I undertook my very first sewing challenge last week. Once I got the machine cleaned and threaded (which was actually easier than I expected – apparently “following the directions” is useful), I headed to Hobby Lobby for fabric and patterns. I found an adorable McCall’s pattern for a little girl’s dress that could easily double as a nightgown, which is what the girls want me to make for them. They were on sale for ninety-nine cents each, so of course I had to stock up. I went up to the sweet little old lady working the fabric counter and asked her advice on nightgown fabrics. I confessed that I’ve never sewn before, and that any advice would be helpful. The sweet little old lady looked up at me and said, “Oh, honey”, as only sweet little old ladies do, “Do you really think that you can make these when you haven’t sewn a thing before?”
I was crestfallen. Gone were my visions of the girls going to bed that night in beautifully crafted, homemade nighties. My disappointment must have shown on my face, because she quickly said, “What you need to do is go and get yourself some cheap fabric and make you some pillows. And you just keep on makin’ those pillows until you get things figured out, okay? And after that get yourself a sewing book. And after that you can try your hand at some patterns”.
Properly admonished, I allowed myself to be led to the clearance fabric section, certain that I’d be stuck with seventies-looking paisleys or neon solids. To my surprise, I found several bolts of Disney Princess fabrics! Score! L picked a purple Princess Tiana print, and C picked out Cinderella. I found a cute, mod hot pink and brown polka dot for A that matches her room. I got half a yard of each for a grand total of about seven dollars (not including the ninety-nine cent patterns that I insisted on buying anyway)! So cheap even my husband couldn’t complain if I totally screwed them up.
Princess Tiana went first, and went surprisingly smooth – in the beginning. About halfway through the second side my bobbin ran out of thread. I, being the sewing dunce that I am, assumed that bobbins were like spools of thread and had to be replaced when they ran out. I posted a lack-of-bobbin lament on Facebook, only to have a comment from my mom ten seconds later that read, “You know you can refill those, don’t you?”
No. I did not know that.
I found my machine instructions (while ignoring the Facebook alerts on my phone indicating that many, many other people had also clarified my idiocy) and set about refilling the bobbin. Lo and behold, it worked!
And it was one of the proudest moments of my life.
I got back to work, and finished my pillow – and it looked like a pillow! An actual pillow! And so did the others! Well, poor C’s pillow ended up more of a lumbar-pillow shape, but that’s due to my poor scissors skills (which is a whole other story). But wonky or not, all three girls were pretty pleased with their new travel pillows, and they were finished just in time for our spring break road trip. Here they are:
And I did it all by myself*.
*Aside from the helpful phone advice from my mom