When we moved out of the city, we vowed to move toward a self-sufficient life. While we still have a long way to go, we’ve made small steps in the right direction.  Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about how far we’ve come and where we are going, and what we can do RIGHT NOW to provide for ourselves.

Something has continually nagged at the back of my mind, something inescapable: clothing.  We’ve been so fortunate thus far to have generous and loving friends who are happy to pass along clothes that their children have outgrown, and we haven’t needed to purchase much for our little ones.  Still, I’d like to be able to provide clothing for my family without needing to go out to the store; to know that we’ll be warm and comfortable if for some reason we don’t have second-hand clothing coming our way.

While I have knit and crocheted plenty of items for the kids, there’s a lot more to filling a wardrobe than having some nice sweaters.  If I must be honest, I haven’t touched my sewing machine since I was pregnant with my first child, when I sewed some baby overalls and a little baby shirt.  The sewing machine got tucked away when those projects were completed, and between adjusting to a new baby, then adjusting to two more, the sewing machine just never made it out of the closet again.

So, when my dear husband came in from the garden a few days ago with a giant rip in the crotch of his shorts, I decided it was time to dust off the sewing machine and make things right. The rip was too big and at too odd an angle to fix nicely, so I headed out to the fabric store in search of some sales.  I was in luck – denim ends were 50% off, AND had a buy 3m, get 1m free deal going on top of that.  The kids found plenty of fabrics they liked, too, all on sale.  In a pile of clearance patterns, I found men’s shorts, children’s tops, and a few patterns that I liked for myself as well, all at $1.99 each.  I couldn’t believe my luck!

Last night after the kids went to bed, I hauled out my old Sears Kenmore, my discount denim ends, and my men’s shorts pattern, and got to work.  I’ve spent so much time spinning and crocheting lately, it was nice to change things up a bit. Time slipped away, and before I knew it, it was 2am!!

Midnight workstation


I managed to get the pants finished in one go (thanks for sleeping well, kiddos!).  I had my fingers crossed that they would fit Jae properly.  He’s a short guy and it’s hard to find pants that fit him well.

Success, hooray! A perfect fit!

When the kids woke up in the morning and saw my sewing machine on the table, they pestered me relentlessly to pull out the fabrics they had chosen and get started on their clothes.

I somehow managed to get Raina’s shirt made over the course of the day.  With constant interruptions from the kids, lunch and snacks needing preparing, diapers needing changing, baby needing nursing, etc. etc. it is a wonder I got anything accomplished.  But the first shirt is finished (and I have vowed never to attempt a sewing project while the kids are awake, again).  Raina put it on as soon as I finished the last seam, and fell asleep wearing it.

Raina's dino shirt. She picked the fabric herself!

I guess I forgot over the years how much I really enjoy sewing.  Now that I have a huge stockpile of fabric (thanks also in part to my dear cousin, who de-stashed on me recently!) and some great patterns, I think I’ll have to make nighttime sewing projects a fairly regular thing. Though once in a while, I may need to get some sleep.


6 thoughts on “Stitching

  1. My mother-in-law gave me her old sewing machine, but I have never used one before. I’m kind of scared of it. I would love to be able to sew things. One of these days I’m going to learn how to use it. Love that cute little shirt you made 🙂

  2. I love your enthusiasm to start on a new project and CREATE – you inspire me! I love the shorts, they look great, can’t wait to see what else you make!

  3. Nice work! My machine is an old Kenmore, too. It doesn’t sit in a closet, but it might as well for how often I use it! It sure is hard to find time to sew with so many little people around…I’ve tried sewing with the baby in the wrap but the sound of the machine upsets her. I’ll get around to sewing some clothes eventually!

  4. Those shorts look great! I have my mom’s old Kenmore, but the transformer I use with it is broken, (we have different volts here). Someone is trying to fix it, but I might have to buy a new transformer. My daughters are getting impatient because my oldest wants me to take in her school pants, and my youngest wants to make teddy bears. We found a great second hand book on how to make teddies, with patterns!

    Its funny my husband just saw your picture of wool in your blog and asked if it was mine. I just finished spinning a blue/white and blue/grey two ply! I think grey softens colours nicely.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s