Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Home Sewn

It's been a while since I last posted and that's because blogging is fun, but sewing is MORE fun. The first weekend of November, I got together with two great friends, Catalina and Katie, and learned to sew on their machines. I'd been wanting a machine and wanting to learn for the last couple of years, but I was too intimidated by both the mechanics of it and the thought of actually creating something with my own two hands.

Cat is an old pro, having sewn for years and earning a reputation among our friends for her creations. Katie was a beginner, but she actually owned a machine, and thus was far further along than I was. When we all met at JoAnn to choose fabric, I was still thinking maybe I'd just opt out, browse the toys, and do a little Christmas shopping. "Maybe I'll just stay the morning and visit while you two sew," I actually said. But then Cat pulled out a prototype she'd whipped up. A couple rectangles, sew here, fold here, turn inside out, seam here, up the sides, et voila! Maybe even pockets and a wristlet...cute purse! She made it seem within reach, so I joined them in the fabric search. I felt so lost at the cutting counter, yard, half yard... what does that yield? I had no concept.

The next day Ethan watched our kids to allow me an uninterrupted chance at learning. Katie and I arrived at Cat's to see she'd washed and dried all of our fabric and made scones and coffee for us. We chatted about what we were about to do, I made a 3 x 5 card of step-by-step instructions for myself, and then we began. Over the whur of machines, the snipping of the scissors, and the pizza for lunch, I learned how to sew.

I came home with two purses to show for it, along with lots of curiosity and a need for a sewing machine. Over the next few days E and I researched and found a good machine, and purchased it as my holiday gift from him this year. I created a sewing folder on my desktop for all of the free tutorials I download, along with a running list of good ideas. I haven't yet used a pattern, (unless you count a couple shapes I cut out of paper bag I've used to help guide my cutting). Patterns still intimidate me at this point. I'm just figuring it out freestyle, making my own designs and finding inspiration in the vast resource of how-tos and crafty blogs I find online.

I've got many gifts already made and many more on a list to make. (December is a great month to start sewing!) Here are a couple I've already given, the ones that are safe to reveal. Pictures show a baby blanket for our baby cousin/nephew, a "Knit Night Bag" for Aunt D in Illinois, a couple of skirts and PJ pants I made for Harper, and a set of napkins.

Not pictured gifts I've sewn recently include a skirt for Harper's friend Avery, a hooded towel for Avery's new sister, Remy, and a reversible formal purse for Savannah's Winter Ball and her 15th birthday. Silly me, didn't take photos before I gave them! I also have a couple more gifts sewn, but they haven't been given yet so I can't share any more info than that. Obviously, having never sewn before Nov. 3rd, I've gone a little bonkers. Basically, every nap time and often after bedtime, I'm working on some project. I'm ever grateful to my fun friends who got me started. I think I'm going to enjoy this for a long while!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Turn it Up!

This was just too good. Had to share.

See more Jack Black videos at Funny or Die