Do Something like Franciscan Sewing 101

by Sister Pamela Catherine Peasel on July 16, 2010

This summer, Sisters in Initial Formation (Novices and Temporary Professed) were offered a course in sewing.  Nothing that is overly ambitious of course, just learning basic sewing skills that will certainly come in handy when we are out on mission.  Novices chose to make aprons and  Temporary Professed are creating skirts.  We in formation are quite well versed when it comes to modern day technology, such as working with computers and such. The sewing machine, however, is quite the foreign object to most of us.  Allow me to elaborate:

Franciscan Sister learns to sew

Franciscan Novice Sister Pamela Catherine Peasel, OSF, takes a summer sewing class from Sister Bernadone Fagen, OSF.

This past May I was helping in the Craft Room within our Motherhouse.  Sister thought it would be a good idea if I was introduced to the sewing machine, learning how to straight stitch, thread the machine, nothing too complicated right?  Well…While I was sewing a pillow case together, the thread began to bunch up and the material was not moving, so I called Sister over for some help.  As she approached she told me to pick up my foot, so, naturally, I raised my right foot up just slightly above the sewing machine pedal.  There was a long pause as I waited for the next instruction but then she repeated herself, “You first need to pick up your foot.”  While I lifted my right foot completely off the ground I stated, “Sister, I don’t understand what my foot has to do with anything.”  “No,” she said in between much laughter, “the foot of the sewing machine.”  To say the least, that is a term I will not forget, and there is still much to learn.

Check out the progress we have made thus far on our projects!!  And yes, we are all remembering to pick up our feet!!!

18 thoughts on “Do Something like Franciscan Sewing 101”

  1. Cindy says:

    I love that story! I am sure you will forever remember where the foot of a sewing machine is! I bet you girls are having fun learing too! It is so wonderful the skills you are all learning! You have a wealth of knowlege and experience living with you!

  2. Sr. Charleen says:

    Looks like fun and you learned the multiple meanings of foot!

  3. Hyoung says:

    Isn't it exciting creating something for yourself. When we were Novices we made our Profession Habit which were more complicated than we wear today. It was the first thing I had ever made. It was a thrill to accomplish that project. As you are having someone guide and direct you we did too. One thing about community is the help given to one another.
    Sister Bernadone is happy to be helping you. I like your apron material.

  4. Ssharon says:

    Sr. Pamela Catherine & Crew, Good for YOU learning to SEW & REAP (Ha) with Sr. Bernadone. Your aprons look GREAT! It brings back many memories sewing our habits and our instructors were Srs. Jean & Julia. Some of us ripped MORE than we sewed!!! Enjoy the remainder of the Summer. Blessings! Sr. Sharon Paul

  5. Sister Virginette was our excellent sewing instructor when we sewed our habits for First Profession! It is neat for each of you to have experienced this wonderful tradition in our Community! Thanks to Sister Bernadone and all who helped this summer experience!

  6. Smaryfrances says:

    Your aprons are so pretty! Congratulations on learning how to sew and to pick up your foot!

  7. S. Monica, novice says:

    Not gonna lie, when I heard you tell that story in the cafeteria, I thought that the “foot” was what is actually called the peddle. I figured that the foot was what you press your foot against. Ahh…we're all learning about this complex machine! 🙂

  8. Srosangela says:

    It's great you learned some basics of sewing and are putting your aprons to good use. Don't feel bad not knowing what the foot of the sewing machine was. How many besides me wondered what a “mouse” had to do with a computer?? We are never too old to learn!! We are lucky to have other Sisters able and willing to help us.

  9. Sannettek says:

    Nice looking aprons! I'm glad you have learned what a “foot” is in relationship to a sewing machine. Very understandable mistake and a precious story. Thanks. Now you can help yourself for the rest of your sewing needs.

  10. Sannmary says:

    Your aprons are great! I hope you feel more comfortable with a sewing machine now. It's a great skill to have. Enjoy the rest of your summer.

  11. Novice S Isabelle says:

    Making aprons for ourselves was a great experience! Sr. Bernadone is a very good at what she does and I accomplished her goal of enjoying sewing. I would like to make some more pieces of clothing!

  12. Sr.Bernadone Fagan says:

    Sister Monica,aren't you happy you turned the pocket sidewise. It looks great.


  13. Leslie says:

    I am not looking forward to this. 😛

  14. Sannjoachim says:

    A valuable skill. You're blessed in having someone show you how. We'll look for more aprons.

  15. S. Monica, novice says:

    Thanks Sr. Bernadone! I can't wait for the next project! I hope you are enjoying your retreat.

  16. Leslie says:

    Yes I'm sure your right. I'm just kidding. 😉

  17. Leslie, I'm sure you are doing other things this summer. Continue to enjoy the moment!

  18. Maggie Mcconnaha says:

    Your aprons looks awesome, guys! I could never get the hang of the sewing machine (I don't think I ever got past threading the needle :). Good luck on future projects!!!

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