Friday, March 4, 2011

Sewing gifts

My love of sewing goes WAY back to high school and home economics class. My mother was very crafty and would sew, crochet and knit at lightning speed so it was only natural that I would follow her footsteps in at least one of those handy dandy pursuits. Crocheting and knitting bore me to tears so sewing it was!

One of my first projects was to sew a honeymoon travel suit because Rick and I married when I was still a senior in high school. I also made a nifty little two piece bathing suit to wear during our wedding trip for that Thanksgiving weekend back in 1974. We went to Brown County State Park in Nashville, IN and the lodge had a wonderful glassed-in swimming pool where we were blessed to watch the snow come down while we were toasty warm and swimming.

After I graduated from high school and then Brescia University I began to sew again for our little family. Especially when our daughter came along. If I say so myself, I developed quite a few skills and even made her a fully lined winter coat one year. Of course frilly dresses and matching dolls clothes were my favorites.

Then life happened. School, farming, too many sports to mention so sewing took a back seat until I was down to making the occasional pair of boxers or pajama pants for Mark (boys are definitely less inspiring models).

Of course, as it always is in life, what you think will remain a forever lifestyle isn't. After the last pitch was thrown, the last basket shot and there were no more young adults to watch as they walked across the stage, first for high school and then college diplomas, my life was my own again...or was it?

Next came the grandkids, lickety split, one after another until there were 7 all under the age of 7! Now that my Nana's Day School has been limited to only 2 or 3 at a time, however, I've found my passion again. What's amazing is how much you forget when you go on a long break - you
really do lose it if you don't use it.

I was also shocked at how much the cost of sewing has gone up! One of the
reasons for sewing used to be that you could save a LOT of money. Now a days that isn't the case. Patterns cost anywhere from $8 - $16 and fabrics are just as high. Erika's mother-in-law had given her some fabric from a quilting project or two so this was passed to me and allowed me to practice without being in danger of wasting large sums of money.
This meant that my first project needed to be really simple...so I made 16 placemats for my kitchen and found that I still had a bit of skill left. I decided that my next project would be something fun for the kids. Since they all love to cook with me, the perfect project was to make the girls matching aprons. Again, the hand-me-down fabric came to the rescue...luckily purple and yellow are favorite colors too!

Hobby Lobby had a great pattern sale 10/$10 - and I easily found what I needed and few extras!

Since our living room is multi-purpose I set up my sewing desk behind one of the couches and employed the computer chair as a sewing chair. My little kingdom allows me to work online, sew, and watch television all at the same time ;-)

I cut out the fabric one day. Next I pieced together the pressed parts of the apron and had a ball reconnecting with a hobby from years gone by.

Since the girls both have March birthdays, I have decided that their newly crafted aprons will be a part of their birthday gifts. I'll probably throw in some felt food (it's a part of the pattern) and they'll be very pleased the next time we play 'Top Chef'.

Simon was drafted to try on the completed apron and as you can see from the photo, he was just a little bit reluctant. I plan to make it up to him when I make him a 'boy' crafting tunic with slots for crayons.

All in all, I think I'm really going to enjoy yet another way to be creative. I guess creativity doesn't have to be about painting or drawing. Sometimes a useful outlet is just as satisfying!