Wednesday, April 16, 2008

My Mom's sewing machine


I snagged my Mom's sewing machine while I was home for the wedding. I figured I better make a break for it while none of my other sisters have any interest in sewing. :) I love having her sewing machine in my house. I can't really explain why, but it just kind of feels like she's nearby when I see it on my table. Those of you who knew my mother know she's an amazing seamstress. She made this:




and these:


and all of these:



She can do anything. Naturally, I've always wanted to enjoy sewing, because I've always wanted to be like her. Cooking has never intimidated me. Pie crusts, bread making, baking in general, yes maybe that once intimidated me because the measurements need to be exact when you're baking and I like to be more flexible when I'm cooking. But sewing freaked me out. It just never came naturally and I screwed up a lot of projects HORRIBLY. I would over-think everything and get nervous working the machine. I always felt like I was going to break something and then my Mom would yell at me. I once asked for her old Singer sewing machine that she hadn't used since either before she got married or before she had kids and she told me no, that she wanted to hold onto it. My Mom's not really the sentimental type. I was totally surprised that she wanted to hold onto something that she was obviously never going to use again. So instead she bought me a Brother Walmart special for Christmas one year. Maybe she recognized that I was not a natural-born seamstress, because she researched what was the best model of the cheapest brands. She gave me a pair of Gingher sewing shears, a 25 dollar Joann's gift certificate, and my brand new sewing machine and I decided my first project would be a pair of pajama pants for Bobby. So one night while Bobby was at his night class, I set to work on my sewing project. I bought a pattern and some cute fabric that actually matched a "quillow" my Mom made for him while he was on his mission. I set up the sewing machine on our kitchen counter because we didn't have a kitchen table and spread out all my tissue paper patterns. I was so confused- I was holding up pieces, trying to decipher which ones I needed, etc. when I started to smell burning. I look up and one of the pieces had caught FIRE from the candle I was burning. Well, I've never seen anything burn that fast. The tissue was burning rapidly and there was ashy pieces of pattern paper EVERYWHERE. Somehow I managed to still sew the pants without the necessary pieces, but the pants ended up being too small for Bobby and even too short for me. Bless his heart, he did wear them once for me.

Also, until a week and a half ago, I did not know to get my bobbin thread to come up and be ready to sew. It's embarrassing to admit. I'm embarrassed, but it's the truth. Thank you Jessica and Jenny for all your help. I'm sure I'll need more but you have both been so helpful. Ashley's birthday was coming up and I had this great idea to give her an apron. Cute sassy aprons seem to be all the rage these days for my demographic. I thought about buying her one, but then I thought, "what if sewed it?" Then I found this tutorial on this girl's blog. It's a great tutorial and really inspired me to start sewing. It is all I want to do now. I've made four aprons so far.



I also made this cute little purse for Franny. We have a reward system in place for her where I give her pennies whenever she makes a good choice. She can trade those pennies in for a bigger reward later. This system is called a token economy. I'll write more on that later. I learned about it at the autism conference I went to a couple weeks ago.



She loves the purse and wants to take it everywhere! It makes me so happy. I adapted this tutorial and didn't bother with the boomerang clip or the ID window and just added some decorative stuff and a strap. Also, I made it just a little bigger.

I have to laugh at myself. I mean, I am sort of notorious for never finishing projects. This is not really me to get into these projects. I mean, I've been to Walmart three (or is it four) times this week to pick up more fabric and sewing notions. Just ask Betsy if she's gotten the baby quilt for baby Emma yet. Oh yeah, how old is she now? Almost 2 1/2? Sewing makes me feel better. It's probably a combination of wanting to be like her and wanting to do something that would make her happy and proud. So I feel a little embarrassed about being such a super-spaz, but I think I'm just going to roll with it and hey, at least I'm learning to sew!

29 comments:

Jill said...

You are so talented, I love the aprons and purse, you amaze me!!!

Sheryl said...

I Love your adventurous spirit and your reminiscings of your mom. Makes me feel close to both of you.

Julia Warner said...

I love that you are sewing now and I know mom is so proud of everything you are doing. You are good at so many things. It is so impressive. I don't know how you have time for it all.

Carole said...

I AM SOOOOO PROUD OF YOU, my sweet grandaughter!!! I just couldn't believe my eyes. Congratulations. You will learn as you go, and end up making your girls darling little dresses, just like your Mom and I did for our 4 daughters.
Sewing is such fun, and that is a true declaration from me, since here I am still doing it since I was 10 years old, when I learned how in the 4H Club. Our first project was a bandana, our second an apron, and I went on from there. I am looking forward to the new apron. It looks darling. I love you. Grandma

Pattie said...

love the wedding picture you still look beautiful.. and it looks like you are a natural seamstress... keep up the good work

Jane said...

you are amazing Katherine. I am so glad you have your mom's machine, I am sure she is there helping you as you learn and proud of how talented you are. I am in love with your aprons. I remember you talking about your mom and what an amazing seamstress she was. I was always amazed that she made wedding dresses. Wow. (are you ready to give the Magelby's buttermilk pie recipe out yet? =) )

Jodie said...

WOW !! For a beginner you are awesome girl. Way to go- keep up the amazing work.

Melissa said...

You are doing an awesome job!!! Good work! I am sure your mom is SO proud of you!

Jenny said...

You rock Katherine. I so want to be you. Um...that sounds kind of stalker-ish huh. Ok ... I am in awe and inspired by you. How's that? You did a great job on the aprons and the purse. I honestly don't think I really taught you anything.

The last Unicorn said...

What a talent. I wish I could sew. I love those Aprons! I always thought a sassy apron and cute panties were the best sexy wedding gift. Way to satisfy all kinds of appetites! :)

christine said...

I think your mom might be superwoman. I'm pretty sure you are well on your way to being superwoman too. Your aprons are too cute and the purse is adorable.
Love it.

Tisha said...

That is amazing! I am terrified of sewing, but want to do so many projects! Those aprons are all adorable!!!!

Katherine said...

Tisha, you of all people should never be terrified of sewing! You're so creative and talented!

Lori, you crack me up.

Jenny, you totally helped me! Thank you so much for helping me realize it's okay to adjust the knobs! :)

Sarah said...

I love the ballet pictures, of course! Your mom made such beautiful things! You've totally got talent--those aprons are so cute!
I'm with Jenny, I'm inspired by you.

jayne said...

I am laughing at loud picturing you with a flaming pattern in the background! I can see the look on your face....Hilarious! Those aprons are adorable. Your mom is definitely proud of your accomplishments on her sewing machine. Seeing the finished product, I'm sure she's okay with you taking the machine she was so afraid of you touching!

Betsy said...

Ha! I forgot about the quilt! You really are doing an amazing job learning to sew--so creative all the things you put together! I LOVE the aprons! You are so amazing Katherine! I wish I could sit and sew with you! Believe it or not...I do have a sewing machine - never used - but maybe you have just inspired me!

TerriLyn said...

Awesome. Those aprons are hot!! Great job and keep it up. I love that sewing makes you feel good.

Kristen said...

Katherine, these aprons are adorable. You need to sell them, and I'd like to be your first customer. Seriously.

cari said...

What a great post! I remember you and Julia when you were little girls. Every time I saw you, you both looked so adorable. It's awesome to know your mom sewed those cute dresses! Looks like you are following in her footsteps nicely! Very cute aprons!

cari said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SHIRLEY'S said...

Those are the cutest aprons ever! I have a sewing machine, but it is at my mom's house. Did you just take it home as your carry-on?

Danette said...

Ya, I tried sewing once, not good. You are a natural. Those aprons look amazing and I'm sure there is going to be plenty more sewing projects posted on this blog. I'd venture to guess that your little girls will have dance costumes made by you too one of these days. Like mother like daughter!

Erin said...

I my word, those are DARLING!! So so so cute! I love the combination of fabrics you chose, especially the red and blue one. So cute! I am very impressed with your getting-your-projects-completed thing. Way to go! :)
Oh, and I have to say that I can't believe your mom made those incredible tutus. So pretty! And the wedding dresses.

Jaynann said...

Could you be more talented? I am so impressed. No sewing for me. I will just admire your skills.

I am amazed by the dresses and tutus your mother made! You have some creative and beautiful genes. You are such a beauty.

Ruth Solter said...

Katherine,
I am Jenny's Mom. She suggested I check out your blog because YOU are the reason she keeps calling me with sewing machine questions!! You are so lucky to inherit your Mothers sewing machine. I also got my Mothers sewing machine when she passed away. Although it is totally old (built in the 50's) just having it brings her closer to me. I am in awe of all she made. I love your aprons they are so cute. I will have to make Jenny one.

Ashlie & Jonathan said...

Ok, YOU ARE AMAZING! I got a sewing machine for Christmas while in Kville....I sewed my finger. Yep...needle through the finger. Hole through the nail. Can I just tell you I am freaked out now. I love fabric shopping, but can I make anything? No. I have been taught about 13 times how to do the bobbin and thread. Do I remember? No? I wish I could sew. I wish I had creative ideas and taste in colors and patterns. I love your aprons. You inspire me. I am sure your mom is so proud. I LOVE the ballet dresses too! LOVE the black and white picture!!! You did great. Cute purse too!

Anne said...

I keep coming back to look at the aprons, they are so neat, I love them!

julie said...

I love the aprons. You do a really good job.

Your Mom is beyond proud of you. How could she not be? Your gorgeous, an amazing mom, cook extraordinaire, just an amazing person.

This post touched my heart because your Mom made my wedding dress. She heard abut my disaster and offered to make a new dress in two weeks time! It was I'm sure stressful for her because she had a million other things going on. Not to mention my dress was was SO simple. No boning, or beads, or anything fancy and I could tell you was wanting to embellish it somehow. But she did what I wanted and totally saved the day.

I think of her every time I look at my pictures. I love your Mom and miss her, too.

rebecca said...

Wow! You just keep adding on to your domestic goddess talents! I love the aprons, but think that purse is the cutest little thing :)

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