Tuesday, September 20, 2011

There are the Sewing-inclined & Then There is Me

I have been blessed to be related to and surrounded by some of the craftiest people I have ever known.  My mom used to make wreathes and other floral art that she sold at craft fairs and in cute little boutiques.  She has made me into a DIY-er!  My paternal grandmother is a master sewer.  I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that she has made a million quilts in her lifetime in addition to all the other sewing crafts she does all the time.  I’ve received many clothes from her that she either sewed or embroidered, or both.  Most of my aunts are very crafty and have passed that on to me.  Thankfully, I, too, have inherited the crafty gene from both sides and have the creativity to back it up.  I’m not the best crafter, but I enjoy making all sorts of things and will continue to because it’s fun and because it helps us save money.

However, the sewing gene is not one that I inherited.  Are there some genes that people come to inherit over time?  I didn’t think so, but I know with practice I will get better (and fyi, I know that sewing skills don’t come in DNA form).

When I was in high school, I never took a home ec. class, nor did my small school even offer one.  We did have a class that required we bring home a mechanical baby to care for in the night while it cried, which was supposed to be realistic, but no sewing was taught which could have actually given me some skills that would help me later on.  Sorry, but a mechanical baby that is ugly, made of plastic, and does nothing cute to make up for the crying did not do anything but teach me how to take care of a doll.

Anyway, sewing was not something I ever did.  I “helped” my grandma make two quilts – one that was just two pieces of fabric with some batting in the middle and a complimenting fabric to sew them together and one harder one that she hand-guided me through – neither of which I really paid attention to because I was focused more on the end-product than on the skills I was supposed to be gaining.

A few summers ago, before my junior year of college, my mom decided to teach me how to sew.  We picked out a pattern for a dress and some cute fabric and went to work.  I was really excited when I started, but each step of the pattern had me feeling more and more frustrated.  I am not fun to be around when I am frustrated, just ask my mom.  My perfectionism keeps me from becoming good at a lot of things because I would rather give up and stick to something I’m naturally good at.  However, we would not allow that.  We took out many stitches and had to cut, sew, and try on the dress a million times, but we finally finished it. 

Here it was back when I had short hair (thinking of chopping it off again):


It’s not perfect, but I love it!  I was so inspired after making it that I bought a bunch of patterns on sale.


But, I have yet to even think about attempting any of them.  My mom went out of her way to buy me a highly-rated nice sewing machine the following Christmas.

I love it so much – it’s much nicer than I ever expected and does so many things I have no idea how to use (it even threads the needle and cuts the thread).  It even has a beautiful carrying case that attaches to wheels so I can easily bring it with me.


However, I’ve had this sewing machine for almost two years and the only thing I have done so far with it is make an apron (that had a pocket on it that I could not for the life of me get straight, so I left it out):


I also “altered” a dress I got at a garage sale for $5 that was huge on me but was a perfect I Love Lucy-inspired dress to wear last Halloween with Mr. Converse Sneakers who went as the zombified Ricky Ricardo.


I only took in the sides which I know was not the correct way to alter it, but it worked for me.  Other than that, the sewing machine has sat in its pretty little case for two years, untouched.  I had such big dreams for it when I first got it, but my fear has paralyzed me from using it because it takes a lot of work to learn to be good at something!

Well, my blog has encouraged me to conquer that fear.  This weekend I made something I love (and so does Mr. CS).  It’s not anything I invented, but I’m very proud of what I did!  I’ll be sharing it with you tomorrow, so stop by then!

In the meantime, I’d love to know how advanced (or not) you are at sewing and whether it is something you are working at getting better at, never have the urge to do, or is something you are already practically a pro at.  If you have any tips, I’d love to hear them, too!


  1. I can knit and hand-sew, but that's about it. I don't own a sewing machine so my sewing skills are pretty limited to simple and easy things I can do by hand. :) Love that dress and apron!


  2. I think your first projects came out great! It always takes practice and many projects to learn all the different types of sewing a sewing machine can do. Each pattern is a little different and requires different things done. I am a medium sewer and a little rusty at it. I can tell you that I loved sewing and at one time sewed everything for myself and my son. I need to get a new machine, mine is pretty antiquated but it still works.
    I can't wait to see what you have made!!

  3. As you know, I'm not the most skilled with a sewing machine either. But we're both learning, and that's something to be proud of! Also I vote that you keep your hair long. I know you didn't ask, but I'm voting anyway. :D

  4. Kristi,

    I was just convincing myself to chop it off again today and then you said that! Darn it! I just can't decide. Don't worry about chiming in, I asked my friends on Facebook to vote, but I just can't be persuaded one way or another. I love how quick my hair can be styled when it's short, but I love all the things I can do with long hair. I probably will end up leaving it long for another year before chopping it off again.

  5. Okay, but at least you can follow a pattern! (or at least you purchased patterns which is a start!) The apron is super cute! I've been thinking of trying to make some as gifts for friends getting married.

  6. You are the second Minnesota blogger I have come across today. I love connecting with local bloggers. I will be following you for sure. Oh and I too have a sewing machine that I never use. AND I just decide the other day that my husband and I are going to go as Lucy and Ricky for Halloween. Loved your costumes!


Thank you for stopping by! I am a little crazy sometimes (it's probably the red hair), but I would really appreciate if you would leave a comment. I love getting to know my readers and reading what everyone is thinking! - Mrs. Ruffled Flats


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