Posts Categorized: Home Sweet Home

Another (Better) Skirt, Simplicity 1807

October 19, 2012 Home Sweet Home, Stitching 0

This time with pictures…

Finally, it is finished. After lots of frogging (is that an acceptable term in sewing, or is that just a knitting thing?) and starting over, I finally finished my first project with my purdy new sewin’ machine.



That’s another skirt! Same pattern as last time (Simplicity 1807), but a different version. This one has two layers and is longer — much longer than I expected, actually.


I learned some new things. Improvement is good, yes?

The most obvious new thing: the French seam!

skirt3 skirt4

It looks much neater compared to the first. Both the linen blend and the denim ravel easily, but I didn’t know what that meant when I made the first skirt. As you can see, the seams are all terribly messy now. I’m not sure how to fix that yet.


The only edge I didn’t enclose was the upper band edge, where the skirts meet the waistband. This would have involved stitching together four thick-ish seams (two on the drawstring casing, and one for each skirt layer) and I just wasn’t confident that the needle/foot I had on the machine could handle it. I could have figured out which needle/foot would work for the thick stuff, but by this point in the process I just wanted to be able to wear the damn skirt already.


The drawstring is stitched bias tape instead of ribbon this time. I thought it might be less likely to untie by itself than the shiny ribbon I used before — and it does stay tied — but I’m not sure that it is 100% awesome. Maybe something different again next time.

No pocket on this one either. I originally planned on doing one (because, dude, pockets) but I was just tired of this whole thing! Much better to be done for now, so I can move on to a new project, and maybe later a patch pocket can be added on.


I think I’ll work on some more mending next. Or maybe some curtains?

My First Skirt, Simplicity 1807

July 29, 2012 Home Sweet Home, Stitching 2

One of my personal goals has been to learn how to sew.

Well, 2 weeks ago I got to spend some time with a couple of sewing buddies. M. was kind enough to let me borrow her older machine (she has a fancy new one), and to help me along in my first foray into sewing.

I made a skirt! It is purple! With yellow ribbon! And a POCKET. I am super happy about the pocket. All skirts should have pockets. Everything should have pockets.

I don’t know what I want to make next. I’m tempted to try another skirt. Like, this same skirt but in a bunch of different colors. Or patterns? Fabrics? Or maybe I should try something more appropriate for fall?

Well, I don’t know when I’ll next get a chance to sew, anyway. So there’s plenty of time to decide. Any suggestions from the peanut gallery?


January 1, 2012 Garden, Home Sweet Home 0

It’s that time of year again.


Time for lemons!


I never knew, until we moved down here to the coast, that citrus fruits ripened in the winter.


We didn’t even realize that we had a lemon tree in the back yard until Christmas last year. My mother was the one who noticed that those yellow things hanging from the branches weren’t just odd leaves — they were fruit.

(In our defense, the lemon tree is on the opposite side of the back yard from our rear windows, and we hardly ever go out there anyway.)


The tree has really outdone itself this year. I don’t know if it was the drought or the heat or what, but the thing is practically dripping with lemons.


I made some honey-lemon chicken with the first ripe fruit. An approximation of the recipe I used can be found at Closet Cooking, but I’ve been doing this dish my own way for a few years now. I roasted it with carrots this time, too. Perhaps I ought to eventually write my own recipe down and share it here.


Ye Olde Sewing Machine

April 17, 2011 Home Sweet Home, Stitching 0

Do I know how to sew?  No.  I mean, I made a pillow once in Home Ec. ages and ages ago.  But!  We are now proud owners of a sewing machine.  I mentioned a couple of posts ago that my grandmother was kind enough to send us this old rotary thing:

It belonged to my great-grandmother, Nana. She bought it in 1933 or ’34 and it was the first electric sewing machine around. Keep in mind that this was the middle of the Great Depression, so this was a BIG purchase. Nana paid it off by sewing up burlap sacks for the two local cotton gins.
This sewing machine has seen a lot of use… as both a sewing machine and as a side table. You can see here that it doesn’t look like much when it’s all put away:


If it weren’t for the hinges and the cord coming out the bottom, you’d never suspect it was anything more than an old beat-up side table.
And this thing is heavy as all get-out. I don’t know if we could even get it up the stairs without some serious struggle. Is it cast iron? I think so. It sure feels like it.


It takes two hands just to get the darn thing up out of its little hideaway spot.
I’ve done a bit of sleuthing, trying to figure out where it might have come from and whether or not it might still be operational. Reliable information has, thus far, been scarce. A brief mention of an “Elgin Sewing Machine and Bicycle Company” is made here in a history of the manufacturing town of Elgin, Illinois. According to this site, the company was later bought out by Sears, Roebuck, and Co. (or at least the “Bicycle” part of the company was… no mention is made of what became of the “Sewing Machine” part of the company). I would not be surprised if Sears continued manufacturing the machines under the Elgin name and Nana ordered this particular machine through the Sears catalog.
I have no idea if it’s still operational. I’ll have to take it in to a specialty repair shop to have it looked at.
Know anything about old Elgins? Leave a comment and let me know! I’m so curious!