Sunday, October 3, 2010

A brief background

As the title implies, this is how I got into sewing. It might not be the most interesting story, but I will try to liven it up. IF I feel like it....

Anywho, I have always had a fascination with sewing. I can remember when I was little just having a needle, thread and scrap fabric, trying to sew but not really sewing anything together, per say. The idea of being able to create everyday things was just mind boggling and cool to me from the get go.

My futile attempt at "hand sewing" fell to the wayside, having been only 5 years old. Barbies were just too time consuming for much else. And baths. I'm a huge fan of water in general, but that is another issue entirely.

Like most people, my first actual sewing machine experience was 6th grade Home Ec (spelling?). We had races for threading one's machine the fastest and I ALWAYS won... small accomplishments but I was a classic underachiever. Little things like that stick out.

The first project was a pillow and any after that I don't remember. But, I got a very good grade and compliments on my invisible stitch (the 5 year old me set the stage for greatness, I guess). For whatever reason, sewing just made sense to me. After that, I went on a pillow making frenzy! I made at least a dozen pillows for myself and for my brothers.

But again, that was short lived. I remember the loss of hope when I proudly fished out four different fabrics to do a quilt. My mom saw this and laughed at my goal. She said that quilt fabrics had to match and be of the same material (which is not true!). I don't know if it was my mom's kick in the pants remark or just more barbies but sewing fell to the wayside once more.

Then, in Juinor year of High School, I took a "Fiber Arts" class as an elective after seeing my friend Naomia make the most beautiful table runner ever. I still remember the fabrics and how they were just simple and beautiful! (good job Naomia!). This class was a huge turning point. We made a blanket first, which I was so proud of and wanted so badly to keep BUT all the blankets were made for newborns at the hospital.  I guess a newborn might need the blanket more than me. Whatever...

Then we moved on to pajama bottoms. Mine did not work out for several reasons, but mainly because they weren't long enough. Pajama bottoms are stupid anyway.

Then came the table runner. I really wanted mine to be as fabulous as my friend's. Elegant and pretty but mine ended up being cutesy and I hated it. Never the less, I learned quilting basics. And a very important rule to sewing: the fabric you choose is always going to be hit, miss or meh and that you never stop making mistakes.

After that, we made hats and scarves. Mine weren't cool looking and I would never wear them out but they were well made (kudos to me). We made other things small projects for different holidays, but those 3 projects were the biggest ones and they were still very fun.

That class taught me a lot, such as:
1) The wonderful world of rotary cutters and mats
2) See through rulers
3) Husqvarna sewing machines are A-mazing
1) Rotary cutters are very sharp
2) When you are panicking because you cut yourself after doing what the teacher told you not to do, you don't notice how much blood you are getting everywhere
3) Grain lines are important (but I don't remember why)
4) Following grain lines may cause you to have short pajama bottoms
5) My fabric selection process should be more thought out

Many more, I am sure. At the moment, those are what stick out the most.
Oh and....


 My interest was renewed but short lived. I didn't have my own sewing machine, fabric or supplies to support the kind of range I hoped for. I briefly dabbled in crochet, knitting and rug braiding but they were are all too time consuming to keep my interest. Once again, Barbies stole the scene (okay not really, but I will admit I love Barbies to this day and I would totally play with them if it was socially acceptable).

Several years past by and I hadn't tried to sew anything. I remember taking Intro to Theater at college and the Professor pleading that anyone with sewing skills to please help out the drama department. I wanted to say something so bad, but I chickened out. I didn't want to do it alone and I was too shy to say anything. Plus, I knew next to nothing about sewing clothes.

It wasn't until the summer of 2008, when I was a broke college student making minimum wage and working 20 hours a week that I starting itching to try again. Even though I was broke, I would hopelessly wander in clothing stores, torturing myself with things I couldn't afford. One such thing was purses. There suddenly so many cute purses that I wanted, but at $40 each, I found I couldn't afford even one.

And that is where it all got started. Since then, I have ventured to dresses, costumes, quilts, hats, reading pillows, scoodies and it just keeps on going. I never seem to retain half the mistakes I make note of when sewing either. As a result, I do a lot of seam ripping and impromptu trouble shooting. And some serious abuse of stitch witchery and liquid stitch.

Anyway, each blog will detail a project or two, starting from my first and then going on from there. I've made a lot of stupid yet occasionally funny mistakes and many failures. Even to this day, I have much to learn and I continue to do sew on my own for reasons none other than laziness and frugality. It's gotten me this far, so I might as well see as far as I can take it...right?

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