I have decided that this week shall be Hobby Week here at Beehive and Birdsnest. I like to collect hobbies which isn’t surprising considering I was born to two people who always had some “thing” that they were into. My dad leaned toward things that go. He was on the pit crew for a few race car teams and then fell madly in love with sailboating. My mother liked to do practical things: make shoes (which she learned from the monks at the monestery down the road from us), weld, make jewelry (we’re talking lost wax and pouring molten metal; not stringing beads). She also happens to be a very good artist as well.
When I was five my parents built a house. Quite literally. They hired a crew to pour a foundation and build a frame. Then Mom and Dad did everything else. Themselves. They ran the wiring, plumbing and ductwork, framed the walls, built every cabinet from scratch and hung the doors and windows. It turned out pretty darn nice.
Our unofficial family motto is We Learn How To Do Things.
I inherited my parent’s practical practical streak. But I also have a love for pretty things. My mother leans heavily on duct tape and making things work. The way they look doesn’t really matter that much. But if I’m going to do something it had better be beautiful or what’s the point?
I started sewing early on. I was always picky (and poor) so the only way to get the really cute clothes I wanted was to make them myself. Fortunately my mother is a crackerjack seamstress. She can create anything you show her. She taught me well and the rest I picked up through the years.
Sewing is such a great skill to have. It can save so much money. For example, I decided that I need a bag of a certain size. It needed to have a top that shut somehow and it needed to be cute. I searched Etsy and couldn’t find exactly what I wanted. So instead I bought a pattern on Etsy (from EmiShimosato), changed a few things and made the bag myself out of fabric I already had on hand. It wasn’t hard and took maybe two hours from start to finish. That’s the thing about sewing. Depending on the pattern, it’s not too difficult. It’s more like learning a new operating system on your computer or doing very strange origami. Once you’ve done a few projects it starts making sense and getting much easier.
I’ll bet that there are some excellent sewing tutorials on You Tube. I’ve had great luck buying patterns on etsy. The directions are really well explained and there are usually tons of pictures too. These are great especially if you’ve been burned in the past by trying to make something from one of the big name pattern companies (those are sooo hard to figure out, even for people with lots of experience.) I haven’t tried every pattern on Etsy, obviously, but the ones I have tried have been so nice to work with and incredibly easy to uderstand. Add to that the fact that the patterns are almost always downloadable immediately (yay instant gratification!) and the designer can usually be emailed if you have a question.
If you’ve tried sewing in the past and have been scared off, let the internet help you out. There are online tutorials and lots of people who are willing to help you.
Honestly I’m not in love with sewing. I’m not passionate about it. The whole time I’m sewing I’m just waiting, waiting to get the finished product. Very few things are as gratifying, though, as sewing. It’s such a money-saver (although most kids clothes can definitely be bought cheaper!) If you need curtains for your house sewing can save you a ton.
All in all this is one hobby that, while not the funnest thing ever (them’s fighting words to a quilter!), should be taught to everyone. It’s just so darn useful!
Are you a sewer? If not, why? Have you ever taken lessons or anything like that?