Kelly asked in the comments on the last post how one becomes a person who sews, whether it’s something you’re taught as a course of family tradition or if it’s something you just decide you want to do one day. So I’m going to cheat and turn what would have been a long-winded comment response in to a whole post. I’m so good at this NaBloPoMo thing.
For me, it has been a bit of both. My grandmother (my mom’s mom) sewed, crocheted, and made ceramics. As a result of my grandmother’s talents, my mom also learned how to sew and crochet. She sewed a number of her own clothes as a young adult and even some of ours when we were little. She sewed curtains, crocheted afghans, and made Halloween costumes. Crafts were always just kind of…around when I was growing up.
The thing is, I haven’t always been in to it. I’d mess around with the sewing machine every once in a while, leaving half-finished projects and fabric scraps in my wake. I learned and relearned how to crochet several times, never really gaining proficiency. It wasn’t until I was an adult and nearly out of college that I started crocheting again. I can crochet pretty naturally now (it took a while) but I still stick to small projects. I do baby blankets, scarves, and headbands. They’re quick and I don’t lose complete interest before the project is actually finished.
The one time I promised to make an actual afghan for someone, it took me nearly two years. it took so long that I MOVED in the middle and had to pack it with me. The thing ended up almost ten feet long and the width of a queen-sized bed, so it was always going to take a while. But what was originally intended for my friend’s birthday one October was actually a present at her wedding two Julys later. So, small projects it is!
Sewing is an even more recent development than crocheting. And the genesis was actually the first occurrence four years ago of that same craft sale I just went to. I looked at some of the sewing projects and thought, “Hey, I could probably do that!” That same year, Target had a low-end Singer sewing machine on a really good Black Friday deal and I seriously debated it. However, I was also buying a KitchenAid stand mixer for my new house, so I figured the sewing machine could wait. My mom went back later that day and bought it for me for Christmas. It’s not a super-star machine, but it’s enough for what I need.
Just like with crocheting, I stick to small projects. I sew simple, straight lines. I’m not going to be taking on clothing or quilts any time soon. Instead, I make dinosaur hoodies. I make baby rattles.
I made the curtains and matching book slings that hang in Little L’s room.
The most complicated project I’ve done is a pieced iPad case for my mom.
My hobby is fed (enabled?) mostly by the DIY boards on Pinterest. I like that I can find small projects with step-by step tutorials. I have learned to be more careful with my work, I’ve taught myself how to used several different settings on my sewing machine (including the buttonholer!), and I’ve even figured out how to do a few things without tutorials (like the chains I’m working on right now).
I’m glad I have turned in to a person who sews because I get so much enjoyment out of it. I like that I can make something with my own two hands. I like that it’s generally relaxing. And I like that sometimes it even comes out looking like it’s supposed to!