a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Sew what!

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Sew what!

SUMMARY: Once upon a time, I did just that.
Starting from a comment I made on Facebook, Feb 21, '21

A friend on Facebook bought a poorly fitting t-shirt, tailored it, and changed the sleeve style.  It looks great! Dang it, a couple of shirts that I bought 2 years ago I did so specifically thinking I'd make a go at tailoring (which I've never done), but-- haven't so far.  She offered to point me to some good information if I wanted to pursue it. 

I am not actually, really, seriously interested in doing that. Have started to think, "I have money. Other people can sew." Even though I have only very recently given away the fabric and clothing patterns that I bought when I was doing that back in the early '80s--I had never actually got around to finishing them. Crazy, right? So those traveled with me to 5 homes of various durations, and finally I realized, nope, that part of my life is done.

I'm a little slow on these realizations.

Patterns that I either used or didn't.

I had made some clothing up to that sudden cease. Simple tennis outfit that I wore a lot, wedding dress that was not simple and that I wore once 👀. 

Made the tennis dress on the right using light blue fabric and dark blue trim
 (and matching hidden shorts).

I made the v-neck version (without the belt), in a purple shiny fabric with tiny flowers.
Made a long-sleeved shirt for my husband in matching fabric.

1977, at the Renaissance Pleasure Faire. The project: fairly simple slightly gathered maxi skirt
and matching shawl with black fringe.

The maxi and shawl came from the pattern on the right.
(My sister made the same thing but in a different color.)
Left: I made the shirt in front with a blue and white tiny-flowered fabric.

I made a shorter skirt. A pair of matching complicated button-down shirts for me and a date for Sadie Hawkins Day Dance. Made another long skirt and long-sleeved peasant blouse for use when attending SCA activities (which I did a few times a year back then because two sisters and several friends were heavily involved), oh, and a long, warm hooded cloak for the same reason. 

Some dresses--a long-sleeved wrap-around that I really liked and a couple more. 

Wrap-around dress and its pattern. Up until about 5 years ago, I could wear it fine. 
Then, suddenly, I lost a lot of height and my chest became annoying large.
When I took this photo also I had put on a little weight. Again.
It went into the donation pile. 

Besides, I can count the number of times that I have worn a dress in the past 30 years on probably less than one finger. 

A couple of tank tops, another couple of sleeved tops.... and then: Sewing silence. The wedding dress might have been the last clothing I ever made. 

I kept the unfinished fabric and patterns because of course I'd get back to it, but suddenly post-wedding my life filled with many other things! 🥰  I sewed a few crafts: stuffed animals as gifts, some doll-house furniture... Hmmm, what else? Then I simplified my sewing life: Does it require a pattern? Yes? Gone. Does it require anything other than straight lines? Yes? Gone.  So, just harmless things like gift bags, duvet covers from sheets, repaired ripped seams in clothing, like that.

And then my sewing machine stopped working properly. I wasn't desperate enough to fix it. Keep meaning to... like I kept meaning to get back to those clothings. When I finally emptied that box, I had already cut out the fabric for one of the patterns, with the pattern pieces still pinned to it! Like a Pompeii artifact: Normal life then, suddenly, BOOM! sewing project buried forever.

It was never a specific hobby for me; I'd have never, even then, added it to a list of "things I like to do."

But it was fun for a while.

I have photos of so few of the things!

Wedding dress. Lace jacket with lace-wrapped buttons. Dress with very very very full skirt, 
Two layers: lavender satin topped with lace (the bodice: just satin with spaghetti straps).
Maybe the complexity and time it took to assemble finally wore me out on sewing clothing!
Really need to scan more wedding photos--
(My bridesmaids: Four sisters, one sister-in-law, and my maid of honor.)


  1. My sister is a bit like you, though she still sews a little. I was just at her house, she has a whole wall full of fabric that she is going to use 'someday' and piles of patterns, many from when we were in high school, which was....the 70s. :)
    I hated sewing...too hard to rip stuff out when it was wrong. Nothing I made was truly wearable. I never owned a sewing machine and was grateful when my 1 year of sewing for 4-H was over. My mom sewed all our clothes when we were little, sewed the curtain at the lake house which are still hanging here. She still made some of her own clothes up till she died. I think you're either a sewer or not a sewer.

    I LOVED your wedding dress!!!

    1. Thanks about the dress! I love it, too, but really no occasion at which to wear it! I still have that, and, again, until sometime in the 2010s I could usually still fit into it (barely). Hmm, I still have a few others of the things even if I almost never wear them. I could take photos... !!
      Your sister's collection of fabric sounds like quilters I know, who have entire cabinets filled with fabric that they like that they're sure they'll use eventually. Most of them actually do keep making quilts, but I'm skeptical about their heirs not inheriting miles of piles of gorgeous fabric.
      My mom's mom sewed a lot. I think that the matching dresses for my mom and we 3 kids at the time were her doing. My mom sewed a lot when we were young, but that petered out at some point--probably when we had enough money to buy more clothing. I took one semester of sewing in Jr. High because it was required (the boys took shop), and it was fun but I never really did understand fabric all that well--a few of the things I made never hung right because of the fabric. And, yes, hated making mistakes, which I did often. But it was great to get a better understanding of simply sewing and how to use a clothing pattern! I had used mom's pedal sewing machine as a kid to play around with things--I think I made a bag once (straight lines...).

  2. But tennis was one of your hobbies.

    1. I did like playing tennis. And then I stopped. I haven't played tennis in 25 years at least, more like 30. I can't convince myself to get rid of my racket-- bad knees and back and everything, but I still keep it "just in case"--