Tuesday, September 23, 2008

New Found Responsibility

With great power...

Since learning to use a sewing machine, I've been scoring the blogosphere looking for great sewing ideas. I've accumulated enough fun in del.icio.us to last me a good long while. Oh my dear del.icio.us, what would I do without out you! I seriously don't know how I survived without this bordering on miraculous tool. For me, it's like the quintessential idea book.

Here are some links of things that I can't wait to try...

For Babies and Kids:
Cloth baby shoes so adorable I ovulate just looking at them.
Baby Rings would make a great chew toy for little ones. I love the geometric colors and patterns.
Baby Blocks are a wonderful idea for the same reason.
Blurb cloths need no explanation. I love the potential of this tutorial.

Boutique Blanket is not a tutorial but an inspiration. Can you imagine holding a little one in something so luxurious that you longingly pray you were little enough to enjoy it too?.. Or you can just be practical and go this route.

Taggie Blankets are new to me. I don't know anyone who has them. I can't imagine littles ones not loving it, with their affinity to sticking anything they can in their mouths. Here is another great tutorial on how to make them using super soft material.

Diaper changing pad that you can make match your individual style.

Bean bag chair would be so cool for my nieces. I would imagine most tweens would go for this. I'm thinking gorgeous, pink fabrics for the girly one and orange, earthy fabrics for the tom boy. I'll need some more confidence to attempt it.

A canvas city actually requires minimum sewing and a bit of artistic ability but could inspire endless hours of fun for the boys in your life.

Speaking of art, this Artist Organizer from Martha could inspire the artist in your life. Who was it that said that every child is a little Picasso?

And Everything else:
Sweater pillow is a great way to reuse that incredible comfy but no longer presentable sweater. Now, if I can sneak it out of my husband's closet without him noticing...

A Papertape dressform would be so useful if I ever get to the point I won't waste yards of fabric to make a top. Yes, you techically you don't sew it, but it helps you sew!

Won't you be the trendiest lady in your gym with this Yoga mat bag.

I'm not a journaler, so this is a gift idea for me. A Notebook Cover tutorial from craftblog to dress up your thoughts.

This tote bag tutorial looks like a good starting point for a newbie like me.

This slipcover is right now only a dream. Sighhh. Perhaps one day.

And finally, a neat idea for what to do with all those leftover pieces of fabric. Make a quilt. No way, too much hassle! Do gorgeous fabric panels like belladia instead.

Monday, September 22, 2008

To Sew or Not

A couple of years ago, I was convinced that I need to learn how to sew to be a true home decorator. From watching several years of HGTV, I knew sewing was a breeze. Episode after episode demonstrated this as one designer after another whipped out beautiful curtains, slipcovers, pillows, and so on. I was convinced that I would never reach the pinnacle of my decorating prowess without that one precious jewel...a sewing machine.

Soon, I convinced my mother of necessity of this purchase to complete my mundane life. That Christmas, she got me not one, but two sewing machines. One a basic model Singer that we got for a steal at Target, and a second smaller, almost child-sized travel model. Ahhh, my mom knows me well. I suppose that provides a nice intro into what is up with my blog title. Knowing that my desire is to establish a home no matter where I'm lead in this world, she wanted to give me something of home that I can take with me as I seek to create a home where ever I go.

Sadly, my new found convictions of making exquisite fabrics into pieces of artwork to beatify my home faded quickly away. Unlike so many craft-based hobbies that I have taken up, I have taken up and learned basic principles for (cross-stitch, scrapbooking, crochet...anyone with me here), this one fizzled even before it got off the ground. For two years, neither sewing machine ever made it out of the box. I guiltily let my mom borrow the Singer b/c it wasn't been used for a great and higher purpose. Don't you just hate wasted potential. That is unless you are me, a newly self-discovered under-achiever and self-proclaimed procrastinator.

Indeed, I had several pairs of pants and a dress that had been building up in a pile that needed to be mended. They were in good shape, so I couldn't reasonably throw them away. Yet, (this is where the procrastination kicks in) I couldn't bring myself to interrupt my quite busy schedule of cooking dinners for my hubby with regular interludes of CSI, Heros, and Grey's Anatomy (I know. I know. It's a very guilty pleasure...For the record, Meredith and Derrick are so NOT made for each other). My poor husband also had to forsake his favorite pants after I insisted that I would not be a good wife if I dared to let him out of the house wearing them. Not that it translated into the thought that I would therefore as a good wife fix his beloved pants. Far be it.

Well, what is a loving mother to do? My mother-in-law came for a long weekend this summer and somehow I guiltily admitted this great faux pas (Sighh, I can not tell a lie). Determined not to let this tragedy continue, she rescued me from a life of misery without the pleasures of bobbins and spools. Wonderful and gracious woman that she is, we took a trip to Joann's where I was gifted with such necessities that I was quite unaware I needed: needles, pin cushions, rippers (but not as in Jack thankfully), and of course the aforementioned bobbin. We were only left with the small machine, but it worked wonderfully. Despite its size, it made short work of the learning process and my mother-in-law feel in love with the cute practicality of it. Before the week was out, I had mended all pants and dresses and was happyily wearing clothes I never thought I would fit into again (and not because of the increasing padding that daily graces my thighs).