Saturday, August 29, 2009

My Sewing Angel

Momma taught me to sew when I was still in middle school.  I think the first thing I made was an Animaniacs pillow case (I still have a few yards of the material, actually...).

She bought me my very own sewing machine when I was in high school.  She had found an old Sears Kenmore (in its own cabinet) at the thrift store for $25.  Of course, we had to order about $50 worth of new parts for it and Daddy had to spruce it up, but I loved it--what a deal it was! To this day, as long as I keep it oiled and dusted, it runs smoothly and stitches beautifully.

But even though I've been sewing for years, sewing projects have never run as smoothly as my machine.  Needles break; I poke myself with pins (repeatedly); material rips; I have to re-do seam after seam; I sew pieces together accidentally.  I used to sew late into the night and as I would get more and more tired, I'd make more mistakes and get more frustrated.  A vicious cycle, but I kept on doing it.

It's true that I have made a few things that turned out well enough. I have hemmed and altered countless pairs of jeans (a common enough thing for Hobbits). I made a crazy quilt duvet cover for my comforter in college. I've made a shirt or two. I made Taylor's halloween shirt last year.  My coat turned out pretty well. But all of these projects were fraught with mishap, broken needles, and "leaving it until tomorrow."

Then something happened.

And I could sew! I made a cute little apron for my God daughter with no pattern at all.

I made a dress from a pattern I made up in my head. And it fit. And I wear it!

I made a purse from a pattern that had no instructions. And it only took one evening. And I like it.

Then I made another purse. And liked that one, too.

Suddenly sewing was something thoroughly enjoyable. Something I was doing to relax.  Something I did on my day off.  It became an effective way to let out my creativity.

Last night, I was going through my material and found 2 yards of a yellow jersey knit that I had bought on clearance.  I had intended on making a skirt from it--I even had a pattern I wanted to use.  But the pattern required a zipper and I hate zippers. So the material just sat for months.  But hey, I thought, it was a stretchy material. Maybe I could get away with no zipper and just make a comfy pull-on skirt.

Two hours later, I had this:

I didn't even realize the patterns on the yoke and the skirt matched so well until I put this picture up here. So whatever-it-was that happened between my coat and my red dress was clearly on a roll.  I stitched the skirt together while T was cleaning up the kitchen (by the way, he's been such a good sport letting me sew while he makes dinner or cleans up the kitchen. Love you, T!!).  I decided to leave the back open a bit so that it wasn't too hard to pull on (and so I didn't stress the stitches too much, since I don't have a serger) and just close it with a button and a loop (I don't particularly care for button holes, either).

I decided on three "looty" buttons:

And made three "looty" loops out of binding.

An effective (and attractive, if I do say so!) closure, for sure.

So what was it that happened? What has made sewing so much easier for me? I have to admit that I think it is Momma, watching over my shoulder from heaven.  My own sewing "angel" [since humans can't become angels] to keep my sewing projects smoothly humming.
Here's to many more happy hours creating together, Momma :) Thanks for taking care of me still!

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