Stitch by Stitch

U want to sell your sewing machine?

My stomach turned.  I hadn’t thought about it, but taking my Singer on the road didn’t make much sense.  The likelihood of me sewing while trying to travel and work and live out of our Trailblazer was… well… not good.  But I was still caught off guard by my husband’s text.

Yes, I own a sewing machine.  I have even used it, although admittedly not since moving to Florida over three years ago.  But my attachment to it is less about how recently I’ve used it and more about what it’s been used for.

I made my daughter’s baptismal gown.  It was made from white eyelet material and had lace trimmed cap sleeves and a Velcro closure in the back.  It still smells like the consecrated oil we rubbed into her forehead.

Before she was born I made lavender cushion covers for the glider in her nursery.  They covered the country blue that had been more appropriate when my dad had given it to me to celebrate Devin’s arrival.  The lavender cushions coordinated with the curtains I made to hang on her windows, curtains that were foolishly opaque and were utterly useless at blocking out the light in my newborn’s bedroom.  But they sure were pretty.

I also made Jared pajama pants for Christmas one year, drapes for our oddly shaped windows, and valances for our newly remodeled kitchen.  I was especially proud of those valances, which I made from cloth napkins.

But all of those projects were a lifetime ago.  My sewing machine has sat in a linen closet in a guest bathroom since we moved into this house, along with a growing pile of things that need to be hemmed or patched or altered in some way.  Some day.

And then my friend Deborah wrote a book about sewing and she sent it to me to see what I thought.


Stitch by Stitch, by Deborah Moebes

I opened the book because I adore Deborah and I wanted to be able to celebrate her success with sincerity.  But as I ran my fingers over each beautiful page, I found myself aching to create something of my very own again.  She spoke to me like a friend and I could feel her sitting beside me, guiding me through the simple steps that turned into completed projects.  I began to create a mental list of all the things I could use this book to make.  I fantasized about finally understanding what the hell all those buttons were for on my basic model Singer.

Stitch by Stitch sewing book

And then I closed the book and set it on my coffee table where it could impress my house guests with it’s simple beauty.

I received Jared’s text – along with the follow up that he thinks he “got it sold – $20″ – on Friday.  Sunday morning I received an email from Deborah, reminding me that I’d agreed to be a stop on her “Stitch by Stitch Virtual World Tour” today.  Be it irony or kismet, I realized this morning that I still have several months before I begin my nomadic life.  Several months in which I can, with a little help from my friend, get to know my little sewing machine a little better.

If you’ve ever fantasized about making your own clothes, curtains, or cushions, I encourage you to check out Stitch by Stitch.

That being said, I have yet to actually pull my machine out of the closet.  So don’t listen to me.  Listen, instead, to Deborah and what she has to say about people (like me) who are thinking about learning to sew.  Again. (after the jump)

“Seems like for years, sewing was almost exclusively seen as an old-lady pastime. Then Project Runway hit, and it transformed peoples’ expectations of sewing—sewing wasn’t just for making curtains in your first place or making quilts whenyou’re ancient. Suddenly, sewing was a way to express yourself, a means of creativity and artistry, and a way of having some very, very cool clothes. I love that with that single viral idea, folks our age took to their machines in a way that really is unprecedented.

It probably had a lot to do with the fact that the primary viewing demographic for Project Runway is women of child-bearing age, and that when a lot of us had kids,we wanted to be able to make cute outfits for them the way our moms did for us. It probably had something to do with the nose-dive the economy took and the way we all cut back our budgets and our expenses, which made sewing for ourselves and our kids both an activity to replace expensive nights on the town and a way to save money on clothes. It certainly had a lot to do with the glorification of design and the new availability of fabulous fabrics that all collided at just the right point in time on HGTV and Bravo and the internets.

Bottom line, sewing is back and it is bolder and cooler than most of us ever imagined. The class most girls hated all the way through high school is the skill we’re all working to master. The lessons we had from our moms or aunts or grammas or neighbors are the ones we’re wishing we’d paid closer attention to. The envy we felt for the girl who was always dressed just so is the image in our brains spurring us on to sit down and tackle sewing one more time. The good news is it’s easier than we remember, more inspiring than we knew, and there are ideas and opportunities around every virtual corner on the web. I couldn’t be more excited to see what folks are stitching up, and sincerely hope that this book gets them each closer to making the ideas in their heads turn into realities in their hands.”

Alright, now let’s take bets on whether or not *I* actually get my butt in gear and make something in the next few months? (OH MY GOD CHRISTMAS PRESENT IDEAS!!  YESSSSSSSSS!!)

(FYI, I didn’t get anything for writing this post.  Deborah sent me a copy of her book when it was first published it and I posted a review of it on Amazon.  I am not giving it away, because it’s mine and I love it.  I’m playing hostess on the virtual blog tour because I love her.  Lots.  If you are in the Atlanta area, you should go meet her.  Seriously.  She is so unbelievably cool and you will thank me.)

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