fledge capable of flying, from Middle English flegge, from Old English -flycge; akin to Old High German flucki capable of flying,
Old English flEogan to fly -- more at FLY
intransitive verb, of a young bird : to acquire the feathers necessary for flight or independent activity

Sunday, November 23, 2008

"Once upon a time..."

There are many "So, I began to sew..." stories being posted. They are very inspirational to read. As soon as the stories come to the part of "One day, I found Farbenmix..." I find amazing how similar these stories are to my sewing story. It goes something like this for a lot of us: "And then I found klickundblick. And since then my sewing machine has been going non-stop. And since then, I've made many, many new friends. And since then, sewing has become more colorful, more joyful and more fun. Since then, sewing has become a part of my life."

Sewing is pretty deep in my DNA, as my mother always sewed me wonderful clothes, all the way through college. But I'd like to jump ahead and show you my first sewing project for one of my children.

I made this little overall thing that Anna is wearing while I was pregnant with Jack. I'll tell you a few things I learned from this first sewing project.

The first thing I learned about sewing for babies is that babies are small. Yep, pretty darn little creatures these babies are. This overall thing was huge -- just huge -- compared to my tiny baby boy. Jack wouldn't fit this overall until he was well into his twos. 

The second thing I learned about sewing for kids is that, big white appliqués across the front and across the bum are a good idea -- not. (There is a back side to that bunny on the back of the overalls. And yes, that is a bunny. A stylized bunny. Yes, it is. Yes, it is. And, yes, it is cute. In a stylized bunny way, cute. Not hideous. Cute.) Really, colors that conceal apple sauce and blueberry yoghurt and grass and dirt are better choices. Really. 

The third thing I learned about sewing for babies is that sewing is too expensive. Frankly, I'd never heard of JoAnn's and picked up this navy cotton percale for a measly $16 a yard. Something about it being from Italy or something...And the buttons are shell, so named as I shelled out about $5 apiece for the large ones. All in all, about $50 in supplies. For just that? Great.

And the fourth thing I learned was that I couldn't rely on sewing patterns. The neck was too large, the body too wide...I just never really liked the way this thing fit. Like a sack. Just weird. Just plain weird.  

In summary, sewing for kids would be expensive, ill-fitting and just weird, somehow. I sewed no more. Jack made it through toddlerdom entirely in GAP overalls and t-shirts, as did Anna, for the most part.

And then one day on Ebay, I came across Farbenmix. And then I clicked onto klickundblick.de. My. Chin. Hit. The. Floor. And despite the weird bunny overall experience, I tried a bit of sewing again, this time without patterns. And my story from that point on is about the same as everybody else's. Sabine welcomed me into the forum and said some of the nicest things about the clothes I had made. Blew me away. Sabine began publishing a few of her own patterns. I was blown away again at how nicely DORTJE fit. Blew me away. At one point, when I messed around with bias cuts and made a skirt, Sabine offered to make a pattern of it. Blew me away again. I never would have moved beyond that weird bunny overall thing without Sabine Pollehn. I never would have made these friends. I never would have come out of my shell this way. And since then my sewing machine has been going non-stop. And since then, I've made many, many new friends. And since then, sewing has become more colorful, more joyful and more fun. Sewing has become a part of my life.

I have also since learned to sew to size. I have since learned that while much of the fabric I buy may still be $16 a yard, I can find good plain navy fabric for much, much less. And I've also since learned that handmade clothes can not only not be weird, they can be spectacular, a celebration, in fact.

I'll have more to say on that soon. 

But for now, I'd love to hear your "So, I began to sew" story. If you post it, I'd love to link it.

Es gehen die "Und so fing ich zum Nähen an"-Geschichten in die Blogs herum. Sie sind wirklich inspirierend. Sobald die Geschichten zu dem Teil kommen-- "Und eines Tages stosste ich auf Farbenmix..." --finde ich's fazinierend wie ähnlich meine Story zu all den anderen Stories ist. Die Geschichten gehen in etwa so: "Und dann kam ich auf klickundblick.de. Und seitdem steht meine Nähmaschine nicht stil. Und seitdem habe ich nette, nette, bedeutungsvolle Freundschaften geknüpft. Und seitdem ist mein Nähen bunter, fröhlicher, lustiger geworden. Das Nähen ist zum Teil meines Lebens geworden."

Das Nähen steckt bei mir ziemlich tief im DNS drin, denn meine Mutter nähte mir wundervolle Sachen bis ins Uni-Alter. Aber ich möchte in meiner Story ein wenig vorspringen und auf mein erstes Projekt für meine Kinder kommen.

Das Ding, das Anna trägt, habe ich während meiner Schwangerschaft mit Jack genäht. Aus diesem Projekt habe ich einiges gelernt. Erstens habe ich gelernt das Säuglinge recht klein sind. Winzige Wesen sind diese Babies in wirklichkeit. Diese Latzhose war riesig. Jack könnte diese erst mit zwei Jahren tragen.

Als zweites habe ich gelernt, große weißen Applikationen vorne am Bauch und hinten am Po gute Ideen nicht sind. (Auf dem Latzhoserücken ist nochmals das Häschen von hinten. Doch, ist ein Hase. Ein stilisierter Hase. Doch. Und ist süß. Doch. Nicht schrecklich. Nein, süß). Nö, Apfelmußflecken, Blaubeerflecken, Grasflecken, Weiss-woher-nicht-Flecken sind magnetisch angezogen worden.

Drittens habe ich gelernt wie teuer das Nähen ist. Damals kannte ich den großen Stoff-Discounter nicht und dieser Baumwollstoff hier kostete schlappe $16 pro Yard. Irgend etwas hatte die Verkäuferin von "aus Italien" erzählt. Und die Knöpfe sind aus Muschel und ich habe für die großen je $5 berappt. Na, wunderbar. $50 für das bißchen Stoff und Knöpfe?

Viertens habe ich gelernt, daß ich mich nicht auf die Schnittmuster für Kinder verlassen könnte. Der Halsausschnitt ist zu groß. Das Ding insgesamt zu weit. Wie ein Sack. Alles merkwürdig. 

Ergo, das Nähen für meine Kids wäre teuer, die Sachen würden nicht passen und das ganze wäre meiner Bemühungen nicht wert. Jack verbrachte seine Kleinkindzeit ausschließlich in GAP Latzhosen und Anna beinahe auch.

Und dann eines Tages stosste ich auf Sabine Pollehn und klickundblick.de. Und meine Story geht ab da fast genauso wie Euere. Ich habe ein wenig das Nähen wieder angefasst (trotz Hasenhose-Disaster und diesmal ohne Schnittmuster, danke schön). Und stellte ein paar Photos bei klickundblick ein. Sabine schenkte mir herzhafte Komplimente und mir Mut anderes zu probieren. Irgendwann stellte ich einen bestimmten Rock in die Galerie ein. Dann bat Sabine an, daraus einen Schnittmuster zu erstellen. Und seitdem steht meine Nähmaschine nicht stil. Und seitdem habe ich nette, nette, bedeutungsvolle Freundschaften geknüpft. Und seitdem ist mein Nähen bunter, fröhlicher, lustiger geworden. Das Nähen ist zum Teil meines Lebens geworden.

Hier hat Chris eine Linkliste der Geschichten aufgestellt.

Nov. 24th: Sara tells us her "So, I began to sew..." And do not miss clicking through her flickr! Tie dye ta die for! She must have some sort of rainbow catching contraption. Actually, in an earlier post, she explains something about dyes and dye families. But I think there is also some kind of fairy magic involved. That's my suspicion.

Nov. 25th: Yvonne tells us her story. She only started sewing in her 30s and now runs one of the loveliest online fabric shops around. The whole ten yards (those ten yards being gorgeous European fabric). She even creates her own velour iron-ons.

Nov. 29th: Eileen tells us how she overcame her fear of German patterns, German online ordering and German airmail to make her first GREETJE. I love that fuzzy material in the middle! No two GREETJEs are ever alike. Thank you, Eileen!


Sabine said...

Wie genial, ein Hase, der jede mahlzeit genießt...frau braucht eigentlich nur weißen, billigen Stoff, bunt und einzigartig wird das getragene Modell dann automatisch :-)
Ein ganz neuer Nähansatz.....

Liebe Grüße und DANKE für deine Geschichte

Sara said...

Great post Nancy! It made me sit down and think about how it all came together for me.

Linda said...

Sehr schön deine Geschichte zu lesen... und das letzte Bild von Anna ist so süß in dieser Latzhose!

LG Linda

SiMa said...

Eine wunderschöne Geschichte und es wäre schade gewesen, wenn Deine Kids nicht irgendwann doch wieder benäht worden wären.

Übrigens sind auch die Hasen-Overall-Bilder ganz süß.

LG Marion

wondermommy said...

Great post, I love hearing why people started to sew. Sara's clothes are beautiful.

Yvonne said...

What would have happened if you never started to sew without a pattern.. No Redondo, no Zuma's, Solana's or Feliz ? Crazy thought! And you are right, many stories sound very similar once you get to "and than I found Farbenmix!" :o) I wrote mine down too

Nic said...

i think i can speak for all of us when i say the sewing world is EVER so grateful you met sabine/farbenmix and began whipping up your own patterns. (not that the bunny coveralls aren't the height of fashion.)

Eileen said...

What a wonderful post. I've often wondered how it all came to be. A few years back I came across a wonderful "find", where people were making the neatest stuff, and would spend Hours reading and looking. I just had to try it out. I wrote a tidbit or two as well! I love it all.

lissilulu said...

What a cute jumper. My sewing started with my oldest daughter too. :o)

If I could read click and blick I would be right there.


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