Today I had my first sewing lesson with my grandma. When I say my grandmother is an amazing seamstress, I really do mean it. She used to be a home economics teacher (I used to love going to school with her when I was little--like 1st and 2nd grade--she taught for Cincinnati Public at that time). She's the one responsible for this christening gown (worn by me, my brother, my sister, and then Cate).
She's the one who made me this velveteen coat and bonnet when I was little and which Cate wore to church all winter.
She's the one who made me this spring coat and bonnet and that Cate also wore this spring.
And this dress? Yup, handmade by my grandma, for me, then worn by Cate.
I don't know that I aspire to do anything quite so fancy with sewing. I really just want to know how to follow a simple pattern to make some simple things. I'm not sure where this will take me though. I spent almost five hours at my grandma's house today working on this:
The center of the pattern is what we're going for. We're not making the hat though, because Cate won't keep it on. It involved a bit of cutting...
...and a lot of pinning and sewing and pressing and repeat. But I loved every minute of it. I'm not done yet- these things do take time and I am a beginner. However, we'll be able to put the finishing touches on in less than an hour next week. This is the top/dress part of the outfit. It will get trimmed with chocolate brown ric-rac (the fabric is white with a pink ric-rac-ish pattern and a hint of chocolate brown) and will have buttons on the shoulder. It'll criss-cross in the back like the pattern shows above.
These are the bottoms/bloomers that are obviously unfinished. My "homework" this week is to sew (using the machine I'm borrowing from my other grandma) the place where the elastic will go (no idea what this is called) in the waistband and around the legs. Plus, I need to measure Cate's waist and upper thighs. I'll put the elastic in next week along with the buttons and buttonholes on the dress. We'll finish with the ric-rac and voila: a cute little outfit, perfect for the hot and humid days to come (especially when we go on vacation to Hilton Head), that Cate will look oh so scrumptious wearing.
The best thing about all that-- I did it myself! And in the words of Grover in one of my favorite childhood books (called I Can Dress Myself), "Oh, I am so proud."