Sewing with Shirley!

THE INSPIRATION: Earlier this spring, Money Saving Mom posted a FREE Drawstring Dress pattern for Dolls, originally posted by Liberty Jane Clothing.  I have wanted to learn how to sew for some time now, so I saved the dress pattern to my computer.

THE TEACHER: On Tuesday, I called up my friend Shirley from church.  Shirley is an accomplished seamstress, and has helped my sisters with their sewing.  She once worked for a costume shop and has frequently designed costumes, quilts, and art-works for the church.  She also babysits her grandson Aeden, who is about 6 months older than Naomi.  So we decided to make Friday our sewing/play-date.  Thankfully my mom and sister were also available to help with the three little ones!

THE MATERIALS: My materials were all FREE.  I borrowed my sister Karilyn’s sewing machine and sewing box, and I borrowed my Dad’s extension cords.  I borrowed my Mom’s scissors, and we cut up one of her old maternity dresses for fabric.  Shirley also brought along some scrap material that she didn’t need anymore.

THE LESSON: Since I had very little experience in sewing (middle school home economics, anyone?), Shirley began with a lesson that she recently taught to her 4-H students.  With her help, I made a little pin-cushion pillow out of 5 small squares of hand-dyed cloth.

THE DRESS: Although I thought the dress would only take a couple hours, it was four hours before we said goodbye.  It was really good to learn how to read the pattern and the instructions alongside a professional.  Shirley was very helpful and patient, and I learned a lot more than I would have on my own.  Plus, I’m sure it would have taken me 8 hours if I were working alone!  When the dress was done, I added buttons and a ribbon as the finishing touches.

THE MENDING: Whenever I attempt to sew, anyone nearby will offer up their clothes for mending too.  Since I was at the sewing machine, Brad and my Dad brought me two shirts and two pairs of pants to sew.

NAOMI’S REACTION: Naomi was delighted with the new “dress”!  She promptly brought me another naked doll, and said, “dress?”

SUMMARY: I was thrilled with my accomplishments!  I feel more confident now to try sewing other items.  I also saved money by repairing our clothing instead of buying new clothing.  In addition, it was also a great opportunity to spend some time getting to know more about Shirley and Aeden.  Now that I’m an amateur seamstress, I’ll have to try these other FREE doll dress patterns from Liberty Jane Clothing!

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5 Responses to “Sewing with Shirley!”

  1. Kristy says:

    Oh gosh, Shirley was an invaluable resource when I sewed my dress (human size, haha). Good choice for a teacher! She’s fun! 🙂 Glad you’re feeling more confident about it too! We’ll have to try being amateur seamstresses together when I get home, if we get the chance! 🙂

    Apologies for all the exclamation points. Apparently I get easily excited over sewing projects, lol. 😉

  2. Shirley says:

    Gee, between the 2 of you, you really have my halo shining. I ‘m glad you enjoyed it, your a good student. I had a lot of fun too. Let me know when you want to do it again.

  3. Jessica says:

    Kristy & Shirley, my friend Rachel sent me this pattern (from Oliver + S) on Facebook. I think this might be my next project! What do you think?

    http://www.oliverands.com/blog/2008/08/lazy-days-skirt-free-pattern.html

  4. […] on August 25, 2011 by Jessica Do-It-Yourself: Turn a T-Shirt into a Girl’s Ruffled Skirt I am no seamstress, so I love EASY sewing projects!  Brad has a lot of old t-shirts around, so I’d love to try […]

  5. […] Well, it’s called the lost art of hand-sewing. […]

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