Sew Thinky Thursday

My friend Emily of Mommy’s Nap Time is starting a new linky party called Sew Thinky Thursday. The basic idea behind the series is to have a new topic every week which inspires sewing-related thinking. I thought it would be interesting to participate because I’m always so project-oriented, sometimes it’s good to stop and reflect. This week’s topic is:

When did you start sewing? Tell us a bit about your sewing history. When did you realize you were really hooked? 

I first learned to sew when I was in the 3rd grade. My mom taught one of my friends and I to sew during weekly classes. We made a drawstring bag and also a top. After that, I didn’t sew again for a long time.

I had my first child when I was 25. I was always a quiet person, but having children changed a lot of things for me, in a really good way. I have 2 kids, and when they were babies I had to be with them round the clock. They only slept for 1 or 2 hours at a time, even at night, for a really long time (I’d say I was lucky when they were a year old and getting 4 hours of sleep at a time). So I needed to find something to occupy my time at night, waiting for the next time they would wake up. 😉 I tried watching movies and tv shows on my computer, and this went on for a long time, but you can only watch so much before it gets horribly repetitive. I made minky burb cloths to sell on Etsy, and I constructed them assembly-line style, but I didn’t really sell very many. I didn’t know how to read commercial sewing patterns (so incredibly confusing, even now), so I basically stuck to things with straight seams, like the burp cloths, lol.

 Burp Cloth 3 Pack - You Choose

I spent a lot of time on a forum called Diaperswappers, which is a cloth diapering forum, and participated in a few fabric buying co-ops. I wasn’t being very productive, but kept buying more and more fabric. I think my son was about 2 years old when I decided to sell off my fabric (tons of Heather Ross and other good things) because I realized I wasn’t actually sewing with it; it was more of a collection. A woman on there bought most of the fabric I sold, and at the time I have to admit I kind of thought she was crazy (she probably bought 3-4 flat rate boxes worth of fabric from me). This is the person who is now my best friend, Kim.  It’s funny how things work out. I talked to her sporadically on the forums, but then sometime after she moved, we started talking again. I think we became Facebook friends after we both posted on a forum in Diaperswappers wanting to make Facebook friends, and that was that.

In the fall of 2010, she told me that her friend Amy of Amy Lou Who? liked to sew, and had a sewing blog. Amy had a weekly linky party to post finished projects every week, and I really got into finishing projects so I could post them every week. Being on a sewing schedule like that helped me become more and more confident working with sewing patterns, and I found that the pdf patterns I was finding on-line were much easier to follow than the commercial patterns that I had previously had trouble understanding.

I made this ruffle top for my daughter’s 1st birthday, which was September 13, 2010. It was the first finished project that I posted to my blog. It’s funny reading old blog posts and seeing the difference in me then and now.

The point that I realized that I was hooked was when I started making bags. I couldn’t stop sewing. I wanted to try more and more things, and soon after I started blogging, I asked Amy and Kim what supplies I would need to make a quilt. I was so concerned about buying the correct ruler…looking back now, it’s kind of laughable. Here is the first quilt that I made, in October of 2010 for the Blogger’s Quilt Festival over at Amy’s Creative Side.


I obviously didn’t know what I was doing. 😉 Each scrap in the quilt was unique, something from the fabrics that I was using to make the burp cloths.

So that is kind of where I came from, sewing-wise. If you’ve been following along on my blog, you’ve probably noticed that I’m getting up to a lot of crazy things these days, lol.


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14 replies on “Sew Thinky Thursday

  • Jane Holbrook

    Wow! what a whirlwind the past few years. And to think where you are now, with sponsors, patterns, and a real direction.I love your use of bright colors, and your energy is contagious. (At least, I hope it is… I am a lot older and more mellow and need the energy you have.) Happy Sewing! PS, I’ll post on my blog later today about the topic and link back. thx

  • Elizabeth Dackson

    I’m so glad to have read this, Sara, it’s so great to know more about you and your sewing journey 🙂 And I completely know what you mean about not knowing what you were doing when you got started, I feel the same way!!

  • suemac

    I was a home ec queen back in the day. I sewed clothes for myself through college. After college I got married and stopped being crafty until doll clothes for my daughter. After that phase I did not sew until I moved to Austin and a co-worker dragged me to a quilt class. That was exactly three years ago. I have been sucked into the fabric buying, fabric sewing fun and I love it.

  • Becky

    Glad you got hooked ;-). I had a horrible sleeper too, and was working a swing shift job part time, plus got pregnant again when he was only 15 mos old, so I know a thing or two about sleep deprivation. Sometimes I wonder if that combination of sleep deprivation and total sacrifice is what drives us to create something tangible for ourselves… something to hold onto and anchor us… Nice post!

  • kateuk

    I embroidered a rug when my daughter was tiny, it is on the landing halfway up the stairs- every time I walk on it I remember those looooong nights…yep, babies drive us to making stuff with needles.

  • emedoodle

    So that’s how you met Kim! 🙂
    I loved reading your story – I felt the same way when I first started – and one of my first “tester” quilts (doll size) was the same as yours a brick type layout with not seams to match!

    Thanks for linking up!


    Oh my gosh, what a crazy small world. I used to live on DS when my kids were small, they were both cloth diapered and I started my sewing business, Cake, there in 2005. Wild! So glad you caught the sewing bug and fun to hear your history!

  • Elaine

    so fun to read about your sewing journey! and i bet that scrappy quilt brings back a lot of memories– of when your kids were babies and the burp clothes you made.

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