It may sound strange, but the issue of sewing is sort of emotional for me. I always wanted to sew ever since I was very young. I used to hand sew little pillows and blankets for my dolls. As I got older, I always wanted to learn how to sew with a machine, so I was excited to take home economics in high school. Unfortunately, the lack of one-on-one attention, and likely shoddy instruction, meant my assigned project to make a shirt didn’t end well. Shirts are not a first time project at all. My home economics teacher sent a note home to my mother saying, “Laura will never grow up to be a seamstress.” That really discouraged me, hurt my feelings, and made me feel hopeless about ever being able to sew. True, I’m not a perfect seamstress, but with practice, direction from friends, a serger, and a lot of help from my seam ripper, I managed to become much better. This year I made both of my girls’ Easter dresses, and I must say the bodices on the dresses look great, and those are not easy. So in my blog, I want to encourage people who do not think they can sew to reconsider, and read what I have to say.
My favorite sweater refashion is the lettuce leaf stitch on the serger. It’s basically a rolled hem with a twist, but can only be done with a knit. It makes a pretty ruffle on the sides of the sweater. This is so fast, while my family was loading up in the car for church, I made a cardigan after I realized I didn’t have anything to match my outfit. I shouted, “I’m coming!” Then I made the cut, and sat down to my serger, and in literally a minute I had myself a new cardigan. Sergers are the best thing ever.
Nothing is more pleasing to my eye than beautiful preserved food in jars. It’s functional art, and has a homey sophistication. It’s for this reason I could not stand any longer to see my gorgeous jarred bounty topped with lids donning advertisements. My fabric scraps came to the rescue.
Lately I find myself swimming in citrus, with the deals that I got a the farmer’s market, and the 20 pounds of free grapefruit I got at the grocery store. I made lemon wheels, salad dressing, canned strawberry lemonade concentrate, 11 quarts of canned citrus, and the list goes on. I was left with giant trays of citrus peels, too pretty looking and sweet smelling to throw away. It seemed like such a waste. There are so many things you can do with citrus peels, but I have been up to my eyeballs in produce deals, canning, freezing and drying. My poor dehydrator would wave a flag if it could. I decided to take the easy way out – – make potpourri.
I’m always looking for ways to cut costs in every area, and clothing is no exception. I have two growing girls, and even a modest trip to Old Navy can end up costing a lot. My younger daughter gets my older daughter’s clothes, and when she grows out of those, I do my best to make them last even longer, as long as they still look nice. This is especially true with things like dresses and jumpers, which don’t get worn and abused like other clothes. Many of her things look brand new by the time she grows out of something. So, when my littlest grows out of a dress, it becomes a skirt. I did this in 10 minutes using the serger for sewing the raw edge. Here’s how:
Cut under the arms of the dress: