30 Jul


I am a terrible shopper. I often think it is the reason I started sewing with any amount of dedication. It’s hardly a new development; My mother used to openly dread taking me to buy anything as a kid.

I am unabashedly a jeans/t shirt/boots girl, but I also have an obsessive compulsive need to find the perfect [insert clothing item here]. A perfect t shirt to me hits below the hip and has sleeves that end maybe halfway between the shoulder and the elbow. Cap sleeves are the enemy and to be avoided at all costs. Same with too-short shirts.

I’m quite set in my opinions on clothing for myself. My ultimate goal in sewing is to be able to make things myself when I can’t find what I want in stores. This happens quite often, mainly because I tend to see things and think, ‘this would just be perfect if…’ I’m always mentally lengthening sleeves, adding/removing pockets, adding epaulets, adding straps, and so on. I just can’t help myself.

Unfortunately for me, my sewing skills aren’t quite up to the point that I can just make anything I want. Possibly it’s just my inability to maintain the patience to work at a slower pace while undertaking projects that’s holding me back. I can never seem to keep myself from trying to charge ahead at a breakneck pace to get to the next task. It’s the same reason that if I’m playing a video game involving any kind of driving I’m almost certain to wreck my pretend car and run over a few fake pedestrians. Maybe a lot of fake pedestrians, but I digress…

My first big project was a vinyl guitar for my nephew’s 3rd birthday. He’s obsessed with guitars and used to sleep with this hard plastic one with a strap – not exactly ideal for a small child. So of course, not having done anything beyond some repairs, resizing and hemming since home ec in junior high, I decided I needed to make him a stuffed one. Out of glittery vinyl, naturally.


I learned pretty quickly that vinyl is a huge pain to sew with. I didn’t have the heart to risk destroying my mom’s machine that she’d given me with it, so I sewed the entire thing by hand. And the previously mentioned hand ended up in a seriously injured state when all was said and done. This lesson meant that for his 5th birthday, he got one made mainly of cotton sateen. Still managed to mangle my thumb with the eye of the needle sewing the vinyl details on, but it was worth it because now he’s got an electric one and an acoustic one.


Over the past two and a half years of more dedicated sewing I’ve spent much of my time on non-clothing items. Truthfully most projects have been presents for my nieces and nephew. It’s fun making stuff for the three of them. Still, I’ve gotten back to thinking about my original intent in getting back to sewing more seriously and I’ve decided to actually put the effort in. As a step in the right direction I just bought a twin needle for my machine. It looks like it’ll be up to me to live up to my standards of the perfect t shirt for awhile.


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