Monday, January 4, 2016

2016 Ambition: To Sew

The last time I sat down to sew something it was the 2nd time I'd sat down to sew anything, with any real intention.

I grew up in a house where the constant background noise was a sewing machine. My mother wasn't really able to work a 40 hour week due to her health, but she did everything she could to make money for the family. Dad would make shelves out of wood and mom would sew clown dolls, carousel horse door stops and giant frogs on roller skates.  The doll and the frogs had beautiful hand embroidered faces and were around 3 1/2 feet tall when finished.  She'd pour her all into each of them, with her Southern Gospel music playing behind her, and when she was finished dad would take them out to find them families.  He would leave with van full of creatures and come back with food for the table.
I remember one day, in Alabama, I decided it probably wasn't really that hard and sat down at her machine for a lesson.

I nearly died that day...
and the court would have exonerated my mother of all charges because I. Would. Have. Deserved. It.

I was roughly my daughter's age now, so 11-13 and I was around 24 when I felt I had lived far enough past that brush with death that I would dare to tempt fate again.  This time I was ready - this time I chained my mother to a chair bolted to the floor, I wrapped her in barbed wire, I dug a moat and filled it with crocodiles, I....

Just kidding :).

My second attempt went a bit better.  Perhaps it was because I had a plan.  Perhaps because I knew that a needle going through my finger would have traumatized 11 year old me due to pain, but 24 year old me had gone through childbirth twice...I could handle a needle to the finger.
What did I make in this second attempt?  A dress for my daughter?  A pillow?

Um...I made a 13th century monk's hood for the SCA :)  You can see a bit of it below.

I created it to compete in the Queen's Prize. I didn't win the big prize, but I did win an amazing little bottle of homemade Meade :D.
My follow-up run with the machine was a success as well - though a small one.  I made a tiny plaid bag with a ribbon draw-string to hang from my belt and a plaid tote bag to carry our dinner things or whatever embroidery I was working on at the time.  All, of course, for the SCA.

Its been some time since I've sat at a machine - 10 years now (wow....I can't believe its been that long).  My motivation is different now, but better, I think.  We live in a world where your value is based on your size and how well your clothing fits and, sadly, my daughter is a victim to that.  A family of 5 with 1 income can make the purse strings a big tight and buying new clothes, even at Walmart prices, can be a luxury.  Not to mention that buying a M or XL ONLY means that the shirt is longer....not wider and she is forced to feel like everything is just too tight.  She thinks she has to lose weight to have cute which I say Nay Nay!!

I have ideas for a couple of dresses and a really cute coat.  I tried making a little version of the coat the other day and realized that perhaps I need to crawl before I try to enter  a marathon.  With that in mind, Lylli and I picked out some cute material and I'm going to make some little drawstring bags - perhaps one with a button closure if I'm feeling particularly lucky.  In the first image I posted here, you can see Lylli's material with the cute little elephants and mine with the bicycles.

I'll have her stylin' in no time!!

My model and Muse :)
Pray for me! :D