Monday, July 4, 2011

Monday Inspiration Celebration: sewing magic

Singer Rocketeer

gift from my father to my mother
compensation for swollen ankles,
indigestion, insomnia
and my eventual arrival.

1962 was the last year of all metal parts
but I inherited
my mother's weak knees
not her patience
or even stitches.

The rhythmic hum
one room away,
sewing was my mother's one true gift,
each stitch a mantra of love
neatly executed.

Only now can I appreciate the extent of her devotion
to manifest affection
through cloth, word, paint, song.

It is only now, a mother myself, do I recognize the need a parent has to express their love through multiple mediums. As if words are insufficient when it comes to describing the extent of my love for my child. So I paint, I make cards, I leave notes (well, she believes the fairies and our house gnome leave those), I sing and yes, I even attempt sewing.

I love the creativity behind re-purposed clothing and when I saw these skirts made out of old t-shirts, I was inspired to clean out some drawers, dust off the Rocketeer and try my hand at creative sewing.

I am pretty shocked this came out as well as it did -

I used this video for guidance although I fudged the pattern a bit, making more of a wedge shape in the hopes the skirt would flare out from the waist a bit more. My machine does not allow me to slip the skirt over a sleeve arm, so I cannot easily sew in the round but I was able to create a gathered or pleated effect by "bunching" the excess material in even spaces around the waistband as I sewed the two together. (I don't know if that makes any sense unless you sew; suffice to say, as I sewed the two pieces together I had no idea how it was turning out or if indeed I had sewed the skirt shut!)

This was a great project completed in the time Cowgirl and her dad were at the swimming pool. As applique t-shirts are a staple in her wardrobe, I am excited to realize I can salvage those cute designs and stretch their use out for another season or two. (for this project, I used 3 of Cowgirl's t-shirts to create the 9 panels and the bottom of an adult tee for the waistband.)

Now I am seriously contemplating this play tent design (with the help of the husband for the frame) and of course some festive pennant banners as seen here. (Honestly, can you imagine a more magical birthday celebration?)

Happy fourth of July to my fellow Americans enjoying a long weekend!


  1. Hi Lis, you did great with that skirt and it's easy to understand how you describe the job. Isn't it nice to reuse stuff? I always look how to get a lot out of little. Wish you a great celebrating day.

  2. i totally LOVE those t-skirts...and am planning on having a go myself....

    madness, i tell i really *need* another project? *laughs maniacally*

    Cowgirl looks divine in your creation, i must say...

    i have to say i felt like a totally bad mother when i saw all the beautiful specialness of that birthday celebration. clearly, i do not make near enough fuss....;)