Thursday, September 12, 2013

I Like Sewing!!

There are a lot of things that I like to do but sewing is probably my #1 thing.  Cake stuff comes easy just because I learned how to do it when I was younger and did it for years for my mom.  I do love both activities and they are both an outlet to my craftiness I guess.
Funny thing is that I hated sewing when I was little, I would not pick up a needle if my life depended on it which was the case when I was in school and I almost failed Home Economics because of it...
I always think back to when I was 19 years old and was working for our family business as the secretary, it was lunch time and I was reading the adds in the newspaper.  They had a particular add that was showcasing these beautiful sewing machines that looked a lot like the old fashion Singer ones, the price was ridiculously low and I thought to myself that it would be a good idea to buy one.  That same day I asked my mom for the money and promised to pay her back as soon as I got payed.  My brother took me over the place where they were selling them, it was a huge storage place, the company went bankrupt and needed to get rid of their inventory ASAP.  After what seemed like ages we got all the paperwork done and went home with a brand new sewing machine.  When I say old fashion I mean it literally.  It had the pedal on the bottom that you have to move with your feet so it can work, the faster you pedal the faster it will sew.  I had never in my life used a sewing machine before and had no clue how to use it.  Our neighbor next door was a seamstress and her husband was a tailor, she had done some dresses for me in the past and I asked her if she didn't mind teaching me how to thread the machine and how to make it work.  The husband came over and gave me a 10 minute lesson, he said that was all he was going to teach me because he didn't want me to become their competition.. yeah right. But that is all it took.  I spent hours mastering the art of sewing, it was pretty pathetic.  My sewing machine came attached to a table so it was very convenient and it had lots of drawers.  When I sat to sew and really get into it the table would move all over the place because we had granite floors and they are very slippery.  My mom always made fun of me and said that it looked like I was going to take off any moment.
I started sewing pillowcases, then I made my own bedding.  Got about 7 yards of some nice flannel with the smilie faces all over it, it turned out really cute.  My older brother liked it a lot and asked me to make one for him, then I made one for my mom and pretty soon some friends started to request some for them too.
I tried selling some things but I never have luck with that  and it went nowhere so I just did things for my family and friends for free. I was simply enjoying the experience and learning a lot.
My best friend at the time who was 6 years younger than me had a sewing machine that was way better than mine. It was a Singer, it worked with electricity and that was a whole new world for me.  She had the instruction book and I taught myself in a day how to make it work.  We wanted to use the button hole attachment so bad that we used one of my favorite skirts as a pattern and got some cute fabric, cut the pieces and put it together. The button holes came out pretty nicely and the skirt actually didn't look so bad, from far away of course.  I used to come and make use of her sewing machine as much as I could and really enjoyed it. When it was time for me to leave home one of the things that I really had a hard time leaving behind was my sewing machine.  I was just getting started and I had to leave it for ever.  After I got married I knew that buying a sewing machine was not going to be in the picture for a long time but I really missed it and one day Dan took me to a department store to buy a mini sewing machine.  It was more like a toy sewing machine but I did a lot of things with it too. Later on while living in WV I had a friend who loved making quilts and sewing all kinds of things.  One day she called me asking me to come help her translate a pattern she had bought at the store.  She was making the baby blessing dress for her daughter.  I had never seen a pattern before and I found it very interesting that they gave you step by step instructions on how to put it together, what pieces to cut, etc.  I wasn't much help because I didn't understand how to read the pattern so she ended up getting help from somebody else but that day changed everything for me.  My SIL had a sewing machine that she wasn't using so she let me have it for a while, a sister in the ward had some fabric scraps that she was going to throw away but thought I could use them to make a quilt, she even gave me a book on how to make a Log Cabin Quilt in a day.... everything landed on my lap so I just started working on it.  I was pregnant with Victor when I started working on that quilt and finished it for Father's day and gave it to Dan as a present.  I used a bed sheet as the backing, didn't spend one single penny and I was able to turn scraps into a quilt, funky looking but still a quilt.  When Dan and I got our first credit card he took me to Walmart and bought me a real sewing machine, a Brother.  With all kinds of stitches and attachments.  I LOVED it! It wasn't until I started working at Hancock Fabrics that I decided to finally try my luck at buying a pattern.  Got the fabric for a dress for Shayna and that's how everything started.  We were going to go to the Renaissance Fair and I wanted her to look nice so I made her a dress.  I liked it so much that I made one for  me and then my friend asked me to make one for her too.  They were not perfect at all but decent enough to wear them.  Then I made a dress for my niece who was in a choir and then her friend asked me to make one for her and payed me for it, that was exciting.
I had since then made my boys baby quilts, lots of dresses and all kinds of cute outfits for Shayna, Kahlan, Halloween costumes, dresses for me, outfits that were on display at Hancock Fabrics, backpacks, diaper bags, skirts for my friend, mended my friend's clothes, etc. etc.  I am not the greatest seamstress on earth but I do enjoy sewing.  Sadly my awesome Brother sewing machine died a couple of years ago when I let a friend use it.  Lucky fur me my husband had bought me a heavy duty sewing machine (Necchi) back in Utah so I still had something to work with but all the fancy stitches that I was able to use before were gone.  Last year I got my second Brother sewing machine, this one does fancier stitches and even does letters, I love it.
So recently I decided to try something new.  Since I love sewing so much and I always have some kind of project I am working on.  I came up with some ideas and put some of my items on auctions.  Some sell and some don't but a few of the people that buy them come back and request for more items.  I am pretty excited about it and look forward to the auctions every week.  Shayna helps me to come up with ideas for the mini quilts that I make, one of them sold a couple of weeks ago and they requested another one.  I have been making lots of boy ties, reversible super hero capes, totes and chalkboard mats which seem to be a favorite to many.  I hope I can keep doing this because it keeps me entertained and makes me feel like I an doing something in my spare time.  I have the office half way set up with my sewing station and was recently given a desk and wall unit by a friend, I am using it to store my fabric that I have been collecting over the years and it feels like a nice working area.  I am really enjoying this experience.  I would love to find a way to get into a craft fair or something like that so I can go even bigger.  For now I am just going to keep doing what I am doing and keep enjoying it.  When it gets to be too much I can always take a break :)
Something else that I have been playing with is "up cycling", I have been using old clothing to make Kahlan and even Shayna new clothes, I have turned shirts and socks into leggings, shirts into vests, men ties into boy ties.  My next project is to turn some tops I got at Dollar General into dresses for Kahlan and I can't wait to see how they turn out.  I have so many ideas in my head it is crazy.  I have come a long ways since then and I still have lots to learn but yup, sewing is fun!

 A cute pioneer dress I made for one of my nieces back in VA
 At the Reconnaissance Fair back when we only had 2 kids.
 Hung and Linda Le (my best friend)
 Shayna with her first princess dress ever.
 Shayna with her pioneer dress.
 First fancy dress for a family picture.
 Reversible super hero capes, the other side has a Barman logo on it.
Below Aaorn and Tristan sporting their men ties turned into little boy ties.
 Above my first mini wall hanging quilt.
 A big order I had from a customer.
One of my favorite items, the chalkboard mat.
 Another mini quilt and a cute tote with ruffles.
My favorite quilt that already sold, the customer that bought it has been requesting many many more items and I am working on a big order for her right now.  She really likes my quilts and requested a toddler bed quilt for her nephew.

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