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I started this blog to document all kinds of things I make, not just food. Unfortunately, it seems like I haven’t really made anything else lately! I enjoy lots of creative pursuits, though.

Yarn: I love to knit and crochet. My mom taught me to crochet when I was probably in 1st or 2nd grade. I know it was before 3rd grade, because that year, our classroom teacher was very crafty. She was working on a crochet project and some of the students wanted to know more about it, so she ended up teaching half the class to crochet, including several of the boys. I felt a little bit superior because I already knew how, though I couldn’t do much beyond basic back-and-forth. (Perfect for scarves, if you remember to chain one before you turn…or you get the amazing shrinking scarf, as I did!)

When I was a little older, my Grandma taught me to knit. I personally think knitting is more difficult than crochet, but she believed firmly the opposite. She was German and she taught me to knit the “continental” style, which is backwards from how most people around here seem to do it, but it works really well if you’re used to crocheting and I can’t wrap my head around the other way. I got good at it by making a hat that was approximate 11 inches of knit 2, purl 2 ribbing…over and over and over.

Sewing: I can’t really remember specifically beginning to sew. Fairly early on, my mom taught me to do straight seams on the sewing machine, and I made a number of pillows and other simple projects over the years. My mom sewed some cool things for me, too–matching jumper dresses for me and my doll, 2 well loved dresses out of old curtains (one was blue with puffy sleeves and lace trim; I loved it!), all the curtains I ever had in my room, a vest-and-skirt set that shows up in a number of pictures taken when I was in 3rd grade.

In high school, I started to get more interested in sewing clothes. My freshman year, my mom and I made a project out of sewing a formal dress. I had never made a dress by myself before. It was a plain empire-waist dress with short sleeves, made out of dark blue costume satin, with a white matching jacket. I enjoyed the whole process, despite the fact that the finished product was a little bit big–I had yet to catch on to the mysteries of all the extra ease in most commercial patterns.

The project that really lit a spark under me for sewing, though, was a year or so later. I was hanging out with one of my friends one evening, and we were struck by the notion of making matching medieval-style dresses. I’m not even really sure why–we just wanted to do something. We went to WalMart that night and found a pattern and fabric we liked, and it sort of took off from there. That project had a lot of firsts for me–I don’t think I had ever even sewn gathers before, and it was a full gathered skirt, a blouse with elastic casings, and an overdress with gathers and grommets and lacing. I loved figuring out how all the parts fit together, and then being able to wear the finished product. We found several excuses over the course of the year to wear our dresses, and mine is still hanging in a closet at my parents’ house.

Renaissance dress

That started it. I now have a closet filled with things I’ve made myself. Every project has taught me something new and made me more adventurous. A few of my favorite things I’ve made:


Probably my favorite dress I’ve made, ever. It’s from a reprint of a 1950’s dress pattern.

This skirt was an adventure to sew. I copied another skirt I had, tracing off the pieces and adding seam allowances. It was a giant headache with unforeseen problems, but I love how it turned out in the end.

This is the only thing I’ve ever sewn with knit fabric. I really like how it turn out, though, and it’s super comfortable. I should try something like that again!

Last summer I got kind of busy with the whole “getting married” thing…crazy, I know…and with all of the new projects and organizing and life changes, I just didn’t get into much in the way of projects. Heck, I didn’t even read very much, and that’s unusual for me! Then, school started, and…well…you know how it goes. I literally didn’t touch my sewing machine for 6 months…I had a pile of 3 or 4 things that needed mending and I didn’t even get that done.

Finally, this month, the creative bug bit me and it’s full steam ahead. I got my mending done and started making more frequent pilgrimages to the local quilt shop, and now I have all kinds of ideas. I’ve got one project started, so hopefully there will be some pictures of that soon.