Sunday, August 19, 2007

Sew Lovely

Sewing was something I never intended to delve into before having a baby. I knew I wanted to knit and crochet, but sewing was strictly for jazzing up plain clothing with appliqués, mending holes, and reattaching buttons. I always thought that it would be awesome to make our own clothes, but since my home ec and practical arts experiences just came this short of nightmarish, I was always quick to dismiss the possibility of doing this. Having a baby, though, can certainly show you that you are more capable than you think.

I hope I didn’t lead you to believe that I’ve already been expertly producing clothes for the little one because I haven’t. Yet. I only meant to say that it’s now potentially something that I could do, you know, in the future. I would love to be working on Marguerite’s first birthday dress now, but it’s too premature for that. I do plan to make her first birthday bib, so that’s a step in the right direction, I believe.

The thing that made me reconsider the whole sewing thing was a hotsling. Ten years from now as I’m churning out exquisite samplers (hah!), dresses, and costumes, I’ll remember to note that it all started with wanting to babywear. My mother and my sister had given me backpack carriers that I somehow couldn’t adjust to my body (believe me, I’m beyond petite) and that they ended up using themselves (but still to carry Marguerite). I was all set to buy a ring sling when somebody posted a “Look What I Made” thread in my birth club. As I’m sure you can guess, it was a sling and the poster was very kind to post the link to the how-to website . I visited the site and the rest is sewing history (not great history, but still history).

Would you believe that my slings were hand sewn? We have two sewing machines here, both with broken parts that we’re too indolent to do something about.

My second sewing project was leg warmers for babies (the most popular brand of which is babylegs , its name now coined to refer to all baby leg warmers). They’re perfect for little crawlers and are especially practical now that it’s dengue season. Anyway, birth clubs are a real godsend as I got the link to the how-to site from the same place. I also learned to make a tutu from there, but this type doesn’t require sewing. Like the slings, Marguerite’s babylegs were hand sewn. I had to improvise a little with the first pair of leg warmers as they were originally my Mom’s unused knee stockings and were too big.

A few weeks back, Husband finally borrowed his sister’s machine for me as it was just too ridiculous to spend hours stitching something that I could just zip through using the machine. I’ve made shopping cart covers using old bed sheets and following instructions from the same site that teaches how to make slings.

My current projects are a patchwork quilt with squares from family members’ old (but significant) items and another pair of babylegs, this time from my sister’s unused tube socks. I plan to add rickrack and heart and flower patches as they’re plain white.

I know that a lot of you can relate when I say that making our own things feels so good. I get to exercise my creativity and save money as well. I get more adventurous (sewing-wise) everyday, but I don’t think I’ll dare to make an actual dress just yet. After Marguerite’s birthday, I’ll start on my next project, which is a costume for our annual October 31st party (Do I mean a Halloween party? We don’t call it that to avoid issues with my Dad. :-p). Anticipating this event (as she’s its main propulsor), Sister had given me a book on making costumes as a Christmas present last year. I’ll see if I can come up with something fancy-pants. Hee!


tin said...

Hi Ivy! You know I remembered me and Joi having a conversation about taking sewing courses, I just can't remember if it was for our own use! She'll do the sewing and I'll learn pattern making...and now Ive learned your interest in this, you'll be our designer...hehehe....
Honestly? I really want to learn how to sew using a machone, its just that I've had that sewing machine and yet I don't even know how to put a thread on its needle!
And before I forget, Can you pls give me the size for that patchwork again pls?

spinninglovelydays said...

hi, christine. i'm still feeling my way around your machine as i'd always used a manual one in the past. i think i changed the measurement of the squares to 9x9. that's a safe one anyway.
btw, joi, in case you're reading this, i'm totally using your thread. will replace. :)

tin said...

wait wait wait....I think I found the manual and stashed it in one of my boxes a few months ago. I hope I can still find it :)

maf said...

hi ivy,

i'm amazed at your talent!
these babylegs thing is interesting and useful huh!...i might as well, get one for Toni - you know i can't sew unlike you. :=)please tell me more when we meet!



spinninglovelydays said...

thanks, maf. just ask away the next time we see each other. :)