Tattered Past

Tattered Past: My ongoing journey through genealogy, history, writing, self-exploration and art. ~~~ Rita Ackerman

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Tuesdays With Rita: Home Economics Class

Ah, home economics class. Seventh grade, 1965.

I found a picture of some of the girls in my class and the teacher at a fashion show. I didn't get to go. My mom always worked so I missed out on a lot of things. Besides, I was so shy and withdrawn I would never have done it. The photo was fun. It was from the Great Bend Daily Tribune at ancestry.com. However, by the time I got around to making a journal page I lost it. I decided that might be a good thing so worked without it.

One semester was for cooking and the other for sewing. We made a checked (mine was blue and white) toilet paper roll holder, an apron and a pleated skirt. None of those items have survived.

What did I learn in home ec?

Never ever put pins in your lips/mouth.
Sewing gathers is kind of fun; especially when you get to pull on the one thread.
Basting is boring and really pretty useless.
Patterns tear easily and like to fight back.
Zippers are horrible to put in.
Seventh grade girls are just plain mean especially when sitting around sewing by hand.

I don't know how I ended up at a table with a group of girls who thought the class was called "torment Rita."
Like I said, I was shy and withdrawn and never fought back. I won't mention their names but I remember them well. Their hands weren't idle but it didn't keep their mouths shut.

Now that makes me wonder about all the stories that were told, and possible feelings hurt, when the ladies all got together for a quilting bee.

And yes, I always put the pins in my mouth. I've never choked on one but I still can hear Mrs. Evan's voice.

Did you have home economics? Or perhaps wood shop? What did you learn?

My sister tried to take shop and the school wouldn't let her. They even called our mother in to complain. Mom said to let her do whatever she wanted. That was in the 1950s.

Isn't it amazing how one small memory leads to another and another and another...

Materials used on Journal Page:
Vintage pattern
Caran d'Ache neocolor II watersoluble crayons
Pitt markers
Phrases from computer
Matte gel medium


  1. No HomeEc but needlework, and art. i loved it but it was a Catholic girls school and we were encouraged to take academic subjects. So after two years away went the fun stuff.
    love your journal page.

  2. Great page, list, memories (even though they are a bit sad, they are a part of you).

  3. I hated sewing and cooking. I made a wrap around brown skirt that could have fit a grizzly bear. I'm still not adept at either so it's good I married a man who sells clothes and loves to cook!

  4. Rita,

    It's too bad you had such a mean class -- you certainly didn't deserve that. I remember taking home economics, but that's about all I remember. I think we must have had some kind of fashion show as well because I do recall worrying about perspiring too much. None of the cooking or sewing stayed with me, however.

  5. We also had home ec - I think it was around 1970 - when I was in middle school. It was 3 sections: sewing, cooking, and home decorating. (LOL, all the important things "girls" needed to know.) I learned how to pin, cut and sew a pattern that year, despite the fact that my mom was a master seamstress. She never used a pattern and didn't teach me. My friends and I didn't like the teacher, who was always scolding us for talking. I'm sorry to say that we weren't very nice to her when she reprimanded us. But I'm happy to say I'm not the same person now as I was then. I wish I could tell her that I'm still sewing today and still using the skills she taught me.

  6. You are like me...you get lost in nostalgia :) I love this piece and the old sewing images remind me so much of my mom.


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