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So, about that sewing...

I don’t like hand sewing and I hate the sewing machine but both are integral to the projects I create.


Back in the day, we had to take Home Ec in high school, both cooking and sewing. The teacher informed us we couldn’t sew until we passed the sewing machine test. I didn’t want to sew so I didn’t pass the test. Later I found out I needed to complete an outfit to pass the class. I had to do some catching up and with a lot of help from my Grandmother, we made a dress. I hated that dress.


My grandmother was a great seamstress, in addition to every other needlecraft. She tried to get us to make Barbie clothes (years before home ec). I hated Barbie so I wasn’t interested. None of her children or grandchildren sew.


So that was the beginning of my non-sewing career.


One year for Christmas my husband (now ex) got me a sewing machine. He thought I would like quilting. I do all sorts of crafts so it was a reasonable assumption. But, of course, quilting didn’t interest me. I do appreciate the craft and what others create with it. I have tried it and it’s not for me, it’s too precise. So I have a long history of hating sewing. However, sometimes I need it to complete some of my projects. So I need the knowledge to use the machine but I never use it enough to remember.


I see how people upcycle clothing on Pinterest, and I love how creative it can get. I tried it on my own and it wasn’t great. I took some sewing lessons (with multiple teachers) to help me.


1- I found out I still do not like sewing.

2- Sewing is only part of the process.


So, it is not just sewing, it’s working with patterns, knowing your material, pinning, measuring, cutting, ironing, pressing, and more. Usually, I can figure things out but this was beyond me.

I still do some sewing. I can now change my needle, wind a bobbin and change the foot. I still can’t figure out construction. I tried, I really did. So I just do sachets & pillows and some easy upcycling. I do it, not perfectly but good enough for me.


The best sewing experience I had was in a class where the sales rep for the machines was there. So he was available to troubleshoot and help with whatever. It also helped that it was a shabby chic style fabric book so it didn’t need to be perfect. When I went into this class I told the teacher I was going to glue, not sew. She took my glue away!


I have bags of unfinished projects. A coat made of upholstery remnants that needs finishing. (Project found in Altered magazine Nov, Dec, Jan 2017.) I tried but it’s a mess. It also needs a collar and sleeves.


I have fabric from a curtain I want (someone else) to turn into overalls.


Old grain sacks that I would like to become a coat.


A doily hankie quilt that needs the backing sewn on better.


Quilt backed with vintage tablecloth.


That’s just what I can think of off the top of my head.




Upcycled clothing. Some of my more successful attempts.


I have so many ideas for upcycling but no skills to back it up. I’m hoping to find a seamstress I can work with. Tell her what I want and voila, done! Or am I looking for a magician?

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