Syo’s Sewing

Syo's First Project

No sewing today—I am moving sewing spaces! Yes, the found table has been wrangled down the stairs (my poor walls) to the basement, and installed in my “sewing room”, so my excuse for keeping my machines on the computer desk in the kitchen—that I had no sewing-room furniture—has evaporated. My long-suffering neat-freak of a husband has issued an ultimatum—all sewing paraphernalia is to be removed from the kitchen before nightfall. The entire process is really highlighting just how MUCH sewing stuff there was crammed in the kitchen… I guess I really can’t blame him for wanting it out.


Ah, well. It’ll be all right for the summer. I may have to invest in another space heater come winter, though.

Strap, with rick-rack and topstitching

Anyway, with the absence of sewing on my part, I thought I’d show off Syo’s “first machine-sewn project”, made up last week. This isn’t her first sewing project—she’s been hand-sewing little cushions and things (although she was not very good at knots), and the shirt/dress/thing she’s wearing in the top photo is actually her own creation, too, although I did the actual (minimal) serging at her direction.

Lined interior

But this little purse was several steps up. We measured out the length and breadth of the strap. We used a pattern for the purse body (actually a sheet of standard paper). I helped with the pinning but she did all the cutting herself. She also chose the fabrics. The exterior is a cream cotton damask, a remnant from this pair of bellydance pantaloons I made a couple of years pre-blog. The interior is a remnant of cream synthetic something that I had at one point started making a shirt for the hubby out of  (the vastly inferior prototype to this shirt, frankly). It was a costume pattern, not full and blousy enough for the look it was trying for, the lace-up front placket instructions thoroughly defeated me at the time, and to put the icing on the cake, I melted the back of the neck ironing just as the shirt was almost finished. Anyway, I was a little hesitant when Syo selected it… while it’s not the worst to work with, it ain’t no cotton, shall we say. But it was the right colour and this project would pretty much take care of the last shreds of that painful memory, so I agreed.

I won’t say I didn’t hover nervously. I also helped with some tugging where the layers required taut sewing (a walking foot would be great for a project like this). Syo has a particularly alarming habit of accidentally pressing down on the foot pedal while attempting to re-position or maneuver the fabric with the presser foot up. But she distinctly improved over the course of the project, and managed not to puncture either of our fingers.

1/4" Edge-Stitching Foot

Also, I think it was Marie-Christine who made the comment once that technology will trump skill in most cases. I must (again) concede th truth of this. This little fellow is a 1/4″ edge-stitching foot that I bought on a whim when I got my marvelous new zipper foot. It set me back a whole five dollars or so. I won’t say it’s revolutionized my topstitching—I’ve gotten halfway decent over the last year—but it certainly makes some things that took a bit of concentration before almost effortless. More importantly, it made it possible for Syo, who can barely sew a straight line, to do almost-perfect topstitching. She also did a really darn good job sewing down her rick-rack, even in the centre of the strap, so it’s not all the little gadget, but anyway. All in all I’m a pretty proud Mama, and Syo is excited to try many future projects…

In Me-Made June News…

My back yard. Oh, and my outfit for June 5

Here’s a slightly more panoramic shot of my back yard than usual, just because we finally mowed the jungle lawn, and the crab-apple trees are absolutely gorgeous right now. This is, of course, Simplicity  6023, the 70s dress pattern I won off MPB. Possibly I shouldn’t’ve worn such a nice dress on a day that included a fair bit of sweating and yard work (yay, heat!), but ah well. It’s washable.

Also, I was a little sad that I missed the twirling on Friday, so I decided to twirl today.


It’s supposed to be rainy and cool again tomorrow, but at least we had one truly glorious day! Now, back to the sewing-room-moving…



Filed under Sewing

14 responses to “Syo’s Sewing

  1. My sewing stuff is all in the bedroom. It’s very messy, but our basement is too damp and has slightly elevated radon, so I’m not moving down there. As I am a messy cook, sewing in the kitchen might make me try a bit harder not to leave destruction in my wake. Plus, the view is nice. Hmmm.

    Yay Syo! I think I will have to try that edgestitching foot. I think the feet are actually more important than machine functions. BTW, your dresses look great. I love that goddess look.

    • Our kitchen is rather humongous (that is to say, the combined kitchen-dining area… the kitchen part itself is pretty small and tucked in one corner). The computer-table is tucked in a nook on the far side from the actual cooking zone, so there’s little danger of cross-contamination. The view and the light are definitely nice, too. 🙂

  2. Congrats to Syo on her first sewing on a machine project!!! Isn’t it great to have another sewer in the family?

  3. Designated sewing space? Designated sewing furniture? Livin’ large!!
    Syo is a very cute model and now she can sew too? Good for her and fun for you!

  4. Way to go, Syo! That is a fantastic bag. You look very proud—and should be 🙂

    So, will you be able to spread out as much as you want in this new sewing space? Could be great…could be dangerous (i.e. things have a way of accumulating, lol)

    • Well… it’s the basement bedroom. It’s not large but is an adequate size. And it’s been holding the fabrics all along (mostly in drifts and bags piled along the walls… it’s pretty horrific actually) as well as the ironing board. So this will mean less running around to press my seams. Next requirement is some shelving units, so I can get the stash into some kind of order. And some more organizers for the notions. And…

  5. Soon Syo will be competing with you for sewing machine time!
    How exciting having a new sewing space. (Sherry says enviously, as she looks at the ugly industrial machine parked in her lounge…)
    I like your Peter dress – really suits you!

  6. Syo did a fantastic job! The stitching on the strap looks perfect. I still struggle to sew a straight line. I do love that 70’s plaid dress!

  7. That bag is adorable! Syo has a bright future ahead of her (I didn’t get into sewing myself until the wizened age of 9). I feel your pain on sewing room moving — all my sewing stuff used to be in the bedroom, which drove the hubs crazy, so he cleared out part of the downstairs office for me. Which I appreciate (I do! Really!) except that it’s a bit dark and cold down there, and there’s no TV. I would spend more time in my sewing room if it weren’t so….TV less.

    Still loving the plaid matching on that dress, by the way!

  8. How great you have a dedicated sewing space now! I draft in the kitchen (though the rest of my stuff is in the sewing room) and it drives my poor husband nuts sometimes.

    Well done, Syo!

    I ripped the guard off my 1/4″ foot on the advice of a professional tailor/dressmaker friend of mine. He’s pretty into machine work, does astonishing things with his machines. The foot became much more versatile, like a super-awesome foot instead of just an awesome one.

  9. Yay for Syo, very neat topstitching! (I may need a foot like that… ’cause mine could definitely improve!)
    Also, yay for better weather! We’ve had a sudden appearance of summer heat (33°C!) in Berlin. I just know that that means another rainy August…

  10. Syo! You did a great job…your bag is beautiful! Can I borrow your top-stitching foot?

    This brought back some wonderful memories for me…making Barbie clothes with my Mom. (sniff, sniff)


  11. So wonderful you are teaching your Syo to sew! Good for her and good for you! A skill she will use her whole life! Your purse turned out very cute Syo!

  12. Judy Galligan

    I love to read your about your adventures in sewing, I am trying to get back to garment construction…the last 20 years have been spent making quilts.
    and small projects for the holidays…ie table runners, bags, pj’s knitting and many other little things that catch my eye…
    thanks for helping inspire mein my endevors.

    Judy galligan

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