Today I’m Going to Sew

I must wish a belated Happy 25th Birthday to our daughter, Kate and an early 22nd Happy Birthday to our son, Brett. I could tell they are getting closer to adulthood  by their gift suggestions this year.  Kate was happy to have my refurbished JCPenney sewing machine as part of her gift and Brett asked for “good knives” for the kitchen.  This FACS teacher is very pleased!

With all of the school obligations this month, life has felt like a chore. This girl needs some fun and focused time with her sewing.  Last year some girls in my after-school FACS club made some darling dresses which were sent to Little Dresses for Africa. The dress can be made from a pillowcase, we used the link on the website from Nancy’s Notions.  They are made them from a length of fabric with a simple elastic casing at the neckline and bias tape to enclose the armhole, tying at the shoulders. Needless to say, fit isn’t an issue! Didn’t they do a great job?

The dresses were easy-peasy and DARLING; so much so that when my good friend’s daughter, Abbey, announced she was having identical triplets AND they were girls, well, it was time for me to start sewing. You can follow her adventures on her blog, Life Treasured.

I knew I wanted to make them something special – a trip to the local baby mega mart was not good enough for these little ladies, so I went to the web to see what possibilities there were for a variation on what my students had made. I was looking for an upgrade from the elastic and wanted to combine several fabrics to make each dress unique. Adding some ribbon was obvious – but the real twist came with the inserted fabric band to match the ties and the little vent in the back – the button was the cherry on top. I loved how they turned out and can’t wait until the girls can wear them.

My mom taught me to sew when I was 10 years old. In junior high, I had the most amazing Home Economics teacher – Elaine Berge Hillyer. I took every class I could and was a teaching assistant in her classes as a 9th grader. In a way, I’ve been teaching FACS since 1970. Back then, I found out not everyone could sew – and that my friends would PAY me to make them things! Imagine, making money doing something you enjoy…my first products were “Roos” (as in Winnie the Pooh – Kanga’s baby, Roo). I sold them for for 35¢, which was fairly equal to the 50¢ an hour babysitting paid back then (and  I didn’t have to do other people’s dishes). Fast forward to 2012 and I find myself contemplating a plunge back to sewing to make a little bit of money with a shop on etsy. Roos are out of the question although I still have the McCall’s pattern for them, there might be a copyright issue plus I’d have to charge a bit more than 35¢.

So, here is my dilemma – do I take the big step and open an etsy store? What if no one wants to buy them? What if too many people want to buy them? I’d love to hear from anyone who has an shop and a full-time job on top of it. I’m not generally a risk-taker.

Here is a sample of what I used for today’s projects. I really am obsessed with toile – and was beyond excited to find an Easter-themed pink and chocolate bunny print.

On the other hand, maybe I just need some grandbabies??


About Susie

I teach Family and Consumer Sciences at a large suburban high school in the St. Louis metropolitan area and have been in the classroom since 1985 - my goal is to stay relevant and innovative even though I've been around long enough for Wilma Flintstone to have been my mentor! Married since 1983 and mom to two adult children who live out of state. About to become a first-time Mor-Mor (grandma) in December.
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One Response to Today I’m Going to Sew

  1. Liz B. says:

    You’ll never know unless you try. Go head and jump! You might think about contacting other Etsy sellers who have children’s or baby clothing shops and see what they say about how they got started. Either way, I wish you lots of luck, and if I HAD ANY GRANDBABIES, I surely would be interested in your line!

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