Sunday, June 21, 2009

Sew, Sew

Hi Knitters,
I've caught a sewing bug and The Collector has joined me. She had some fleece she had picked out quite awhile ago. We made up a pattern from scratch on paper and pinned it on the fleece and cut it out. We did the same for the handles.
Next, she hand stitched the entire thing together with a needle and thread. She did a great job with this project. She has so many projects going at all times. The stripey gourd snake is lingering on my front stoop. I have asked her about it several times but she isn't interested in finishing the stripes right now. Hopefully it will come back to her soon.
Next up, The Collector is holding my first finished sewing project since home economics class in 7th grade, where I made a laundry bag. I made Amy Butler's Birdie Sling using Amy's fabrics as well. My sister came over and taught me how to use my sewing machine. I am doing pretty well with it and I have made a few more things since this bag. I finished the Birdie Sling in one day. I became obsessed with finishing it. I have done some hems and tailored the bodice of a dress to fit me, that was an experience. I made up my own way as I went along. I am sure it is completely wrong but now the dress fits and it looks fine. What's wrong in that?
The bag on the left is mine and the bag on the right is my sister's version. We flip-flopped fabrics and I actually bought her fabrics for the bag as a birthday gift for her. The only problem is that her daughter has taken over her bag completely and I don't think she has used it once. She doesn't mind a bit.
Well, now here is my problem and I know there is an easy solution. I can put a bobbin in my machine when it is empty and then I can load on the matching yarn and it all works fine. I can thread my machine, too, which is a great accomplishment for me. What I can't do is put in a bobbin with thread already on it and then get the thread to come up and work. I can't get it to catch. I called my sister yesterday and she told me over the phone how to do it. I still can't get it to work. Maybe tomorrow I'll figure it out. She may have to come over and show me. I really have no idea what I am doing, it is all pure chance when something goes right.
The lining is the best, it is called Happy Dots. The Birdie Sling has fantastic pockets inside. Great pattern, clear instructions, it even includes pleats on the outside. I learned a ton by making this bag as first round try. Fun, fun!
Okay, you will never guess what this outfit is. Check out the metallic detail on the fabric. There is so much going on here.
My sister dug this one out of storage for me to look at. (See that half finished stripey snake on the table?) Let me tell you about this. When my slightly older sister was in middle school she took a sewing class. This was in the mid-1970's. There was a Singer store at the mall where she took her class. Being the over-achiever that she still is today, she selected this full ensemble as her summer project, full-on high waisted pants, groovy hat and slick jacket with a zipper. I bet my mom just about died at her choice. I am sure the other kids didn't pick anything as complicated. 

I remember her (and my talented seamstress mom) working on this project very hard that summer. In the end it was a work of perfection from head to toe. I mean, wow, just look at that. (If you haven't noticed, my sister was and is a tiny little thing being that the Collector is quite a bit younger than my sister when she wore the outfit). 

At the end of the summer there was a style show in the middle of the mall, complete with a stage, an emcee and music. My mom and I went to watch my sister strut her stuff. She wore some platform sandals to top it all off. The hat was worn slightly tipped to the side. I was really proud of my sister, bursting really. If only I could be that beautiful and cool as her, that's never happened. They actually had judges who selected the winner of the sewing class, isn't that weird to make a sewing class a competition? My sister won first place! She got a little box of jewelry as the prize. I thought she was the coolest thing ever. 

The rest of my family, dad and brothers, were meeting my grandparents at the Wisconsin Dells for a few days and they were already there. We went late to join them because of the fashion show. I remember all of this vividly and it was about 30 years ago. That's so funny because sometimes I feel like I can't remember yesterday.

Anyway, this sewing tale had a happy ending to say the least. My first project had a happy ending, too. Sewing is pretty fun and fast, it's a good change of pace. I am getting a kick out of it for sure.

Tomorrow I'll be back to the knitting as usual, pattern writing to be specific. I am getting a back-log of patterns that need to be written up and it doesn't feel very good. Uneasy.

Good night. I'll be back soon.
best, susie 


Rachel said...

LOVE the 70's fun is that??? You are such an inspiration Susan, its fun to watch your sewing projects coming together. The bags are really cute!

Your Collector sounds like my 2--always creating and scoring big on the projects...yet alot of them are still sitting waiting to be finished or put in a proper place. Relieved our house isn't the only one!!!!

Have a great week!!!!


Miss L's Craft Room said...

Your bag is great!!! Sewing is the best and is also my favorite craft. Knitting is a close second. The little things like getting a loaded bobbin set up in a machine properly can be so frustrating. I'm showing my grown daughter how to sew and the groans I get everytime I mention changing the bobbin. :) It's all worth it though. Great fabric choices too.
ps I love everything Itty Bitty!

Anonymous said...

Hello! I can't remember what brand of sewing machine you have, but here is a link to a YouTube video on how to load a bobbin! YouTube must have a video on how to do most anything!!

Hope this helps, because it is the only kind I can offer :) ---Ramona

Amy said...

Hi Susan...Just wanted to say that although I am an avid knitter, crocheter, embroiderer, etc., my love of sewing has been a blessing like no other to me. I hope you find it the same. Your purse came out you can make one for every season :)


leslie said...

Hi! I made two of the Birdie sling bags last year and I love them! The second bag I gathered the fabric instead of pleating... for variation! Your bags are beautiful and I love the lining fabric! These hold a TON of stuff! Have fun with it!

Kate (KnitsInClass) said...

Multiple projects at once? The Collector sounds like a born crafter!

Your sewing projects look fantastic - and I love your sister's 70s outfit!

Kathleen said...

OMG! I just cut out the fabric for that bag on Saturday....too weird. And, I think my daughter also has her eyes on it....that Amy Butler fabric is awesome. Leave it to Rowan, hey.

Belle said...

My sister and I also took sewing lessons at our mall's Singer store in the 70's! What memories!

Chris said...

I was hoping you'd show us what you had been sewing! Great job on the bag! My first sewing project was a tote bag; I've made several for gits, they're so fun. How cool that your sister saved her 70's outfit, and that it now fit your daughter when she is learning how to sew. Fun!

Sarah said...

There's so much to love in this post! Your birdie sling is great! I've been wanting to make that pattern; I love making bags and purses! The sewing bug caught me hard, and it has yet to turn me loose :)

And that's QUITE an outfit! I'm super impressed with the perfectly symmetrical collars; mine never come out that well!

Dianne MacDonald said...

Obviously a family of over-achieving crafters! Those are great genes you're passing on!

Anonymous said...

Where can I get the pattern and/or material for the Birdie Sling purse?
Try turning the bobbin around the other way in the bobbin casing. If you were holding the bobbin casing in your left hand, putting the bobbin with your right hand, the thread should be going over the top, away from you on most bobbin casing. The you pull the threat up through the little slit in the casing before you insert it into the machine. Hope it helps.
Sharon in Va