Sewing Blog

Meet Craftsy Sewing Instructor Pam Howard!

Enjoy meeting Pam? Get a special 20% discount and learn more about her online sewing class, The Classic Tailored Shirt.

Video transcript:

When I was 14, my mother asked me if I'd like to learn to sew. I had a couple neighbors: Mrs. Stewart lived across the street from us. She'd been a lifelong sewer. Then Mrs. Jefferson was two doors down from us, and she worked at a menwsear factory. I was very lucky, in that the two ladies who taught me to sew never gave me any warnings about, "Well, don't ever sew a Vogue pattern because it's too hard," or "You're going to have trouble with that." They just didn't hold my hand too tight. Sometimes, I'd go downtown on a Saturday and just sit for hours and plow through the Vogue pattern books, and any of the other ones, because I just loved fashion. I think I got that from both my parents and my grandmother because they were really snazzy dressers.

When I was 16, my cousin Kim, who was 20, was going to get married. So the family decided that they weren't going to go purchase a wedding gown, and that I would make the wedding gown. Me, being me, I said, "Oh, okay!" One of the ladies that my mother worked with attended the wedding. After the wedding, she said to my mom, "Well, I guess you all decided that, after all, you had to go buy the wedding dress for Kim; you didn't have time to make it." My mom said, "No, Pam made that dress." And she just about passed out because she could not believe that I had made that dress. I guess the benchmark of good sewing for some people was the fact that that zipper was in just straight down her back. And I do remember that zipper was in just right. So I guess I did a good job.

I have always loved making jackets. That's really my favorite thing to make. And anything like custom shirts, or pants, or skirts. Anything that has a precision quality to it, I've always been attracted to.

I know that there are a lot more beginning sewing teachers out there, and I'm not very good at that. What's more interesting to me is to teach somebody who has a bit of knowledge, and to give them more information. My teaching style is pretty much to see where their strengths are; where I can help them to be stronger; to have more confidence in what it is they're attempting to make; and to never tell a person that they can't sew something, or to be afraid of something, or to never sew that particular pattern. Nobody ever did that to me. And I would never think to do that to anyone else because you never know what anybody is capable of. Anyone can take a class with you and do what you ask them to do at every command. but when I really know I've done a great job is when they come back and say they've made another one, and they've done just as well as they've done in class with me.

One Comment

Frieda Christianson

Sincerity is your strong suite. You are probably detail oriented, as I seem to be.

Did a lot of clothes for myself in 4H, hated home ec class because of non perfection(mine).

Went to college(made the money), and met a very good sweetie who was headed to Calif for his job.
Started having very sweet babies (4 in 4 years). Something like cheaper by the dozen. Started sewing curtains & draperies for every house. We job hopped or 9 moves, sewed & sewed, and sewed. Have stopped the good sewing because of age (74). Do some crocheting for house clients. Been doing this real estate nonsense since 1977. Have started quilting(just cutting triangles), then, of course, sew them up on my 11 pound Singer 221. It is real slow—list a condo, cut, sew next week. Isn’t life just so interesting. Warm Regards, Frieda Christianson


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