Has it really been three weeks since I last posted?
It was an unintended absence, I assure you. It’s not that I didn’t have things to write about. It’s just I got a wee bit distracted with other things.
Mostly, my new sewing room.
The dress by the ironing board is my latest project.
You’ll note that Merricat and Lady Grey are as fond of my sewing room as I am.
I kinda wish they weren’t.
The room used to be Husband’s office. We emptied it and moved him downstairs, temporarily, while we refinished the floor.
He discovered there were advantages to being downstairs. For one, he’s right next to heater vents and his hands are staying toasty warm. For another, he doesn’t have to worry about sound-issues if I go to bed before him, and I’m almost always in bed before him.
I’m sure it doesn’t hurt there’s a big-screen TV down there, too. So there’s that.
Anyway, once we were done with the floor, he wasn’t all that sure he wanted to move back up and so rather than leave the room empty while he made up his mind, I moved in.
Bet you didn’t know I was into sewing, eh?
Actually, I wasn’t. Or rather, I used to be a long time ago, but fell out of the habit.
I started sewing in the seventh grade and by the time I was in high school, was making nearly half my clothes. My favorite things to sew were dresses, skirts and blouses. (I avoided making jeans on account of they made me question all my life choices.)
Yet rarely did I tell anyone I sewed because once people knew, they acted like I was their personal tailor, asking me to replace zippers and hem pants. (Eventually I wised up and started charging them. That put a stop to it.)
Even Husband didn’t know I could sew until after we were engaged and I made an offhanded comment about making my dress. He said, “Whaaa?!”
But yeah. I made my wedding dress.
It was the 80s, okay? Old-fashioned dresses were in.
Later, I made dresses for Daughter.
This was one of my favorite patterns;
I think I made over a dozen of these dresses in fun prints.
This next dress is an award winner. Literally.
I entered it in the County Fair, won Reserve Champion and got $60 in prize money.
Eventually the price of fabric, thread, etc., got so expensive, it didn’t make sense to sew clothes anymore. Especially when I realized what deals could be found at secondhand stores.
By the time we lived in Phoenix, nearly all our clothes were bought from consignment or thrift stores. Sometimes with the original price tags still on them and expensive price tags at that. (My theory was they came from Scottsdale women with little self control.)
Anyhoo, that’s why I fell out of the sewing habit. Other than making occasional repairs, alterations or Halloween costumes, I considered my sewing days behind me.
Until a few months ago, that is.
That’s when I read something that got me feeling wistful for my long-forgotten hobby: feeling the fabric, pouring over patterns, selecting thread… the whole nine yards!
Actually that’s two and a half yards for a shirt, three for a dress.
Andrew has taken up quilting! Not only that, he went and bought the same brand sewing machine I have. (Though a fancier model; mine is pretty basic.)
Anyway, that got me to thinking about my poor little sewing machine sitting in the corner of our guestroom, dusty and feeling neglected. I gave some thought to joining Andrew in quilting, but decided it just wasn’t my thing.
But clothing? Now that’s something I enjoyed making. And beings how several of the items in my closet are starting to show wear, and beings how Central Minnesota women appear to have more self control than Scottsdale women (based on the offerings I’ve found in secondhand stores, they make use of their purchases), I am in need of new duds.
Three weeks ago, my first fabric purchase arrived in the mail (from Fabric.com).
Here is the first shirt I made:
I had a little issue with the neckline and probably tore out more seams than is reasonable, but overall I think it turned out pretty good. It’s based on an Anne Taylor blouse I wore so often it was practically falling apart, so I went ahead and took it apart to use as a pattern.
The next shirt I made was based on a Ralph Lauren sleeveless top I snagged at a consignment store for $4. The only thing I didn’t like about it was that the shoulders were just a wee bit narrow for my taste.
But that’s the beauty of making your own clothes, right? If you don’t like something, change it!
Here’s the original shirt:
And here’s my version:
With those two shirts done and my dress nearly complete, I’m anxious to make more. Last weekend I spent several hours pouring over websites, looking up patterns and sewing tips, ordering fabric swatches, planning my summer wardrobe (a particularly good use of winter, I think).
My next fabric order arrives on Friday!
I’ve got my sew-jo back!
Now about this blogging thing… I might have to work on that.