Thursday, January 15, 2009

Sewing Backstory

LindseyT posted a bit on her blog a while ago looking for people's sewing backstories. Here's mine; it's short.

  • In 1992 I had Home Ec. in High School I made a pillow and a canvas tote. Not too much to tell there. I learned the basics of stitching and the purpose of the most basic tools.
  • In 1994, my college's friend's mom taught me to block piecing and quilting during our Christmas Break. My mom "loaned" me her ancient Pfaff. I made about 8 full size quilts and several baby quilts before I decided quilting was not for me. I love the look of the final project but how many blankets do you need? I made my last quilt years ago.
  • In 2001, I decided that I could sew a skirt. I had no experience besides Home Ec. I bought a New Look Easy pattern (a-line skirt), some cute quilting cotton, and matching zipper. I cut it out at my MIL house. I gave up when I tried to put in the zipper. The MIL was trying to be helpful but not pushy. I can be a bit willful when I make up my opinion if you can imagine that. I had decided that the skirt was not going to work. Period. The skirt was put into a box that I labelled "Evil Skirt Box" and was put under her house in the crawl space.
  • My son was born in 2004 and shortly after that I started a baby wearing business called CabinBaby.com. I do a lot of sewing for this but it's all straight stitching on very stable fabric.
  • During my son's (and later daughters') early years I made a few receiving blankets and swaddling blankets.
  • April 2007, discovered PatternReview.com. I followed a link totally by chance from a babywearing website. This was a catalyst that got me thinking about the Evil Skirt Box again.
  • In 2007 during the Spring Equinox (right after discovering PatternReview.com), I completed my first garment. I was hooked. It was an a-line skirt. In December, I started this blog. At the risk of sounding like some sort of sentimental freak, I'll let you in some thoughts in my head. Sometimes during the early days of my garment sewing obsession I would wonder how I ever survived without sewing. I would be slightly angry or sad because it took me so long to find the thing I was, obviously, meant to do. I know it sounds like I'm taking it too seriously but I really find peace and happiness in fabric. I love feeling in, cutting it, manipulating it, etc. I love the science of turning a 2-dimensional thing into a 3-dimensional structure. I hope to pass this love of working with my hands to my children. I hope they love it too.
  • 2007 -- Bought my first new sewing machine. It's a Husqvarna Viking Madison. No bells and whistles but it is stout and sews through anything. Shortly after that I bought a Husqvarna Viking Husklock 936. This does 2-3-4-5 overlocking and coverstitching. With my business I can write these expenses off as business machines. They are, after all, used for my business.
  • 2008 and 2009 I feel pretty proud of how far I've come. I feel like I'm mastered some construction techniques and I feel like I do a pretty good job with most things. Sewing has really helped me use my brain to visualize techniques. I love it and now sew all of my clothing (excluding bras). I sew many garments for my children and some for my husband. This winter my MIL got out the Evil Skirt Box. It was pretty funny looking at that quilting cotton (what was I thinking?) and pattern. I've come a loooong way.

9 comments:

Lynn said...

Dawn, this is such a special story. I've got a cold, and your story made me feel better than a Jane Austen movie. Thank you for sharing. PS. Have loads of fun on your trip. Padme

Lindsay T said...

"The Evil Skirt Box." Love it. Great story, Dawn. Glad you found sewing 'cause who knows what else you might have taken up. [insert grin here]

Elizabeth said...

Dawn, I can't believe you've only been sewing since 2007. You're so talented. Thanks for sharing your backstory.

Ann's Fashion Studio said...

Love your story :)

Cindy Lou said...

Dawn... great, great story. I love the Evil Skirt too! Someday one of us should put all these stories together in a book. I'd love to read one a night!

Kristine said...

Evil Skirt Box... you crack me up! I, too, can't believe you've only been at this for a couple of years. You're right, you've found your calling!
ps - Did you get my email about a swap?

angie.a said...

GREAT story!

Gry said...

This is a good sewing backstory. I also had an Evil Skirt Box, even though I didn't actually put it in words.

Also, I don't think you are taking sewing too seriously at all. I have never been good at handling stress, but learning to sew has provided me with a really effective method of dealing with stress.

Jacqui said...

You're clearly a natural! (Seriously. something had to have been wrong with that NL pattern.)