Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Getting (re)Started

This past Christmas, I did something that was, for me, pretty rare: I stopped talking about doing something, and did it. I bought a sewing machine.

I come from a family of seamstresses and crafters. My maternal grandmother sewed, crocheted, and made mixed-media wall art and murals. My mom carried on the tradition by sewing clothing for herself during her teens and twenties, and later Halloween costumes and play dresses for me. My paternal grandmother also sewed, and used to make gorgeous hand-smocked dresses for me when I was little. Her daughters, my aunts, sew and quilt in addition to making dolls and jewelry.

In this photo from 2005 (not my best hair era), I'm wearing a dress one of my aunts made
in the 1970s from 1940s fabric and a bakelite belt buckle.

Given all that, it's not surprising that I've got the crafting bug, too. I used to make jewelry, and I've dabbled in knitting and crocheting. About six summers ago, I took a sewing class through Santa Monica College's fashion program. During that class, I learned all the basics of operating a machine, reading a pattern, and constructing a garment. Then... I went back East to college and barely sewed at all for years. Between dorm rooms and NYC apartments, there was no space to even keep a machine, let alone spread out and work on a project. Still, I missed sewing, especially when paying exorbitant tailoring bills for the simplest alterations.

This year, I finally decided that I would make space somehow and bought a sewing machine. Sadly, I've forgotten most of what I learned about sewing. With the help of the internet, though, I'm sure I can make do. I'm hoping to tailor my own clothes, as well as make clothing and home items- and I'll record my progress here!

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