Project On!

So I’ve decided that I wanted to start sewing again. It’s been a long time, but this thought has been in my head for the past couple of years. Every time I watched the finale of project runway, I could picture the colors and styles of my designs in the final show. I really could have been a fashion designer — if I had the patience to do the actual production. For me, ripping out a seam, if it’s not perfectly straight, is not something I enjoy.

I first learned how to sew in 4-H. I was nine years old when I joined the Blackhawk 4-H Club and signed up for my first sewing project. I made a poncho that was finished with this lovely purple ball fringe. The poncho was not even in style at the time, but was my first lesson nonetheless. It received a blue ribbon, even though was the most hideous thing you can imagine. This is where I also learned that sewing came with a lot of frustrations. Even though my Mom was a great seamstress, as well as my Grandma Miller, somehow the “sewing patience” trait didn’t get passed down, and I soon became an expert at how to properly use a seam ripper.

When I was in the hospital, my good friend Tracy brought me a stack of magazines, including a recent issue of Oprah’s magazine. There was this section of hot trends or Oprah’s picks — I can’t really remember which, but there was this awesome pair of Joe Fresh plaid track pants with ankle zippers in deep orange. I called the store listed in the magazine and searched the internet, but couldn’t find them anywhere. So I got this brilliant idea that I could easily make something similar — and that’s all it took. Project On!

So for the past month, I’ve been getting things ready. When I got home and finally had a good internet connection, I sourced and ordered the fabric for those pants (and some other projects I had sketched) from Mood, in New York City — the same fabric store they used on Project Runway. I made a list of things I needed to complete the outfits and went to Joann Fabrics after work one night to get the thread, zippers, elastic and other notions. My experience there reminded me why I prefer to shop online!

I cleaned out my sewing table and the whole area around it. I had a stack of things that needed mended and that’s what I did today. I had to get the strap on the top of one of my bathing suits done before I went to Aruba. I ripped that out at least six times and my lack of sewing patience came flooding back. But the best part of my day was when all the mending was done, and I started on my vintage legging project.

Vintage Velour Leggings

Vintage Velour Leggings

I decided to see if I could put a new waistband into a pair of Jones New York vintage velour leggings that I’ve had since the early 1990s. The leggings are a little looser than they used to be, but I still love the fit. And while the leggings still look wonderful, I wish I could say the same thing about the elastic waist. The pants were so well made that it took me several hours to rip out the old elastic on Saturday night. I figured I’d get myself used to using my seam ripper again! LOL. It was a very easy project and I finished it today in about 30 minutes.

There’s something about aesthetics and colors, materials and textures that I love so very much. It’s part of that creative side of me that never shuts off and doesn’t know how to do something only part way. And while I do think I’m a better “creative director” than a seamstress, I am going to work on getting my “sewing frustrations” in check. So here we go — Project On!

Always B E L I E V E !

Let me know your thoughts!