I was talking to a friend of mine who has always done her own dressmaking and eventually her tailoring. Her mother was an excellent seamstress and her skills were most definitely passed down to the only daughter in her brood. There is something remarkable about watching someone work who has been taught by a mum or grandma. There is no wastage at all – every scrap of fabric is found useful – the dress patterns are laid and pinned out with absolute surety of experience. Each section using the minimum it can do. All spare material at the end of the cutting session will be gathered up and split between ‘useful size for other makes’ and ‘useful strip for rug making’ or for stuffing toys and other makes. I remember when my nan used to make all our clothes – I was one of three children and her old german sewing machine was one of the most used items in our entire house!