I like to joke that my love of sewing and all things fiber is "congenital". My father bought my mother a sewing machine when I, the second of three girls, was born. Many times my mother stayed up until the wee hours finishing matching dresses for a special occasion. She sewed a bumble bee costume (requiring rows and rows of nylon net) for one of my dance recitals, and swore it was the last costume she would make. She taught me to sew (an apron, of course!) but got frustrated teaching me to set in sleeves and left that to a Home Ec teacher (who, as it happens, was Jean Wells!)
But of all those memories, my favorite was the first-day-of-school outfits for my older sister and I when we were in Junior High School. It was 1964, the time of Twiggy and Carnaby Street. I remember her coming home from the Pendleton Woolen Mills outlet store with mounds of fabric for school clothes. Green (my favorite color) and pink (my sister's) tweed wool for drop waist jumpers. Some coordinating polka dot knits for turtlenecks and stockings. Yes! she made stockings for us- because matching turtlenecks and stockings were the all the rage! As if that weren't enough, she had purchased mohair yarn and knit us sweaters to match. And when it came time to shop for shoes, I got olive green shoes with little stack heels that were a perfect match to the sweater: the first time I got something other than "sensible" oxfords for school.
We were quite chic!