I have the sort of conscience--maybe from Mom??-- that sees sewing as play rather than work or medicine, so I feel like I can't sew until the other housework is done.
And is housework ever done??
But in a happy turn of events, I have two adult daughters at home who, when they're not employed otherwise, ask me to make a list of things that need to be done around the house.
I also make a list for the 14-year-old daughter who doesn't ask for it. Yet.
And then I go sew with a free conscience.
Mom always seemed like she had a magnet inside for scrap fabric, and it would come to her, unbidden, from neighbors and relatives and sewing factories, and even, it seemed, stealing across the frozen cornfields in the dark of night, quietly slipping into her basement stash.
I have the same attraction for castoff fabric, and I get an unreasonable delight from finding ways to use it up.
Like these bags which I made from sack-like fabric pieces with one hemmed edge each. They combined well, I thought, with the vintage Holly-Hobbie cutouts that showed up. At least one bag is for the niece who likes all things repurposed, vintage, and quirky.
I'm tucking in a notebook from Thailand, knowing she would appreciate the unusual translated English as much as we did.
We should all remember to do this first.
I'm also on a roll with 50's dresses, with simple fitted bodices and a pleated or circle or gathered skirt. In another happy turn of events, so are my daughters.
Back in the day, I'd make one of them a new dress, preferably Daisy Kingdom, featuring a full skirt and ruffles and a big white collar with ribbons.
"OOOhhhhhh, Moooommmm!!!" they would say, and then they would twirl and exclaim, "OHH, it's a CAKE dress, because when I twirl and then go down, it poofs out like a cake!!"
A few years passed and I'd make them something. "Um, Mom? I don't know how to say this, and I don't want to hurt your feelings, but this is really kind of, I don't know....I think I'd rather you bought me clothes instead of trying to make them."
But now, oh happy day, my girls once again like me to sew for them.
Recently I sewed them each a dress.
Somehow they all wear a size 8 even though they are three different heights, so it's easy to use one pattern for all three. Except I never just pick a pattern and follow it.
I used the bodice pattern on the right below for all three dresses, altering the neckline as requested. For Jenny on the left and Amy on the right (above) I used the pleated skirt on the left below. Emily's dress has a full circle skirt.
|I think this is called "popping your heel."|
|Am I blessed with lovely daughters or what?? she asked proudly.|
|Up close. The polka dots and elephants came from Thailand.|
While the girls posed, our friend Anna cleaned up the kitchen with Steven.
Emily's dress fabric was kind of an odd shifty material, and the circle skirt ended up hanging very unevenly. So I had her stand on a tall stool in the kitchen while I re-measured and pinned the hem.
She felt dizzy, up that high, so Paul offered his services as a post while he read the comics.
It reminded me of that scene in The Yearling where the mom, played by Jane Wyman, Ronald Reagan's first wife, wants to pin the hem in her new dress so she has her husband, played by Gregory Peck, wear the dress and stand in the middle of the kitchen while she goes around and around, frowning and pinning, while the son looks on, smirking. And it is utterly awfully obvious that Jane Wyman had never sewed a stitch in her life.
Somehow that made me feel good about myself.
Twenty years ago we were living in the North and drying all our laundry on indoor lines, so Mom used her salvaged fabric and made me a bunch of hangers with clothespins attached, to dry socks and such.
They were wonderful, and I used them until they fell apart, long after we had a dryer. Then I made some more.
I got the idea to make some for the Smucker ladies at our Christmas dinner this Saturday, since we like to give each other small gifts.
Here are three. I'll post a tutorial soon because they are pretty easy to make and surprisingly useful.