All of my life I have loved to sew. When I was in elementary school, my Mama would give me scraps of fabric (probably from something she had purchased at the Goodwill store in a 25 cent “grab bag”) and a needle and thread so that I could stitch up a new outfit for one of my dollies.
Before long, at least by middle school, I was sewing on an old Singer sewing machine that my grandma had given us. Back then I could go to the local Dime Store and if I had $2.00 I could buy a pattern and enough fabric and thread to make myself a new dress.
Back in the “olden days,” when we had to take Home Economics class (at least in the rural, farm community where I went to school), I discovered that my sewing skills had progressed beyond the pillow cases and aprons that we were making in class, but I definitely learned a lot about some of the details, like how to place the pattern on the fabric and what a seam allowance was!
I made most of my clothing throughout high school and college, and when my older children were small, I made many of their garments, as well. I took a few sewing classes over the years, and a few quilt classes, but for the most part I’ve learned all of my sewing skills the hard way . . . . trial and error!
When I first learned how to quilt, I was taught the old fashioned way. Every seam was stitched by hand, every corner must match perfectly, the stitches had to be teeny-tiny, and all quilting was done by hand. Nowadays quilters make the most amazing works of fiber art using fancy (and expensive!) quilting machines, and I must admit that if I had to make something that huge, that amazing, and that intricate all by hand . . . . well, I just don’t think I would live long enough to complete even one of those gorgeous projects.
Eventually I discovered crazy patch quilting, and fell in love with that form of fiber art. The seams do not need to be perfect, the corners do not need to match, I can use a whole rainbow of colors and designs, and best of all – I get to embellish my crazy quilts with buttons, ribbons, lace, embroidery, beads, or any other kind of decoration that I can stitch onto a fabric surface.
That lead to learning to applique, and patchwork handbags, kids’ clothing, embellished jeans, and eventually I discovered that there is an interest in upcycled, refashioned garments. With an interest in re-using and recycling items that already exist, whether for environmental concerns or for financial necessity, lots of people seem to love my refashioned garments and I have found an outlet for all of the creative sewing that I have taught myself over the years.
A few years ago I thought it would be fun to do some refashioning using sweaters, partly because I was curious how it would work to try to sew on fabric that might come completely unraveled if I cut it up, so I went to the thrift shop in our little town and bought a few sweaters. I brought them home, threw them in the washer and dryer, and then proceeded to cut them apart . . . . and sew them back together again, creating a completely new, unique, and (usually!) quite beautiful garment.
As soon as I listed the first one in my Etsy shop, it sold. Well, that was fun, so I made another one, and it sold right away. So I just kept on making and selling refashioned sweaters, until to took a JOB working as a writer and editor of curriculum for a local university. No more sewing for me for a while!Well, now that I am no longer working at that JOB, I have time to get back to my sewing and designing projects.
The first patchwork sweater coat in the “Tatters to Treasures” collection was made in autumn shades of peach, brown, green, and gold with a black bodice. My experiment with creating one of those long, “elf” hoods was quite successful . . . . but I’m not sure how popular they will be here in the middle of the cornfields of Indiana. We’ll see. But the response to that first sweater coat was great! If it had been in a larger size, I’m pretty sure I could have sold it three or four times over.
What is your dream? I hope you have the opportunity to follow your dream and that God will bless your gifts, your determination, your hard work, and your commitment to following where He leads you.
Please join us this week for the Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop at Katherine’s Corner – hope to see you there!
The Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop is where you can link your favorite post of the week or write a post about your favorite things and share it with old and new followers. The hop is hosted and posted on 3 different blogs! Please follow all of us. Your link will appear on the blogs of Katherine’s Corner, Over 50 Feeling 40, and Vintage Mama. Three times the opportunity to make new bloggy friends and to share your wonderful blog and discover others, too.
Please DO NOT link and run……please visit a few of the wonderful blogs that are sharing here.
• Remember to follow your hostesses- Katherine’s Corner, Over 50 Feeling 40, Vintage Mama.
• Please leave comments when you visit
• Please Link to your post and not to your blog home page
• Link back on your post (optional, but always appreciated)
• Grab the hop button code from the button page at Katherine’s Corner (optional)
• No adult content blogs
* Please no more than 3 links to your blog
• No links directly to your shops or websites selling things/services please! (sorry they will be removed)
• Yes you can link giveaways (they are everyone’s favorite thing)
Add your giveaways to Katherine’s Giveaways Page too!
Adding your link to this blog hop gives Katherine’s Corner permission to share your posts and pictures via social media and as Make It Monday features on Katherine’s Corner.