Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Sew and Sew

Cozy flannel two piece 'sports' jammies for The Storyteller, finished on Saturday.

A nice full cherry covered apron for The Dreamer, with the required 'big bow' at the back and a sweet gathered pocket hiding in the cherries, completed on Sunday!

I love sewing for our children, but I don't have the time or energy to do it as often as I would like. I have not given up, but I have adjusted my expectations! I sew Sunday dresses and special occasion garments, just for fun'dress up' items, and hard to find garments for the children, and it makes my heart sing to know how much they love to wear something made by Mommy.

As a teenager I worked part time at a wonderful Canadian fabric store, part of a nationwide chain of stores. I loved working there - most of the time! I rarely brought home a complete paycheck, since I often had a stack of fabric and notions that I could not pass up! I made most of my own clothes and I sewed constantly. When The Historian and I were married, I had to my credit 11 big boxes of fabric! For about 5 years I made much of our clothing, our simple gift items and our 'parsonage home decor' using the contents of those boxes - and since we were as poor as church mice, it was wonderful to have!

My biggest frustration in working at the fabric store was with a certain group of customers - women in their mid to late 40's in fact! These ladies would come into the store - often with a young teenage daughter in tow and they would proceed to buy 'the list' of items required for a grade 9 home economics class project - usually a gathered apron. Most of these ladies professed a deep love of sewing in their teen years, but hadn't done much sewing 'since we had the kids'.

I do hope my frustration with these ladies was not too evident, but perhaps it was since I've always been rather too transparent. I was so perplexed with these dear ladies because to my mind, they had missed a golden opportunity - to sew for their children! I determined that I would not be 'one of those ladies', that if God blessed me with children, I would sew for them.

May I say that I now know the folly of my youth? I feel terrible for judging those poor mothers so long ago! I was so sure of myself - determined to find a way to sew for my children and not at all understanding the daily demands of parenting. I have sewn for our children - on and off throughout their lives, but it has not been as easy as I thought it would be. My time is not my own, and each day is filled with the tasks of daily living. Children grow so quickly - keeping up with a full wardrobe of purchased clothing is hard - anticipating their growth is nearly impossible! We love hand me downs and thrift stores - if our children had to rely on my sewing for them they would be poorly dressed indeed! Many times my sewing machine has gathered dust for months or been buried under unfinished projects and mending!

I will soon be one of those women in their 40's and I am glad! I have learned so much and come so far - I hope! God has allowed us to go through some deep valleys and we have learned to trust Him more with each trial we have faced. I am glad just to do the bit of sewing and crafting I find time for - and I dream of the day when I can work on a project without quite so many interruptions! In the meantime, I'm still a sew and sew once in a while!


  1. It's funny how God can take these things and use them to humble us. I have a friend whom I love dearly but it seems she is always late. I met her when I was pregnant. If she said she was going to pick me up at such and such a time I would usually add about half an hour on to that. I would get so frustrated by this. I thought, "she knows it takes longer when you have a child to get ready so she should just get her daughter and her started that much earlier ....." I had all these ideas of how once I had my baby I'd still be good at time management.

    HA! Now that I have my daughter I understand just how wrong that attitude was. Even when I do start getting my baby and I ready and give myself plenty of time something always seems to come up to delay us.

    I am a lot more patient and understanding now that I have a child of my own. Things that had seemed so clear cut are not so clear anymore....

    As for sewing ... I never did much of it when I was younger. I used to think it was so cool that you would just make all these things and I felt so inadequate since I had no talent it seemed in that area. Home Ec was a nightmare for me! However, attitude change again. I would love to make some things for SweetPea and am starting to look into it for when she gets older as it seems clothes in the store seem determined to dress my wee girl as a mini-adult who's about to go cruising in a bar.

    Ok, long comment ... I'm done now :)

  2. Long comments are fine - they match my long posts!

    I really encourage you to give sewing another chance - I know that a smart lady like yourself can do it! My secret - pick simple patterns and awesome fabrics - like the designers do! Most of their 'charm' is in the great fabrics they select! Never never skimp on thread - cheap thread will continually break and drive any seamstress nuts!

    You'll need to sew for SweetPea after size 6x - that's when the classic clothes virtually vanish and skin tight belly baring fashions take over! Unless you can budget for Hanna Anderson, Hartstrings, Land's End, LL Bean, CWD, etc.,... they still have kids clothes that cover, are cute and classic. I shop online for sales, but I miss having a family to 'hand them down' to our sweet girl! We were so spoiled!

  3. I forgot to say - The Dreamer had a habit of throwing up in my hair 5 minutes before we left for anywhere - we were often late - and I thought I'd never be late! When The Storyteller came along it was even worse - he always made us late for church one way and another! Usually it was a filling of the diaper requiring a full bath and complete change! Not good for the Pastor's family!

  4. Heather . . .

    I just love the cherry apron, and I wish I had been able to see it on her.

    Will save that for later I'm sure.

    Your talent at the sewing machine is wonderful. I am wearing a personalized shirt even now. Thanks to you.

    You are a great mommy and daughter honey

  5. Hi Heather!
    What cute pajamas! They look very warm and cozy!
    The cherry apron is soooo pretty! I love the rick-rack trim!

  6. Kelli - can an apron be made without rick-rack? I don't think it is possible! Actually - the fabric was 'leftover' from some kitchen curtains I did years ago for a friend and she didn't want the remnent - sooooo I wanted to make the apron, but was a little short - the rick-rack is covering up my 'piecing' of the front and back. I barely had enough for the pocket!
    I also have a 1930's apron of my husband's grandmother's that I am trying to make a pattern from - and as I am looking it over carefully I am noticing how it is pieced here and there - she must have made use of every inch of fabric she had! It is so rotted, but I love it! Aprons are delightful!


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