It’s my sew-iversary!

June 25, 2010

Dear friends,

June 26th is my six-month sew-iversary, and I want to share this momentous event with you by having a small giveaway. But first, I would like to take this opportunity to reflect on the first half of 2010.

I can’t believe I have only been sewing for six months. Truth told, I did own a sewing machine (a 1940s-era Singer) back in ’08, and then it broke after about three months (and I still need to have that fixed). I made a dress with my mom once, long ago, and then I incorrectly took in an area of a nightgown that had a gap in the bust sometime last year. I sewed it wrong sides together, and pinched it outward, instead of in…and I STILL wear it that way, partly out of laziness and partly as a reminder of everything I’ve learned. Those were really the only two things I had ever done before Christmas 2009.

I have, however, been exposed to the language and practice of sewing for my entire life. My mom sewed clothes and home goods while I was growing up (and now she makes a living doing it), my grandmother sewed, and my great-grandmother and great-aunt quilted, as you can see in the photo below (thanks, as always, to Caro):

My great-grandmother's quilt top

I followed sewing and quilting blogs for a while, but I mostly knitted and crocheted; I always saw sewing as my mom’s “thing,” and I never thought I could be as good as she is, so I just never picked it up. And I think I took it for granted when I was growing up, too. She had tried to teach me to sew at some point by drawing shapes on paper plates and making me sew along the lines–my earliest exposure to paper-piecing! :) I had also looked at a lot of quilting and textile traditions, taking a more studied and less practical approach to them through 08 and 09.

But I became obsessed with owning a sewing machine in October of last year, and my parents gave me one as a Christmas present. I bought myself a copy of Joelle Hoverson’s Last-Minute Patchwork and Quilted Gifts in anticipation of the event. I got my machine and made this Amy Butler bag I have actually never posted about the next day:

My mom and her quilting friend Beth took me to the local quilt shop the day after that, and I bought up a bunch of Civil War repro fabrics. This was my first quilt:

From there, quilting kind of took over my life, and then garment sewing did, too. A month or so later, I posted on Alissa’s blog that I would definitely join a modern quilt guild in the New England area if one existed, and she e-mailed me and two others and asked us to create one. The other two people had a lot going on in their lives at the time, and even though I knew basically nothing about quilting, I did know a thing or two about creating groups, so I just plowed forward. Starting and then running NEMQG has been an absolutely incredible experience, and I can’t say how proud I am to be a part of an organization full of such beautiful, kind, and inspiring people.

Along the way, I’ve made so many amazing blog friends, and I’ve learned more than I ever thought possible in six months. I’ve also completed all of this (and thrown away several ugly things I made, but never photographed):

Including all of the trashed FOs y’all have never seen, it’s an average of five FOs a month (and I always complain about not having time to sew!). It’s very clear to me that I slowly developed an aesthetic that is true to who I am over the last six months. My preferences in both quilting and garment sewing lean heavily toward vintage and traditional, but with more modern/ brighter color schemes. After trying out a few of the quilting trends (wonky, red/ gray, etc.), I can safely say that I am more drawn to traditional patterns and vintage/ thrifted or vintage-look fabrics. Obviously, the same goes for garments, as I sew almost exclusively from vintage and vintage-inspired patterns, despite their difficulty (and oh, how difficult they have been at times!). My craft bookshelf consists mostly of books that describe old quilting traditions and established quilting communities, as well as late 40s to early 60s fashion.

Looking back makes me very emotional. So much has changed for me since I started sewing and the guild. I feel like I have established a true connection with a community, and created a stronger bond with my family as well. I want to thank each and every one of you for reading my blog, for your support and inspiration, and for being a part of my life.

Now for the giveaway!!! There are two. One is for garment sewers. I have two vintage patterns, Simplicity 3358 and Simplicity 5054:

I’m also offering about 1 3/4 yards of the fabric I used to make this skirt:

It has vivid color, good drape, and is very wearable.

For all you quilters out there, I have quarter-yard cuts of these fabrics (from Paula Prass’ Woodland Delight and Denyse Schmidt’s Hope Valley):

A full yard from Amy Butler’s Lotus:

…AND a surprise from this line:

photo copyright laurie wisbrun

All you have to do is leave a comment telling me what your favorite hobby is! I don’t care if it’s quilting, sewing, or tatting lace. Actually, I’d love to see someone say that tatting lace is their favorite hobby. I’ll draw a winner on Tuesday, June 29 when I return from seeing the new exhibit at the Costume Institute in NYC (and stopping at Purl).

Thanks for entering…and for reading all the way to the end! If you’re here, I commend you on your stamina.

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15 Responses to “It’s my sew-iversary!”

  1. Tasia Says:

    Congratulations!! I’ve enjoyed reading your blog, so thanks for sharing your passion, excitement and even your struggles with us. It’s quite inspiring how much you’ve learned over the last six months, you’ve come a long way!
    Ah, you know what my favourite hobby is – sewing, of course! (And reorganizing my sewing supplies..)
    Ooh, I love that blouse pattern, I loved it when you first made it! And if I won the fabric, I’d have my very own Monet skirt for real instead of my knockoff version :) Fingers crossed!
    Anyways, congrats again and hope you have a fabulous weekend!

  2. Hollie Says:

    Congratulations on your sew-iversary! I’ve been sewing, crocheting and crafting since I was a kid but on;y started quilting 6 months ago. I would have to say that quilting is probably my favorite right now.


  3. I cannot believe you’ve only been sewing for 6 months! I had assumed you were a long-time quilter who’d just begun dabbling in garment sewing (I knew you were new to that because you’d said so). I’m so impressed!!

    My favorite crafty hobby is definitely (garment) sewing, although different aspects of it at different times. So please enter me in the garment sewing draw — but if I do win? Please just put me down for that gorgeous fabric and pull a 2nd winner for the patterns, neither will fit and you know I’m trying to purge patterns this year!

  4. Molly Says:

    Congratulations! I can’t wait to see what you do in the next six months. I probably have too many hobbies, but sewing is definitely my biggest. I love being able to make my own clothes that cost a ton less then they would in a store, if I was even able to find such cool things in stores haha!

  5. yahaira Says:

    6 months?! you’re clearly a natural! or maybe you absorbed it all from your family through osmosis :)
    I love all your fo’s and the mosaic shows how you honed your aesthetic (which I love btw!)

    I’m so jealous you get to go to the Costume Institute! I’ll need a full report.

    can my fave hobby be bugging you through email? :)

  6. Meaghan Says:

    MONET! 6 months??? Holy moley! My favorite hobby is definitely quilting and also just looking at fabric in general. :) I hope I win your giveaway (not really a garment sewer though, so someone else may have better use for those patterns.) I’m so happy that we are friends. Happy sewiversary!

  7. Abby Joy Says:

    You know…I was lucky to come from a long line of amazing seamstresses…I’m 23 and been sewing for almost 20 years…and I love taking out a piece of fabric and just seeing a garment begging to be cut out and created…:) So, I guess that makes design and sewing my hobby. :) Thanks for the giveaway!

  8. Lyddie Says:

    I like to knit…especially stocking caps. :)

  9. Amy Says:

    fashion history and sewing clothes are my hobby in general. Right now I am really into pattern drafting and taking photos of the lake.

    And i must say you have accomplished quite a lot in 6 mos!

  10. Jon Yusoff Says:

    Hi Monet,
    I am responding to your challenge and say that tatting lace IS my hobby, and there are many others like me. You are welcome to visit my blog, http://tatsaway.blogspot.com/ to read more about my tatting.

    I also sew sometimes but not as much as tatting.

  11. Jill Says:

    Sewing and quilting are by far my favorite hobbies.
    Like everyone else, I’m surprised to hear that you have only been sewing for 6 months! That’s crazy! Your projects really look like you’ve been sewing for years.
    So glad you started the NEMQG and I love your flying geese :)

  12. cat Says:

    hi monet! i totally thought it was your blogiversary or something but wow, 6 months of sewing! you have come so far, i can’t believe it. i still remember when you used to knit. ;-) anyway, congrats on all your success. when you are a famous designer some day i will say i knew you back when! hopefully we can meet up soon!

  13. Edith Says:

    I am really impressed that you’ve only been sewing for six months! I just now realized (as I was thinking about my favorite hobby) that I’m really impressed by your willingness to trash projects. I mean, I know you probably don’t do it easily, but I do see that you do. I think not being willing to do so really cuts into my enjoyment of sewing and I’m resolving right now that let go a little bit. OK, now that I’ve got that out of my system, my favorite hobby is quilting but I really love making bags and I’m hoping to get more into garment making (so far I mostly like making skirts and children’s dresses).


  14. Monet…my jaw just dropped. 6 months? Are you KIDDING ME?!?!? You are definitely an inspiration! You tackle things that I wouldn’t dream of being able to sew & I’ve been sewing for 3+ years!!!! Congrats on your sew-iversary!!!

    Since quilting is my job, my favorite hobby is cross stitching because it’s SO relaxing and addicting and recently I’ve gotten more into art journaling…which you should do to document the days leading up to your next sew-iversary! <3!

  15. Laurie Says:

    Hi Monet!

    I can’t believe it’s only been 6 months! I am so impressed and excited for you. You’ve done some great work and have literally made life better for lots of people in being able to connect us to other modern quilters within the New England area. See you soon!


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