Submitted by LindaBack when I was young, my mom would sew cute things for me to wear, Barbie clothes (I still have the wedding gown), and curtains for my room. Both of my Grandmas were quilters, and also knew their way around a sewing machine. When I entered 7th grade, I signed up for "Sew-ology" and had the opportunity to move beyond the oodles of bean bags that I had sewn on my mom's machine as an elementary student. I remember making a terrible pair of elastic waist gray corduroy pants - they looked terrible, and my craftsmanship was also terrible.
Look at these cute fabrics!!! I worked on a really fun project with them recently. But first, some background information.
My dad had a rule about fabric - he said he would pay for whatever my mom and I wanted to sew, as long as we made each project before buying new fabric. (He wasn't of the same mind as those "who die with the most fabric wins"). This rule was only broken when I came home as a college student, and also as a young mother, when we would have a sewing marathon, and make a bunch of clothes for me and the baby boys. Back then, we used this sewing machine which was given to me by my grandma in the late 70s. It still works like a charm, though it doesn't do anything too fancy. The cabinet is my mom's old one. Nice "blonde" finish, right?
Some of the lessons I learned through my sewing projects are:
1. You will usually have to rip something out and redo it.
2. The apparel item will never look the same on me as it does on the drawing of the pencil-shaped girl on the cover of the pattern envelope.
3. Because of #2, it isn't always economical to make something yourself.
4. Again because of #2, I prefer making little boys' clothes, craft projects or curtains.
Yet, my mom and I had many good times together, and we ended up making some pretty cute things. We would go shopping, and find ourselves saying "We could whip that up so fast, your eyes would spin", and sometimes we did!
Though I love love LOVE quilts, and am privileged to have some very precious family quilts, I'm not sure I will ever have the patience to create one. For me, sewing has always been the means to an end, and I'm usually so eager to finish something, that I do a "quick and dirty" job of it. I don't really enjoy the process, like I do with paper-crafting.
Well, enter my new European mindset of slowing down, along with a desire for a ruffled apron. I have seen them at shops and craft fairs, and I either didn't like the color choices, or I felt they were poorly made. I knew that my front-row-friend Michelle wanted one for Christmas, so off I went, looking for apron fabrics.
I wanted to start with something that looked vintage, and I ended up with some printed dishtowels from Barbara Cheatley's in Claremont. Then I took my mom with me to Ginger's Quilt Shoppe, in Montclair, where we oohed and ahhed over all the fabrics and completed quilts. I picked out some dots, stripes, and a floral, and was ready to begin. I found a pattern online, so instead of looking at printed directions, I kept checking my computer. The tutorial was very easy to follow, and included step by step directions and photos. Click here to see for yourself!
Then I found a cute slender model (niece Tiffany!), and Ta Daahhh!!!! Here it is!
I'm very happy with the outcome, and I think Michelle will love it, though now it won't be a Christmas surprise.