so, i also sew

I posted earlier that one of my hobbies is silk ribbon embroidery — it’s fancy!  But I also just plain sew — with a sewing machine.  Growing up, my mother made all of our clothes-even for my brothers.  When I was around nine, I insisted that she teach me how to sew so that I could use that foot pedal on her sewing machine.  It looked like it was as much fun as driving.  Despite fits and starts the first couple of years, I became a decent (although my mother said ‘lazy’) seamstress.  My very disciplined mother was horrified that I rarely used pins, and ‘guesstimated’ where to cut fabric.  I started making most of my clothes and thought that was pretty neat until I got in high school.  All the cool kids wore brand-name clothes and I decided to use my baby-sitting money to buy clothes instead of wearing my ‘dowdy’ home-made creations.

In adulthood, I again longed for a sewing machine (so easy to just fix a ripped seam instead of paying at the cleaners or doing it by hand).  I got a basic Singer sewing machine and I was in business.  At first, I stuck to simple things (curtains, pillow covers), but after having kids I wanted to make handmade Halloween costumes instead of buying run-of-the-mill Superman outfits at Walmart.  I made clown suits, poodle-skirts, Dracula capes, bumble-bees, and more.  My biggest project was my son’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle costume (he was Leonardo).  It was 48 pattern pieces!  It had a stuffed shell and a stuffed ‘head’ whose ‘mouth’ encompassed “Leo’s” whole head.  Rounding out the look were gloves and booties.

MJM 2   Costumes He did win the 2nd grade costume contest, but the next year I went the simple route.  All 3 kids were M&M candies.  Basically a pillow in the front and a pillow in the back joined at the shoulders with a big ‘M’ stitched on the front.

As a grandma, I’ve continued the tradition with little girls’ Easter dresses (above), and Halloween dresses (Alice in Wonderland and Queen of Hearts).  On my last effort, I literally burned out the old Singer.  It had lasted 35 years, was quite heavy, and leaking oil and metal filings.  It went to the dumpster graveyard and was replaced by a sleek new model with all plastic parts.  Lightweight and totally automatic (it practically sews for you).  Amazing.

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