Sewing has become such a wonderful outlet for me in these last few weeks. I am still at a loss as to why. Sewing has always been painful for me. Just like embroidery used to be when I was a child (for the record, I think embroidery would still be painful. I’ll just never know because I am going to stay far, far away from that needle and thread!). Maybe I’ve gravitated to sewing because I’ve chosen quick projects with just a small amount of challenge (i.e. learning just one new technique instead of five). The projects I’ve chosen are fun and easily done in a few broken up hours (because I sure don’t have 3-4 straight baby-free hours these days!). So, I work during naps (often cutting out the fabric) and sew after bedtime (or during the second nap). And then perhaps the most rewarding and exciting part of my projects is that I can immediately use them!
I also notice that I’m not cutting corners like I would have in the past. For example, I’ll actually use pins (even though they’re a pain!) to make the edges align instead of eyeballing it. This saves me some seam ripping. However, I have yet to sew a zipper perfectly. In fact, my zipper sewing skills seem to be tanking, but I’ve got to keep practicing (and ripping out stitches) in order to improve, right?!
So, here’s the next project I promised. I found the pattern and tutorial here. It’s for a cosmetic wedge. Cosmetics? Me? Haha! For my purposes, I’ll call it a “bag”. I love the size of it and the fabrics are also fun. When Doug and I were in Zimbabwe, we bought several varieties of African fabric for my mom (which she incorporated into Nathaniel’s baby quilt). She and I thought that those fabrics (just languishing in her stash) would be perfect, so she sent them my way. The bead on the zipper pull is also from Zimbabwe. How fun!
Isn’t this a great little bag? Consequently, only the bottom/lining fabric is Zimbabwean. The top isn’t. I skipped the iron-on vinyl that the author suggested (mostly because it seemed to be an unnecessary pain and I didn’t feel I needed the waterproofing that vinyl offered). And, I only made one mistake (that’s non-fixable), but I’m not telling where!
I found this fun pattern online and knew I had to try it! For those of you who know me, you know I do not sew. But lately I’ve been itching to get creative and, in my mind, there’s no better time then now to practice. Because we all know practice makes perfect, right? Right.
I found this beautiful fabric from Ghana (a good friend brought it back for me) in my forgotten bin of scraps and knew it was just the thing to inspire me! I made a quick stop at JoAnn Fabrics to find an acceptable lining color. It’s supposed to be reversible, but I decided to add a pocket (I know! What was I thinking?!), so I’m pretty sure I’ll keep it with the print on the outside.
I’m in love with my new bag! I had originally added a “sew-in” snap and decided (after all that work!) that I would rather a magnetic snap (why didn’t I think of that first?), so I took it all out and inserted a new snap (this also required opening up my seams, so the finished product is not quite as nice as it was, but I still love it! It’s perfect because it fits everything I need (an extra diaper, wipes, wallet, cell phone – thank you pocket! – and even a Nalgene bottle!).
If I can do this, you can too! What gave me the most confidence? I figured out how to sew darts! They aren’t difficult at all, yet I was so empowered after successfully sewing four of those buggers! (
Don’t tell, but I had to take one out because I wasn’t paying attention…) And, this is a personal record, I only called my mom looking for advice (for the magnetic snap) once!!
Oh, and guess what?! I have already completed project #2 (and I’m working on #3!)! Keep checking because I’ll post those soon too!
I was cleaning up today and as it usually happens I got side tracked. In the corner of our living room there is a chest that houses some of my childhood memories of years past (things that I had perhaps grown “out of”, but was unwilling to pitch). When I opened up the chest I found some wonderful memories that I had totally forgotten about! In amongst the glow lights, small knick knacks, and horse boots I found clay! It all started the summer I was going into 6th grade and I found out that there was no room in the class for me (or at least at the time). My mom ended up home schooling me for half the year. We had a blast visiting all sorts of museums and natural history places and it was at one of these places that we came upon an Indian village and noticed their carvings etc. When we got home, my assignment was to make my very own “carvings” out of clay. So, what began as a school assignment became so much more as the hours passed by and I created things. I let my imagination run wild and I had so much fun doing it! I continued making clay things long after my initial encounter, but at some point it all got boxed up and put in this chest.
When I opened that chest up today, I took a trip down memory lane and I had this intense desire to play with some clay (if it was still soft enough!). This is what I created – and it was all a big experiment, but I had fun doing it. I think I will have to have another clay date sometime very soon!
p.s. They are all beads! The biggest one is probably about half dollar size (maybe a smidgen bigger) and the smallest is pea sized.