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Tuesday February 6, 2007 // By Sarah


The thing I was most excited to register for when we got married was a brand new sewing machine. We actually have a very old Singer (like, 90 years old) from Sandy’s grandma, but between the archaic German instruction manual and the foot-powered wheel, I thought something a little more modern would be better for a beginner.

At some point in my life I kind of knew how to sew. I took home ec, my mom had a sewing machine. There was a denim prairie skirt constructed at some point. But I hadn’t wielded a sewing machine, except for making some really bootleg pillow covers at Stacey’s house, in…twenty years?

So, I found myself a few months after the wedding with a new machine (thanks, McG!), a few ideas, and a massive stash of sewing supplies inherited from my thrifty Grandma Ruth.

I’m having great fun with it so far, though not all my projects have been totally successful. I absolutely lack the patience to be a top-notch seamstress. As I do with my knitting, there have been some incidences where mistakes were covered up or fixed with brute force instead of patient redoing. Like when I appliqued kids’ clothes. In every instance, I planned exactly what I wanted to do, ironed the patches onto the clothes using (permanent) fusible webbing, and then changed my mind, tore the patches off (leaving a sticky mess behind), and ironed on new, larger patches.

My biggest project so far has been my Thailand skirt. Or, as Sandy likes to call it, the frum. (I made it to be appropriate to wear to Buddhist temples…but apparently it makes me look like I’m wearing a wig, if you know what I mean.)

It was surprisingly quick and easy to make. The whole thing has just three pieces. (The back is designed as two separate pieces in case you want to do a zipper. Hahahahaha.) I kept exclaiming, “It totally looks like a skirt!” and running down the hall to show Sandy different versions.

Despite it being pretty easy, I still ran short of time (and patience) and shortcutted the hell out of the finishing on this thing. Surprise, surprise.

Nevertheless, look at me, wearing a skirt I made myself!

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