I never took Home Ec in school. The junior high school I attended didn’t offer Home Ec or Industrial Arts classes until after we’d moved on to high school — you could take Art or you could take Art. In high school, I had no room in my schedule for anything like home ec, shop, or gym (I was already taking the maximum number of classes you could take each year): in grade 10, I took English, Math, French, Science, Theatre Arts, and History; in grade 11, I took honours Chemistry and Physics, English, Math, French, and History; in grade 12, I took honours Chemistry and Physics again, English, Math, French, Geology, and Law. So, my sister puttered away in Home Ec alone and I never really learned how to sew or cook properly. My mother tried a couple of times to teach me to sew with her sewing machine but I just lost interest in it.
I keep finding myself over the last year or two wishing I knew how to sew better. I can do basic sewing by hand (pretty much only the running stitch and a half-assed overhand stitch) but nothing complex and nothing that I’d want anyone but me to actually inspect. At best it’s serviceable. But I’d like to be able to sew my own tarot bags — I like many of the ones I’ve bought but I’d love to be able to make bags that are exactly what I want for the deck, not just the closest thing I could find. And I’m learning what I like and what I don’t like as I buy more bags. I don’t think I’ve found a bag yet that was exactly what I wanted, though my favourite Etsy bag maker comes very close.
After reading some forum threads about making bags on Aeclectic Tarot tonight, I started thinking more and more about my sewing deficiencies. I checked on Amazon, thinking that maybe there would be a Sewing for Dummies book that would help me out (there is). After looking at some of the reviews (on Amazon and elsewhere) for the more popular books, I ended up buying an old copy of the Reader’s Digest Complete Guide to Sewing for just a couple of dollars from the Amazon Marketplace. Even with shipping, it’s still quite cheap. And it’s massive. Yes, it’s a few decades old but I don’t need instruction in innovative methods — I just need the basics and those really haven’t changed in generations. As far as I know, what I’ve ordered is the 1981 version, which some people have said was somewhat less complete than the 1978 version, but I’m sure it will be more than enough for a noob like me.