Tonight I give myself a pat on the back. I was given a sewing machine in 2000 by my best friend and used it now and then. I guess it was because I was a little afraid of this strange piece of machinery because in my high-and-mighty high school years I was offended by the thought that I should take Home Ec. I was a liberal feminist darnit and I wasn't going to fall into stereotypes of what girls should learn! (Ah, the good old days). Which is funny because I always loved working with my hands, and actually did want to learn how to sew. I would watch my mother make our Halloween costumes and would be fascinated by strips of green sequins or the rustle of satin fabric or the tiny script on the tissue paper of dress patterns. But I had an obsession with "old fashioned" notions of sewing and wanted to sew by hand. I studied vintage encyclopedias that did stereotype what girls should be learning and pored over the instructions for embroidering hankies and the like. I was such a confused child and my mother must have just shook her head knowing how stubborn I was when I was sure I was right (something I still struggle with as an adult, I admit it!).
So as I grew I had to learn how to sew a button, and if a hem came out of my pants I resorted to stapling it in a pinch until I could get it to the tailor. And here's an ironic thing. I worked in a tuxedo shop for years in high school and college and I can hem a pair of tuxedo pants on the hemming machine like nobody;s business. I still can eyeball a guy into his suit size pretty accurately, I'm proud to say!
Now that I'm a mom and have a little girl I'm trying to find my inner sewer. So I broke out the old sewing machine and decided to try making a skirt for her. Being four, she is obsessed with skirts and would wear them every day if mean old Mommy would let her. Alas, Michigan weather sides with me during the winter so she is doomed to wear pants for the past several months. Now that it's getting warmer I'm not only agreeing to the skirts, but now adding to the collection. :) I found a great pattern courtesy of Dana. Check out her blog, it's good reading. I picked up a half yard of cotton fabric at Joanns and went to work. I'm happy with how it turned out...took me a little longer than it will for someone who is familiar with their machine, but once I got in the groove, I was able to finish it in a couple of hours. (The sewing was easy, but getting an even cut was driving me nuts!) Needless to say, it was super cute, my daughter loves it and I figured out some things about my sewing machine. There were some scraps left over so I even made a quick skirt for her Bitty Baby! It was fun, and I'm already planning on making a second skirt for her, but not tonight. Now it's ridiculously late and I really need to sleep.