Adventures with Needles

Meet Brunhilde…  

Sew! – Prologue

I mentioned earlier this week how my Mom sews. I mean, my Mom really sews. I think I was 13 or 14 before I bought anything at an actual clothing store. I mean, I had no idea what size I wore. I knew my pattern size though!

Now, Mom doesn’t sew as much as she once did. (Arthritis is a cruel taskmaster.) But she still has projects and ideas and fabric. Wow, does Mom have fabric.

Once, Mom could have opened her own fabric store. Honestly. But she’s cut down on it the last fifteen years. She has a very good machine and a very good serger (some mysterious piece of sewing equipment that makes a really nice edge. That’s about all I know and I’m not going to try to explain more. Honestly, I couldn’t explain more.)

So. Here I am, fiftysomething years old and deciding it’s time I learned how to sew. Yes. I took a class in high school, millennia ago. (My Mom redid my projects.) (Yes, I cheated. Sue me.)

I have attempted projects now and then over the years. Most notable was a bag that I managed to sew closed. (How do you leave an opening for a drawstring anyway!?)

Obviously, this is going to be a real challenge for me. Nevertheless, I’m going to give it a shot.


Well, I like to costume and though I am golden at putting together what I call ‘found’ costumes from items I pick up here and there, I also envision particular things I really want to have. Like a pirate coat in the color I want! A patchwork skirt to replace my beloved Target find. Some camisols that reflect my love of pirates. Some short jackets with sleeves that actually reach my wrist. (I hate that style of three quarter sleeve length. Blech!)

Hats. Bags. (That actually open.)

I have an odd color sense and I love to wander fabric stores. I always have. Even though I didn’t sew, I once worked in a fabric store. (Mom spent my paycheck most weeks, using my employee discount.)

I’m gearing up to give this new ‘hobby’ a try. Mom has advised me not to be impatient or get frustrated. She also gave me a lesson on bias tape. (Stuff totally confuses me and I don’t know why.) She and I selected several pieces of fabric from her stash. I bought three patterns to work on. I have one I did already last year…really butchered this dress, but I’m going to try it again.

What are these patterns? Well, one is a skirt/top/dress pattern. One is jacket. One is a pirate/steampunk coat. (That is last on my list. After I have some experience, at least that is the idea.) I purchased a dressmaker dummy from my dear friend, Rae Bradbury-Enslin (an award winning costume creator) and I got Mom’s old singer sewing machine serviced.

From now on, one blog a week is going to follow my struggles? My triumphs? My discoveries? I promise not to swear (much) and I’ll include pictures.

Please, if you sew and have any tips, speak up!

And maybe I’ll find a book on this path. I’ve always been partial to a Sewing/English dictionary. Because to me, all those sewing terms are total gibberish.

Wow, this is going to be interesting!

This week, I’m clearing my sewing space, washing the fabric, cutting out the pattern, fitting it to Brunhilde and maybe…maybe I’ll cut it out.

Oh, must make sure I have the right colored thread. (Note to self, take scrap to Beverly’s and buy thread.)

Sew! You who sew, does this look like an easy pattern for my first project? The skirt, you understand. I mean, the hem is deliberately uneven, a plus in my book. No zippers, no buttons, or hooks. Just elastic. (Hope I can figure out how to leave that thing open…)


  1. Good luck on your new endeavor. 🙂 I haven’t sewn since junior high. I loved the creative aspect of it, but not the manufacturing part. Once I found somebody who sewed for a living, I was happy to pay her to get what I wanted. LOL

    Can’t wait to see your creations!

  2. Thanks, Donna…I hope they end up happy creations and no Frankensteins. My mom has done my sewing for all my life, but it’s getting hard and you know… I just gotta learn how to do some of these things myself! I still might pay for the hard stuff…like hemming jeans! LOL!

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