What is Sizzlewaggle? Who is she?
When I was a little girl, my father liked to make up ‘new names’ for me from time to time. There were many, but the one I always liked best was Sizzlewaggle. It fit somehow. I have chosen this name as my nom de plume, as it were. And Dad would have gotten a kick out it.
I hope to make this blog a record of the great fun and satisfaction I have found in sewing and other fabric arts through my whole life, and about my newer fascination with vintage sewing machines of all types, but especially those of the people-powered variety. Through these activities I have also found a whole new world of friends who add a welcome dimension and interest to my life.
I began sewing when I was very young, perhaps 7 or 8 years old. My mother did not enjoy sewing and tells stories of having to stand for fittings throughout her young life. It was my maternal grandmother, Winnie, an exquisite seamstress and a very stylish person, who got me started and encouraged my bent. She was probably disappointed that neither of her daughters had followed in her footsteps, but she found a willing student in me.
I started out on Barbie clothes, but soon moved on to the harder stuff. I have attempted everything that can possibly be sewn on a machine, with greater and lesser success; doll clothes, people clothes, flags, sailboat sails, upholstery, leather apparel, I even tried to make myself a pair of boots once, in the 60s, but they didn’t turn out too well. I once had a job making leather hot pants and fringed vests; and another making costumes for a Moliere play (Les Femmes Savantes). I completed a course in fashion design, tailoring, pattern drafting and grading at Pacific Fashion Institute in San Francisco in 1969. None of my productions from that period survive, but the skill set was implanted, thanks to the dynamo director of that school, the late Mrs. Kii Kubokawa.
I had to put sewing aside for the most part, from the late 70s to late 90s, while raising a pair of exceptional children, and working full-time in Engineering and local government. Now, I have taken over my daughter’s bedroom for a sewing room, and various other parts of the house are being populated slowly by my growing collection of machines. I have begun making quilts, which is my current fascination. I live in Northern California, with my husband of 42 years, and two cats.
It seems that starting a blog is de rigeur for those similarly situated, so here I am.