Skip to main content

Sewing Reluctance


Why do I loathe you so?

You were my mother's best friend and her mother before her.  Your song was the lullaby of my youth, the soundtrack of my early life. You were my nursemaid, clothing me and my sister for years. My feet were pincushions as you littered the floor with little child-traps.  Every formal dress, Halloween costume were your domain.  You were a second income for a single mother, a sole income for a grandmother. You made my sister's wedding dress, my cousin's. Entire bridal parties were dressed by you. You make prom dresses for my niece now. You only grow in your strength along with my mother's talents. You're like a maiden auntie, always next to my mother, always on her mind.

My niece's wedding dress. This links to my mom's Sew Much For You FB page.

Yet I deny you. You are my birthright, yet I feel nothing for you. You require precision, order, space. I prefer to wallow in the mess of paint and paper, the smells of chemicals and sawdust. Perhaps there is too much of my father in me.

But someday, I will inherit this kingdom.  (My mother asks you to excuse her mess. She is at work on some new project.)
All those cabinets are full of fabric.

On the other side of this room are dress forms and serger (surger?).

This family trade passes to me, as I am a female with creative interests. Factory machine, serger (surger? I have no idea), dress form, spools of thread and miles of fabric are my inheritance.  I must learn to bond with you.

Handwork made more sense to me, than you, blasted machine. There is something quaint about pricking one's finger and cutting thread with the teeth. So primitive. Still, my stitches were shamefully zig zagged. I used fabric glue to make sock puppets for the kids. Travesty.

Now I have two daughters and luckily my sister's older, clotheshorse daughter has passed down many years of clothing. But what of Halloween? What of proms and weddings? (Let's not even mention doll world because that's really what is driving me!)  My mother is somehow younger than she's ever been but I will not make her my personal sweatshop during the winter of her life (which will be in the next century I think).

It is time. Mother? Let's get this party started. (after labor day)

She likely made both these dresses we are wearing.

Stay tuned for my embarrassing progress. (It's funny, my dad was a photographer and that bores me too! Always the rebel, huh Dani?)



  1. That sounds a lot like me and my family. My grandmother to this day still sews to make ends meet. My mother sewed tons of clothes for me and my sister. And me well... I try but tend to get too frustrated to go on.;)

    1. I know! But I have to cut doll corners so they will have to be my little plastic victims. Something tells me I posted something like this before and I just keep avoiding my machine!

  2. Good luck working with the sewing machine. On the other hand, you can be creative without a sewing machine. When I sewed doll clothes, I used a needle and thread. Shrug. Whichever way makes you happy ....

  3. Ah sewing. I too, have been avoiding being part of being the family tradation (Mom is an awesome sewer, Grandma was a seamstress). Let's just say I have bad experinces using a sewing machine. But you, you can do it! Go for it!

  4. I am so glad I'm not alone! Okay maybe I have lofty dreams of being a talented seamstress overnight but I have to try. What the hell else am I going to do with all that stuff in her sewing room (which will be mine one day)? And these kids aren't getting any cheaper! :)

  5. I sew a little by machine, but love sewing by hand because I feel more in control. I use the machine for quick items that Inneed to make or when I need to make multiples. You will have fun whenever you get started.

    1. I sure hope so! My hand work is so pathetic! Did you see the seats for my airplane? Yikes:

      But you can't get better without practice, right?

  6. First things first. Your mom is stunning! The photo of you and your mom is so darned cute, it's ridiculous. I envy anyone who can sew! Sounds crazy but, I can not control the material when sewing. My motor skills, literally leave the building. Funny thing is, my (older) sister can sew like a mad woman and like your mom, she's made tons of clothing for weddings, all her daughter's and their friends Prom dresses, etc. but me...nada. My sister's like Edward Scissorhands on the machine! Material flying, she's rockin' back and forth,'s a crazy scene but what she produces is pretty amazing. Don't ask her to cut the strings though, it ain't happenin'. :/

    Darn, the gene pool just ain't fair sometimes. :)

    1. Thanks Tracy! My aunts don't sew. One crochets, one embroiders, one's good with money, one is terrible with money. I should just accept that my talent is writing and my love is decorating things with messy paint. But when all I want are simple doll clothes (can I just get a dang black t-shirt that doesn't cost $15?), I have to try. Hell, just to take in a Barbie dress for a Dynamite Girl would be nice! My first step is turning on that machine and trying all the stitches out. Gotta start somewhere!

  7. I know the feelings. I've started to use a sewing machine. Good luck, I'm with you

  8. For what it's worth...when you're ready you'll feel more at ease with taking on sewing with the machine. Maybe you've been putting too much stress on yourself about sewing with it--I mean you have mentioned at least two women who used it seriously and with major intent and heck, I'd be a bit overwhelmed if I had a machine with that kind of history.
    As for bonding with it/and/or? learning to sew with a machine....the more you do the easier it gets. And I mean, you've seen some of the crap I've made (LOL) if I can get it through my thick skull to use a machine (soooooo much faster than by hand! Almost instant gratification! Woooo!) then you can too! ;)

    *currently jonesin for a replacement sewing machine for the one I had to sell before leaving England*

    1. Erica! Good to see you back in the blog neighborhood! The hardest part about sewing (I think) is to just clear a space and do it! Maybe I'll start with one of those sock sweaters. Looks easy...As for your creations? You continue to be an inspiration but it might be a minute until I can make one of your quilts! Talk about ambitious! I hope to see you settled in and making awesome stuff soon!

    2. Thanks Danielle--:) I'm not really back yet (no fixed computer or address just yet!) but soon (maybe!)
      Yes, getting a clear space is one of the biggest challenges for girls like us (I definitely take making & painting over sewing!) the quilts were fun bits of experimenting, and I'm more than a but miffed that I have no idea where they ended up (they were sent out in the mail.....but no arrival :( but it took me....what...12 years to work up to those? LOL I'd say you just need to let yourself play with the machine, and the fabric. Don't set out to create anything at all. Just take a couple pieces of fabric and sew em. See what comes out of those. See if they inspire you at all.
      and hey, once I have a permanent computer again you can always ask me stuff too LOL.

  9. Even though it was full of lament, this was actually quite a heart warming post. My sisters and I were all taught to sew when we were little kids. From then 'till now, I'm the only one of us that abhors it. Oh well, 2 out of 3 aint bad.

    1. haha. Thanks Muff. It's clear that you have many other talents so I think you more than make up for it. I tried to cut a cloak-like garment for a Monster High doll last night and my ineptitude was comical. I guess I'll stick to doll curtains and pillows until I get a clue!

  10. Your mom is beautiful and you were as cute as a button.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

The Arrival of Kala

My first first-hand BJD has arrived!  She's a Dollmore Keeley Sum purchased through Denver Doll Emporium. She arrived with a broken foot joint so DDE is getting Dollmore to send me another. It was fairly distressing to open the package to THAT surprise, but she's so beautiful, she immediately captured my heart.

I recently made arrangements to sell Sunnie and I can see it is totally for the best. THIS is what a new bjd owner should feel. Something like maternal pride, an obsessive need to care for her.

Her working name is Kala (not Eden anymore). We'll talk about her back story in another post but for now, all you need to know is she's an early Neolithic woman. Here she is wearing a wig by D. Resin on Flickr. She's amazing.

This is Kala's stuff I've been collecting.

Here is a size comparison of the Dollmore Model F body and the older Dream of Teen by Dream of Doll body.

You know me, peeps, I have a need to make doll environments as strongly as my need to h…

So Where Were We?

Hello my friends!

Man I have been slacking. I got so into the Roku situation that I have completely neglected the dolls. And since my car died and I now have a car note, my insane doll shopping spree is at a close. Except I found the 1960s Reading Deluxe Dream Kitchen (minus table and chairs) at a thrift store for $35. Then there was this cute pitcher there (on the dishwasher) and a Gibson guitar, so...(forgive the cellphone pic).

Anyway I hope to getting back to a craft/diorama focus in my doll work.

Can I be honest? I am terrified of my camera. I've avoided it since my last post. Setting up lights takes forever and changing them for every scene and the cords and the scary wiring in this house. Then taking 100 pics and those being all wrong and doing it again after I already took down all the damn lights. Ugh.

So whatever. When I do a glamour shot I'll fiddle with lighting and post production. But for photostories, eff it.

The following shots are done with a flash and auto-f…

BJD: Vinyl to Resin

So I think people really wants to know why I am taking this plunge, or maybe you don't give a crap but I'm going to tell you anyway.

Maturity: Not saying that 1/6th folks aren't mature!!! But there is something very mature about the BJD hobby that is populated with so many young people. Depending on the company or customizations, you may have to wait up to forty effin' weeks. That is how long it takes to make a human. It takes patience. And you're going to take time to make the right choice. I'm resigning myself to not seeing my first doll until my bday in November. The dolls and accessories are not always cheap. You have to budget yourself, save up and earn that dang doll.You need a gentle touch when you're handling these dolls. You can't afford to damage them. They make special travel cases for them! Dropping them could mean seriously damaging a nose. They yellow in time and if you keep them in the sun. You have to find a place to keep them safe.(Crap…