|Photo from Vintage Sewing Patterns Wiki|
My post is actually about Home Ec class. I've read two or three things lately about old Home Ec classes. Threads magazine (Nov 2010) had this quote: "Even the most skilled or enthusiastic teacher was typically limited to dull, repetitive projects. Everyone in class had to make the same thing, at the same time, out of the same materials." It said that few people would say their home ec teacher was inspirational.
That wasn't my Home Ec class in the late 1970's. Now I agree I wouldn't call my teacher inspirational --we didn't get along so well. She knew my mother could sew and assumed I could, but I couldn't do much --so I went back and forth between class and home trying to pick up the skills. The class spent the first few days learning the basics of sewing. If you have one of the old Bishop sewing books that was basically my class.
Then the class was told to buy their pattern and fabric. It could be whatever you wanted with the exception of knits. No, knits! One girl showed up with one and was told No, take it back. We were, of course, steered toward something easy such as, skirts. And since the wrap skirt in the photo was hugely popular, that is what most of us showed up with, including me. My first fabric was a brown and rust plaid. Yes, plaid.
There were only about six or eight tables for cutting and the teacher would go around helping each student. I learned how to match plaid right away. (And mostly succeeded --if you didn't look too hard). I was quite pleased with my skirt and a little proud. And I wore it a lot.
I was thirteen years old at the time. I'm of the opinion that if I can sew at that age anyone can. And sewing didn't come naturally to me as it did to my mother --I had to work at it, but it all came together beautifully -- eventually. (I'm still learning though.)