Sew, A Needle Pulling Thread . . . . .

My mom is here visiting and one of her many, many skills is sewing. I’m talking on an haute couture level here. So I’ve enlisted her to make all kinds of things for the house while she’s here: drapes, slipcovers, pillows ….. because to say that I didn’t inherit that talent would be an understatement.

The worst grade I ever got in school was in Home Ec. (That’s how old I am – we actually had to take a class called Home Ec in like the 7th grade or something.) One of the things we had to do was to sew a stuffed animal. Mine was supposed to be a whale but it looked like a really toothy monster and everyone made fun of it for years. (No wonder I never learned how to sew. I was probably traumatized on some subconscious level.)

Anyway, I haven’t gone near a sewing machine since but I have been collecting fabric and textiles for years. So has my mom and together, we’re up to our eyeballs in fabric – it’s not at the point where “Hoarders” is going to call but we have a lot so we decided it was time to start making stuff. You know, because we don’t have enough to do(!) Who knows? Maybe I’ll finally get over my contempt for the sewing machine in the process.

Do you all know how to sew? Stay tuned for the progress and in the meantime, have a great weekend!

(Photos: 1.Curtain Up 2.Martha Stewart)


  1. heather says:

    That does make me smile…my mum was the same!
    I’m not sure my textile collection rivals yours but it is
    bigger than it should be! Yep home ec in grade 8/9….something my darling daughters could have used
    as even setting a table seems to require directing to this day and two are just at the 30 mark and the academic at 24 well…??? What can I say I thought they would absorb from home…LOL

  2. Karena says:

    Oh Ally you should see the last pillow I (attempted) to sew! I love gorgeous fabrics thought and am excted to see what your projects will be!

    Art by Karena

  3. Melissa says:

    Ally ~ you make me laugh! Old? I think not, or else, I’m old with you because I also had to take Home Ec. Believe it or not, I actually won Miss Home Ec title during my 9th grade year ~ hilarious, non? I’m still not sure how this happen…I guess it was my grandmother’s banana bread recipe?!?!

    Now, I can’t wait to see what your mama creates ~ lucky you!

  4. Emma says:

    You lucky, lucky thing I hope everything turns out beautifully. My talent stops at pillowcases and we have so many of them now my husband has begged me not to make anymore…!

  5. Jessie says:

    Hey I also took Home Ec! I hated it! I hate to sew!!! I use that iron on hem stuff when I need to “sew”. LOL Enjoy your time with your mom. That is so sweet that she is going to make stuff for you. :)

  6. Janell Beals says:

    Lucky you! I sew, sometimes I wish I didn’t, but certainly has made a lot of projects possible I wouldn’t have paid someone else to do! I had to read the last paragraph twice and look at photo credits. For a minute I thought that closet was yours and I was going to come down stat to take some fabric off your hands!

    Happy Sewing! Janell

  7. Niki McNeill says:

    I definitely took Home Ec in middle school but unlike you, I loved it! We had to make “babies” out of a flour bag and carry them around for a day too! haha

    How wonderful that you have a seamstress mom!

  8. Tonia says:

    I had home economics and it was not one of my best grades and I sure didn’t learn how to sew and I should not because of home ec, but but greandmothers and my mother are seamtress, so go figure, but I know how to cook though :)

  9. Kathy says:

    My mom sews but not nearly on a haute couture level. More on a very slow, takes her a few weeks to hem pants kind of way. She actually bought me a sewing machine years ago as a birthday gift. I took a few unsuccessful classes and haven’t touched it since. I think I need a sewing tutor!

  10. Cattie says:

    I can totally relate! I hated sewing class in school. I was decent at (and enjoyed) woodworking class but sewing… I always used to manage to prick my fingers with the needles and get blood on the fabric and I suspect my teacher disliked me as much as I disliked the class! :-)

  11. Oh, I would love to learn how to sew. I am in the same boat as you with tons of fabric in our house. It would be awesome if I could whip up a quick pillow cover instead of having to send it out for someone else to do!!!

  12. whitney says:

    I got a sewing machine for Christmas this year. I did sew a bit when I was in junior high, but not in about 15 years. I have a lot of “to-do” projects for the home, as do you. I’m learning as I go and hopefully will get some decent drapery out of it!

    Have you looked online for teaching tutorials? They really helped me ease back into sewing with little frustration!

  13. My Mom is an amazing seamstress as well and I used to be able to get her to make all kinds of wonderful things for me. My sister kind of ruined it for me by becoming a very proficient seamstress as well. Now my Mom looks at me like “can’t you do this yourself!” when I ask for something. I actually have some very poor sewing skills of my own. Though I’m not sure I even remember how to thread my own machine these days.
    My best friend in high school’s mother was an artist who quilted. She had a sign in her studio that read “Whoever dies with the most fabrics, WINS!” I always thought that was a worthy goal.

  14. Jessica says:

    My Gma was a seemstress and quilter extraordinaire…so I gave sewing a good, whole hearted try once…and discovered I’m aweful at it! My buttons don’t even stay on no matter how much thread I tack on…just wasn’t meant to be!

    I can’t wait to see what your mom and you create…(notice how I put ‘mom’ first) 😉

    Happy sewing…
    xo J~

  15. Hurrah, just what I need to inspire me to use my own fabric mountain. We need detailed photos, please, of everything she makes. I’m guessing your sense of style came from her, even though the sewing skills skipped a generation.

  16. LLH Designs says:

    I don’t know how to sew, but wish I hadn’t resisted when my mom tried to show me. My 8 year old wants to learn, so my sweet husband gave her a sewing machine for Christmas. Maybe she’ll teach me!

    Have fun with your mom! Lucky you!

  17. Melissah says:

    I’m an interior designer from Melbourne, Australia – I loved your blog, I found it very inspiring. This is all new to me but I have just set up my own blog
    You may like to check it out because I had so much fun doing it.
    Thanks for providing me with such great entertainment!

  18. sherry hart says:

    Girl…I had to take home ec also….and had to make a dress. Wish I still had it. I took sewing lessons about 4 years ago and I really loved it. But…it takes time. I can’t wait to see what your Mom whips up for you!

  19. Lumo says:

    My mother is very talented in sewing, but I haven’t inherited any of her talent… Still I have made my living out of textiles for the past 16 years, selling fabrics for interior designers, haute couture, garment industry… I have plenty of good ideas for designs, but need always to have someone to excecute my designs.

  20. Amanda says:

    I made the scruffiest looking PE skirt at school, so sewing has not really been a talent of mine (unfortunately) :( But I confess to feeling some real cupboard envy – lovely colours, I could snuggle in there quite happily!

  21. vivacindy says:

    my mom is the same…a sew wiz. she used to make me and my sisters dresses for the holidays! a new dress every easter and xmas!

    she lives in OH but whenever she comes to Atlanta we do projects together. she bought me a sewing machine a year ago for my bday and it seems i cant get started sewing unless she is here.
    latest project is a reupolster job shell be helping me with from a $50 score on an antique couch on craigslist. i only wish my mom lived here with me…..i would be so productive.

    cant wait to see what you guys sew!

  22. Hey sister, funny enough I just came across a big box gifted to me by my favorite uncle, the box is full of old flour, salt, oat and flaked butter sacks. Yes. Flaked butter. WHo knew? I used the ones with little to no silk screen left for wrapping/protecting my Christmas tree ornaments (which are mixed antiques and moderns given to me every year and collected myself) and the ones that have a great silk screen are either going up in frames/shadow boxes or being sewn into pillow covers. The bags ranged from one pound to 100lbs!!!! They’re fantastic relics and belonged to my maternal great grandmother. Food is in my blood! I’ll share the results with you when I’m done!

  23. Kristen C. says:

    WE HAD TO MAKE WHALES TOO!! What a strange animal to make but we made stuffed animal whales and a gym bag (so everyone had the same non-descript black gym bag for years to come).

    And I’ve just re-opened my Denise Schmidt quilts book and start plotting again… :)

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