My name is Pami Woodruff. I have been creating and making things practically my entire life, beginning with “bee-you-tee-ful” Barbie clothes, hand-sewn at the age of three.
My first pattern enlargement and machine sewing were at the age of six; first quilting (trapunto) at the age of eight; first pattern-making, embroidery, and knitting at the age of ten; first crocheting at the age of twelve.
I also paint, spin, weave, and dye fibers and fabrics, and recently learned boot-making.
My first knitted socks are typical of how I approach a new skill. I wanted to make sure that they fit, and that I’d end up with a complete pair, so I did some research on Ravelry.
There, I discovered the toe-up method, which allows you to try on the socks as they are being made, and that just made good sense to me. I also discovered the two-at-once magic loop method, which made even more sense. When I finished the first sock, I would be only binding off away from finishing the second, identical sock.
So, I jumped in with both feet and soon had my first pair of hand-knitted socks!
I grew up believing that I could make almost anything I could imagine. That lead to some very creative costumes worn with pride on Halloween and in drama productions. One Halloween, I made a complete Star Wars-themed costume for my then-boyfriend.
My children also wore a lot of creative things over the years, and I worked on costumes for various productions they were in. One year, I made 109 garments in one month, while working full time, to costume a local production of “Seussical, the Musical” – that was a blast! It got to the point it only took me 45 minutes to make a pair of pants, from beginning to end: decide which one to make next, trace out the pattern, cut the fabric, and sew them up.
I am aware that not everyone has had the opportunity to learn all the handcrafting skills that came so easily to me. So many people toss out a shirt when it loses a button, or rehem their pants with a stapler.
These things and others are easy to do yourself, if you learn how. The School of Lost Arts is dedicated to sharing those skills here and through YouTube videos, mini e-books, and eventually a series of full-length books.
I see my audience as not only those interested in sustainable living and self-sufficiency, but those who want to step away from the disposable society and make something lasting.
I see young people trying to teach themselves to sew, either by hand or machine, and their mom or grandma isn’t there to show them how, because they don’t know how, either.
I can help you learn.
It’s fun, and easy!
(In addition to these tutorials at The School of Lost Arts, I also make videos and blog about these skills at Make It With Pam.)