Sep 27, 2010

my new obsession

When I was a younger girl, I spent a lot of time with my mom in the sewing/laundry room.  She's had her sewing machine since she was 16, so all of that practice has made her pretty decent.  Pretty decent as in she made my sister's bridesmaid dress for my wedding, made pageant dresses and graduation dresses and Easter dresses and Christmas dresses and party dresses, made pretty much every dress I owned until I moved out.  When my students ask what I was like in high school, I always say (as seriously as I can) that I didn't have any store-bought clothes until I bought them myself.  There is a grain of truth to that statement.

I have lots fond memories of helping my mom when she was sewing.  She showed me how to line up pattern pieces and cut out the fabric.  I learned how to operate her sewing machine, how to sew a (mostly) straight line, how to hem, how to take out a seam.  I ironed a lot of seam allowances open; if you don't already know, there is a lot of ironing in sewing.  But more than just working or helping, we were hanging out.  That time spent seemed routine and ordinary to me growing up, but now, I am older, slightly wiser, more experienced, and I appreciate how precious those moments really are.

My mom tried to teach me to sew with doll clothes.  I had one of those American girl dolls, and my doll and I had several matching dresses.  I never really learned enough to be independent in making those dresses, but not for my mama's lack of effort.  She tried, but I didn't.  How amazing that she was willing to put in the extra time and effort so that my doll and I could have matching Easter dresses.  Especially since my sister and I both had dolls and we both needed to match. 

At the end of the summer, I pulled my great grandmother Burton's sewing machine out of my mom's garage and decided it was time to put it to use.  I delivered it to Sears, and they sent it to Chattanooga, where the technician told me that the stitch control was irreparably broken.  The part is not made anymore.  I guess the stitch control, whatever that is, isn't very important because the sewing machine works beautifully.  Even more beautiful is that everything came back to me.  The button jars, the thread, the pin cushions, the seam rippers.  And I sewed my first dress:

And then my second:

And now I can't stop.


  1. I love them both and they make me want a girl so, so bad. I could definitely use some sewing pointers too, if you're interested in blogging about that since I am new to the world of stitchery.

    Also, I remember making T-shirts with buttons on them at your (I think) birthday party in like first grade. I had mine forever and slept in it until I don't know when. What a great reminder of a sweet memory:)

  2. Precious memories..and a new talent! The dresses are precious and I know you are enjoying your new past-time. Mama

  3. YOU SEW? This is wild. Remember the pj pants you (or either your Mom) made us freshman year? Mine had little hogbeasts on them.
    Cara's dresses are TOO cute.

  4. Julie, I totally made those (with my mom's help). That's why they came apart the first time you washed them! :-)

    Kimberly, yes, that was my birthday party! I can't believe you remember that! I had forgotten! Man, we threw some wild parties over at my house!


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