Original Post

Like many of us, I learned to sew in my “tweens”.  After an eight week course, I was bristling with knowledge and ready to create a wardrobe full of fabulous dresses that would be the envy of all my friends!  Anyone remember the stackable buttons from the 60s that came in all sorts of colors that you combined to make stunningly original buttons?  The epitome of high fashion – I owned that look and used them on everything!

Unfortunately, the clothes I slaved over tended to scream “WHY IS SHE WEARING THAT THING” rather than “I AM A FASHION ICON”.  (You probably saw that coming if you’ve seen those buttons!)  Not exactly the effect I was going for!  So, my enthusiasm for sewing anything quickly waned and all but fizzled…until I married and discovered that it was a lot easier to make pillows than pants, and window treatments than wearables!

I confess to relapses of frantic, but rewarding, stitching when the kids were small and wanted original costumes for Halloween, special school days, etc., even though they inevitably ended up costing ten times what they would have if purchased!  Building memories, I used to tell my husband!

Before long, life just got too busy, and even pillows and window treatments were made by someone else with far greater skills than I possessed.

And then it happened: some twenty years later, kids out of the nest or in college, me pondering my next phase of life…The sewing bug I thought had fizzled and died came roaring back to life!  My theory is that is has lain dormant all these years, waiting for its big chance – or Project Runway, whichever came first!  In any case, my office windows needed valences, and something in me shouted “sewing project” and I was off!  So I made these…

The bug bites…valences for my office windows first!

Then pillows for daughter’s new apartment bedroom…

…and this for the window…it’s actually apple green
with hot pink grosgrain ribbon trim!

Valence for daughter’s room

…and then these for my daughter’s new apartment…

…and it was kind of fun!

Hmmm…sewing in this century isn’t too bad!  Then a Carolina friend embarked on a year of sewing her clothing instead of purchasing any ready to wear -what an inspiration!  She has wonderful style, and has produced beautiful, flattering, well made clothes that absolutely look like she picked them up at the trendiest boutique!  AND it sounded like she was having fun, too!  I was hooked – ok, not ready to do anything that drastic, but maybe, just maybe I could inch my way back to apparel sewing and actually produce something wearable!

If you haven’t sewn in a while – or ever – it’s a new world out there!  Thanks to the internet, there are fabulous fabrics available with a click online, great new machines with all the bells and whistles, new pattern companies with trendy looks, and an entire cadre of sewists who have sage advice, neat videos, pattern reviews – everything a rookie like me needs to jump back into the world of fashion sewing!

So here we go!  Let the pattern collecting and the fabric hording begin!  First project: basic pencil skirt.  Lined.  Invisible zipper.  I’m already quaking…

Stay tuned!

By the way…if you’d like some great inspiration, run over to Goodbye Valentino!  I promise her enjoyable posts will make you want to whip out the sewing machine – or at least marvel at this talented sewist’s creations!

Comments, tips & ideas always welcome!