Monday, October 6, 2008

Sew much fun

Sorry for the dumb pun. =) Being unemployed (still), another thing I've been doing more (other than baking and preserving and gardening) is sewing.

My mom has been sewing forever so I grew up with needles and pins in the carpet, thread stuck to my clothes, piles of fabric here and there, and a sewing machine and ironing board always at the ready. I started sewing my first quilt in 6th grade (though I didn't finish it till after college!) and I remember trying to sew doll clothes. I helped my mom with sewing projects and I'm pretty sure she probably made me sew on my own buttons if they fell off.

In recent years I've taken on making clothes for people: pajama pants for the men in the family at Christmas and a bathrobe for my brother (which he grew out of years ago I'm sure). I didn't think of this skill as much more than a hobby or a way to come up with a fun Christmas present.

But then Jeremy asked if I could try some things. His favorite white shirt was beyond thread-bare, including a torn out elbow. He wondered, innocently (not realizing the complexity of the request), if I could make him a new shirt. With some spare time on my hands I took the shirt apart and used it to make a pattern (taking in some parts and making the sleeves longer).

I needed to test it first though. Could I actually follow my directions and figure out how to sew a new shirt? My mom had sent me a bunch of white fabric years ago to make curtains for my room. I had a lot leftover so I made a test shirt out of this. (A friend of Jeremy's remarked on this fact: "How very Sound of Music of you.") The shirt turned out pretty nicely:

With the pattern worked out, we got some non-curtain material and I made another shirt (I may include a picture later when I get a new camera).

A friend saw this and asked if I could make a cover for her ottoman. She had an extra couch cover that she wasn't using so I used that to make the cover:

Then Jeremy wanted bike shorts because his old ones were wretchedly awful and in desperate need of replacing.

I'm excited about making more shirts, but Jeremy says he has enough for now. That's too bad because we just found a great source of organic cotton: Tenfold Organic Textiles. We'll order from them when Jeremy needs another shirt. With the weather getting colder, Jeremy has requested a longer pair of biking pants and we also picked up a pattern for some work pants. We found some great organic heavier material in a herringbone pattern. The material has been out of stock all summer but hopefully we'll be able to get some soon.

And maybe, as the weather gets colder, I'll start making quilts again.


@bdul muHib said...

Sweet. Our gas heater failed, so we haven't had any heat for a the last two nights, so if you could send a couple quilts our way...

Sucks with the unemployment deal.

This seems to be a good place to point out culture shock issues. I was at an Octoberfest, and they had hotdogs. I asked for the mayonnaise condiment. They gave me a look like I was insane, asking me why in the world I'd want mayyonaise for a hotdog? But they did have pickles. (ick.)

Aimee said...

Uh..sure... =)

You have to admit it is kind of weird putting mayonnaise on hot dogs - but pickles are even weirder (and grosser!)

@bdul muHib said...

nah-uh! Mayo is tres normal on a hot dog!

megan said...


Just ran across your blog site while searching for organic cotton sources, and am very impressed with your sewing skills! Was wondering if you had any advice or patterns for a relatively simple dress? I'm fairly new at sewing, but want to make myself something to wear around town this summer. Let me know if you have any seamstress wisdom to send my way!


Aimee said...

Hi Megan, thanks! I don't actually have any dress patterns myself, though I've been thinking about looking into that too.
To find a pattern you can look at some of the pattern companies online (,,, etc) or go to a fabric store and look through their pattern books. Take your measurements so you can get the right amount of material.
I think some patterns will have a rating as to whether the pattern is easy or difficult. Most importantly, read all the directions and make sure you understand them. And, if you're a beginner, be patient with yourself. =)