 years old and is greatly missed, a few years ago my granddad very generously gave me what was left of her fabric stash, so for me her memory lives on every time I sit at my sewing table.

My mother also did a lot of sewing when I was little, she made most of my clothes but never let me anywhere near her sewing machine! My first experiences of machine sewing was a friend’s mum’s old treadle machine (very cool, thanks Sally!), and another friend’s mum’s over-locker.

I got my first real sewing machine when I was about 15, a second hand Toyota model given to me by my grandparents that quickly became my most prized possession, and have not looked back since.

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