right now

right now

Oct 17, 2010

I did it!

Thing 1's Halloween Costume!

Some of you may know that I am terrified of my sewing machine. I don't have the proper credentials to be let anywhere near it, yet I have been sleeping next to it for years, it being tucked away in the bowels of my closet. I have used it on limited occasions, ONLY for emergency sewing on of patches for my husband's uniform. The few times I have attempted to become friendly with this piece of machinery I have been left in tears and near complete psychotic breakdown.

Now let's talk about my mom, she can sew anything, and she has been doing it on the same machine since the late what - 60's, mom? I'm not positive but I think she made her lovely wedding dress when she was just out of high school. (Maybe my mom will come out of the woodwork and comment finally to set me straight!) I'm no dummy, but my mom is a genius - pretty much in every subject I can think of, but now that I'm older I realize sewing is ROCKET SCIENCE and she is the goddess of the rocket. Not quite sure how I didn't get any of her genes and am left cowering in the corner while my sewing machine laughs. Last time my mom came out to visit she took a look at the machine, kind of laughed when I said it had never been oiled or anything (it's now 19 years old!), said the tension was all hosed up and tried to fix it for me. I think honestly I may have an easier time with a nicer piece of crap machinery but I can't really justify buying a new one until I make at least something!

A couple of months ago I gave my machine a proper place out in the open, thinking that would inspire me. So for awhile I have been forced to become friendly with it every time I walk to the back door, giving it wide berth, of course. It's next to my computer, so I am used to glancing sideways at it by now, checking to see what it's doing. I can't do anything unless I am organized, so I spent last week gathering what supplies I had out of hubby's old tackle boxes (stop laughing at me!) and stole a rolling cart from the kids Lego stash, and put all my things together. At Apple Pie Gal's suggestion, I purchased a decent pair of scissors and hid them away from the others! I was the worst offender, though - my scissors are used on everything from meat to paper to tomato stems LOL, I'm really bad about that! APG, you really did motivate me to conquer my fear! As a side note, if any of you want to start sewing and don't quite know where to start, Apple Pie Gal did a couple of posts on the basics (each link is a different post), definitely worth a detour when you are done here!

I don't have a spare bedroom or closet for that matter, so here is my little setup, just to the right of my computer area, the lighting is kind of jacked in this photo. That is probably the most basic machine there is LOL!

But from that, drumroll please.... I made THIS! I'm so proud of myself I'm just giddy!  BUT, I free-formed this so I still have yet to read a pattern and make something "for real"!

After calling my mom and bombarding her with questions about reading patterns, tension stuff, "why do I have 3 presser feet?", and "what the hell is bias tape?" I am now ready to tackle my first real "project". I am going to make an apron! I know some of you rocket scientists are laughing now but hey, a girl's gotta start somewhere, right?! And Mama Pea, brace yourself for the barrage of questions soon coming your way LOL!

On to today - Military Appreciation Day at the Zoo! Free to all military and families, there was about 10,000 people there today!

How cool is this? Our kids ran ahead and jumped into this aviary/climbing area and L and I looked at each other and immediately thought the same thing - we need one of those, with a BIG padlock!

Below, the "pseudo-cousins"! They have all been together since birth so they are just like family.

The boys again.... yep, that's all we get - BOYS. No ponytails, dresses, dolls, girl-time... we get to have instead dirt, fights, potty-talk, legos and permanently skinned knees!

I thought tomato season was done but I found a red tomato in the one pot I left outside today! This is the first time I have had a tomato at the same time as greens this year! It was way too hot for lettuces this summer. So tonight was taco night with real stuff from the garden, yay!

Unrelated to anything, but I thought the marketing here was clever. I got an L.L. Bean Outerwear catalog yesterday and this was on the label:

I wonder if they do this everywhere? I can't imagine people in Minnesota and New York, etc need anyone reminding them of what winter temps can be, but maybe they are worried that I wouldn't remember that day it was 16ยบ (I don't)! LOL....


  1. Nice job on the sewing! I have 2 sewing machines and I still don't know how to sew!! It is rocket science indeed! The kids are going to look so cute in their costumes.

  2. Looks awesome! Great Job at conquering your fear of the sewing machine... seems as though you had a good "first date" LOL

  3. Well, I don't know how to break this to you, m'dear, but anyone who can construct a costume such as you just did WITH NO PATTERN will have no trouble learning how to follow one. What you just did takes creativity and a sense of form and shape that will take you faaaarrrr in the world of sewing. The great fashion designers of the world don't use patterns. It's got to be something that comes from within (ooohmmm) and is a true talent.

    You know I'll be glad to help with any questions you have whenever. But it sounds like you've got all the expert help you'll need in your mom.

    If you really do have a cwappy sewing machine (tension wonky, etc.) that will drive you straight away from wanting to sew faster than anything. Might be it could be checked over and serviced at not too great a cost . . . otherwise, you'd be wise to ask Santa for a good machine for Christmas. (Bet your mom could find a really good used one for you to pick up when you're home for Christmas.)

    As usual, love seeing the pics of the boys and your/their escapades!

    P.S. The Apple Pie Gal's tutorials are GREAT for anyone just starting out.

  4. meemsnyc & Candace, thanks! I'm willing to go back for a 2nd try if that means anything!

    MamaPea, I had to take a few minutes to gather my composure after your nice comment - "great fashion designers of the world" got me pretty good LOL! It got pretty hairy for awhile, even with my limited sewing knowlege I knew this was going to be a bear trying to sew this sheer material and cheesecloth type stuff, maybe it will get easier with the apron and the plain cotton fabric. I will say that I paid about $99 in 1992 for this machine from Montgomery Ward when they were still in business, so I think you are right about the new machine, it's inevitable. Since hubby is a mechanic he wanted to tear it apart of course but I gently reminded him that sewing machines cannot take the kind of abuse he throws a fighter jets LOL! He even prodded me last year to get one, he gets frustrated with people that try to do things without the proper tools :) At the time I couldn't justify it but maybe after the new year I'll do just that. You're right, APG is awesome, her post was a great summary of the basics - enough that I don't feel like an idiot when I go to the fabric store now!

  5. Your costume looks fantastic! My sewing machine needs a good overhaul too. My mom is a sewing genius and used to sew our clothes when we were kids. I can follow a pattern and sew things but because I live in a small town finding any nice fabric is always a problem.
    I don't think you'd have any problem sewing if your machine worked properly.

  6. I love your costume---it didn't look at all like something from someone who doesn't know what they're doing!! It looks great!
    I bought a machine several years ago, convinced it would turn me into a sewing fiend. Truth is, I hate all the prep work-threading it, winding bobbins, oiling it. Perhaps I can convince Mama Pea to do that?? LOL!

  7. Now I want to dig my Bean catalog out of the trash and check the label, lol.

    I am very pleased with your sowing adventures, this seems like great avenue for your self-described OCD (once you tame the 19 year old beast that is!!). The costume is fabulous, can't wait to see the apron.

  8. Happy Dance! Happy Dance! I am doing that right now!!! Ok, you are doing SO awesome! And I love your set up! That is perfect! Don't be afraid of that thing...just Grrrowl at it! Remember, you are the boss! I can't believe you did the costume already! I am glad your mom is a genius that will help alot!

    All the kiddies at the zoo looked like little monkies in that cage, made me giggle!

    Don't worry about boo-boo's. It happens all the time. I just watched a youtube video on pillowcase making at least 10 times and still messed it up! :)

    Thanks for the shout out too, that was really sweet of you! Can't wait to see your apron!

  9. Great job! I, too, have a sewing machine, but can only make things with straight lines - pillows, curtains and....well, that's about it! Turns out, I don't enjoy it...If the seam's not perfect, I've been told you rip it out and redo it...WHAT? sounds crazy to me.

  10. Sue - I just don't understand why all of us like-minded blogging buddies haven't ended up in the same community so we can work, sew, cry, knit, garden, drink, b!tch and play together! Gathered in one area, we would be a force to be reckoned with. ;o)

    Erin - I heard a rumor that you posted a picture on Face Book of some pretty neat winter boots you purchased for your trip north this winter. How come we didn't get to see them here? You have to remember there are still those of us (well, maybe me and somebody else) old fogeys who don't do Face Book!

  11. Haha Mama Pea---alike again! I don't do Facebook either!
    Erin-I think you're gonna have to baby those of us that shun technology. Post the boots!!!

  12. Sue - DO it (Face Book)? I obviously don't even know how to SPELL it (Facebook)! [Erin, thanks for providing us a space for communication. :o)]

  13. Melissa, I don't think I ccould rip it out and redo it either! I may be OCD, but I also have NO PATIENCE!

  14. Don't let Mama Pea fool you, she has a FB page for her quilts! Or did you forget about that hehehe?!

  15. I think I'm TRYING to forget about it. Because of all the guilt connected to it. I also have a quilting blog . . . there, I've said it . . . that hasn't had a post on it since last April. Oooooh, I am so BAD. Well, this summer I just got too busy and I can't seem to get this end of the gardening season stuff all done so I can start quilting again so I HAVE something to put on my FB page and talk about on my quilting blog. Soon? Soon. Soon! SOON!!!!!

  16. Okay, I just *HAD* to do it! Mr. L.L. Bean tells me that my low was -18 last winter. I'll have to compare that to my OWN records to see how closely they match! :)