My sewing story is similar to many of yours. I think my first sewing project was an apron I made in Girl Scouts when I was about 7 or 8. I cant remember what happened to that apron or if I even finished it. I hated girl scouts, I was more of a boy scout, so I quit after a couple of meetings.
I also remember embroidering and hand sewing a stuffed snake. I couldn't have been older then 10. I invented the pattern, embroidery and everything. I didn't even know what I was doing was called embroidery, but I knew that a snake needed some sort of scale decoration so I embroidered some. I have seen this snake at my mom's recently. I know she still has it somewhere.
The next thing I made was a stuffed dog from a kit. I was in Home Economics in 7th grade. I actually still have that dog somewhere. He came out great! It had to! I was a psycho perfectionist when I was a kid. Everything had to be perfect.
Not many people in my life sewed. I didn't have grandma's that crafted. My mom did macrame and crochet in the 80s and I remember thinking that was cool. My greatest crafting influence came from my experiences with my best friend, Jasper's family. She lived nearby when I was in 1-2 grade. Her mother made all of their clothes (for 5 people), sewed beautiful quilts from scraps, made them toys, baked her own bread, and had a thriving vegetable garden. She was a true blue homesteader.
I spent a lot of time at her house and I remember playing with small scraps of fabric and beads. Us kids had a blast harvesting sunflower seeds from their garden, playing in the pool, building our own forts, and helping to bake in the kitchen. Their family meant a lot to me.
Unfortunately, I also remember a lot of sorrow and tragedy associated with my last memories of them. One of Jasper's little brothers, whom I played with often, drowned in their pool as a toddler. I didn't really understand what that meant at the time, but I remember the heavy feeling of sorrow in the air that lasted for months. It wasn't long after that when their house caught fire and burned to the ground during the night. Everyone was able to escape, but Jasper and her family moved away that night and I never saw or heard from them again.
I have often wondered what happened to them. My friend's mom made such an impression on me as a child. I feel like a lot of my current beliefs and values about homemade and homegrown come from my experiences with her family. I hope that someday I might find out where they went and what happened to them.