Saturday, August 12, 2006

Taking the Leap...

...into sewing, that is.

When Mom visited this past Christmas I told her I'd been thinking about making an afghan. Not just any afghan, mind you, but the kind she used to make 30 years ago. It's a sort of Swedish weave but without the fancy stitch patterns. She'd made me one in sunset colors that I'd just loved to death through high school and college, and we still have one in variegated blues that the family fights over on cold winter evenings.

Very warm and comfy.

Out we went to the fabric store where she helped me buy monk's cloth, yarn and needles (thanks, Mom!) We got our supplies home and I brought out my sewing machine.

This is the machine that I'd bought in a fit of naiveté when DH and I were first married. I had thought back then that I'd like to sew a few maternity dresses and... well, you know the story. It never happened. The machine has sat in the back of my closet, unloved and unused for almost 21 years.

Anyway, Mom and I set it up on the kitchen table and puzzled over how to thread the thing. We got a bobbin wound and she jury rigged a spool pin from a cut up McDonald's straw. (How cool is that? Mom, she's crafty. In a good way.) An hour or two later we were in business, zigzagging the cut edges of the monk's cloth in preparation for the months it would take me to make the afghan. I was seriously thrilled.

Since then I've been thinking of the sewing Mom used to do, the jeans taken up, the dresses, and one jumper in particular she made for me in soft corduroy that I absolutely loved. She taught me to sew and do embroidery too, although my talent on the sewing front was never anything like hers. I remember cutting out bits of fabric into "dresses" for my Liddle Kiddles and using scraps of yarn as belts when I was small. Later Mom bought me a 3/4 size sewing machine and some patterns to make clothes for my larger dolls Velvet, whose party dress I managed to ruin with a too-hot iron, and Dancerella, a cool pirouetting ballerina.

And I've been seeing some pretty nifty things on the net lately, like knitting needle cases and circular organizers and cool bags. And I'm thinking, "Hey, those wouldn't be hard to make. Inexpensive, too. And I'd love to sew up some cloth napkins, so much nicer than paper. And pillows, I could make pillows, and..."

So last week I took the plunge. I signed up for Sewing 101.

Last week we covered the basics. This afternoon I bought fabric for the jumper I'm going to make. We pinned and cut out and that was very scary. It's been a very long time.

Next week we start sewing. Wish me luck.

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