Category Archives: Sewing

My Space

Last weekend I attended the Washington County Antique Fair. The Fair is only 15 minutes away from home so it’s a pleasant half day away from the Wee One. While channeling every Better Homes & Garden decorator article and Pinterest home decor board, I picked up an old sewing cabinet drawer for $5.

A few days later that same drawer is now a sewing curio shelf.

Sewing and St. Theresa. There's a connection somewhere.

Connecting crafting and St. Therese.

I took the picture at an angle because apparently I can’t center shelving. I was wondering about any connection between St. Therese of Lisieux and crafting, and one came to me. The Little Flower’s mother made lace and had a thriving home business that allowed her husband to sell his jewelry business.

My space is a cute little room just off the bedroom. About 35 years ago, the room was a larger one that was divided in two. The half by the hallway was turned into a bathroom. A doorway was cut into the bedroom to make the other half a sitting/dressing room. I think the wallpaper is 35 years old, too. Someday I’ll fix the walls and paint it some color. Red? Sage? In the meantime, I’ll sit well-contented under the gaze of St. Therese.


Pattern Jackpot and an Added Kindness

I’m a newbie to sewing. Everytime I sew something, whether it’s a dress for myself or a jumper for my daughter, there’s always something stitched wrong; a little pucker here, an unintentional zig-zag stitch there or a not-quite invisible zipper. But, as I’ve mentioned before, if I’m not embarrassed to wear it in public, all the better.

And as a newbie, I have a fever that just won’t quit. Whenever I visit a flea market or thrift store, I look for a stash of cheap patterns. I don’t know if I’ll ever sew them, but, hey, the pattern was only 25 cents – SCORE!

I scored over the weekend of my toddler birthday hell. While Father-In-Law watched the Wee One, Mother-In-Law (M-I-L) and I escaped to the Dudley Do Right Flea Market. It was a gorgeous Sunday morning (we visited after Mass, BTW) and there were not many wandering the aisles. I had just bought three patterns for 75 cents and was eyeing the booths when I swooped upon a large plastic bin full of Butterick patterns.

While pawing through the patterns, my M-I-L chatted with the young girl manning the booth. As a teacher aid at the local elementary school, M-I-L knows half the school-aged kids in the area. This girl was the sweetest and had some evident learning disabilities but here she was, managing her grandmother’s very large booth. Since I was with M-I-L, the girl offered me a 2-for-1 deal on the patterns and offered a set price for the whole bin. Slick. Real slick.

I didn’t need the whole bin but I picked out a number of Retro Butterick patterns that were actually in my size. As I paid for my “new” patterns, the girl told my M-I-L about middle school and some of the shenanigans going on (not good) and I thought this girl is on the brink of choosing two paths which will determine how her life will go.

Before we left, I shook the girl’s hand and thanked her for a pleasant shopping experience. I don’t think an adult ever asked to shake her hand because her whole face lit up like a Christmas tree.

If you pray, pray for this girl in Dudley, MA.

And let me end with a picture of my Pattern Jackpot:

All this for $4.75

All this for $4.75

Great British Sewing Bee – And The Winner Is…

Here it is…the finale of the Great British Sewing Bee and it didn’t disappoint. Ann, Sandra and Lauren sewed a men’s shirt, hand embroidered a purse and fitted and created a ladies evening dress.

I loved Sandra’s cheeky attitude. I wanted to hug Lauren and tell her that she’s really good. And Ann, well, she needed no encouragement whatsoever.

Who won? I’m not going to spoil it but I will say that there will be another Sewing Bee. Yippee! Until then, I’m going to have to write about something else on this blog.


Great British Sewing Bee – Episode 3

It’s semi-final time and one contestant goes home. Now that it’s down to four, the viewers get a chance to see how good these sewers really are. About 24 minutes into the episode there is a delightful segment about British sewers during World War II and the “Make Do and Mend” movement.

The finals are next week and I’m all aquiver!

Great British Sewing Bee – Episode 2

The Great British Sewing Bee, episode 2 is online and this time 2 contestants are sent home. I was able to guess which ones before the reveal but, that being said, they are way better sewers than I am. This episode was just as good as the first one. My only complaint: I want to move the bangs from the hosts’s eyes.

Great British Sewing Bee

Over the last 12 months I’ve gotten into sewing. My criterion is if I’m not embarrassed wearing it in public, then it’s a success. Never would I show my stitches to a seamstress. I know my abilities, thank you very much.

Tax-payer supported BBC has a new show, The Great British Sewing Bee. Basically, the Corporation throws together a group of disparate Brits and have them do various sewing projects in a set amount of time. Two judges critique everyone and decides who “goes home.”

Viewer stress rises when Michelle stretches out her silk and Tilly becomes over ambitious with her pattern design. It’s all in good fun and I like the fact that there is no backstabbing and no personal sob stories, a la NBC’s Olympic Athlete mini-bios.

Check out the first episode for yourself:

Me So Crafty V

I’ve got two projects to share with you. Remember the kitchen sink curtains with the crochet edging? I sewed a pair of matching curtains (sans crochet) for the other kitchen windows.

Not bad. Everything looks good from a distance.

I’m going for a 1950’s theme. On the right, starting from the top, is a (broken) tea pot room thermometer I picked up for $2.00. In the middle is a reproduction,  battery-powered clock (there’s no outlet on that wall), and rounding out the bottom, is a vintage Eisenhower/Mamie collectable plate.

The second project stemmed from a visit to the Washington County (NY) Antique Fair. A woman was selling pillows sewn from flour/sugar sacks. They had a hipster quality with NYC hipster  prices. The smallest pillows (5 pound sugar sacks) were going for $25 and the largest (50 pound feed sacks) were over $60. Looking at them, I thought, “I could do this.”

Twenty minutes later I was in a stall selling vintage fabric and flour/feed sacks. The sacks were in decent shape. The smallest (5 pound sugar sacks) were $2 each and the largest (a 50 pound feed sack) was $5. I bought two sugar sacks and the feed sack.

At home, I washed the sacks, sewed the sacks into pillows using cotton thread and filled them with polyfill. The large feed sack I cut into three sections. So for under $20, I got five pillows. Not bad, indeed.

They don't look so lumpy in person. The feed sack I cut into three sections.


I would show the other two pillows, but the computer won't let me upload them. But this image displays the best part of the sack.