Posted by: mick | January 22, 2010


We interrupt your regularly scheduled knitting content to show you some things with needle and thread.  Hold on to your hats.

A few years ago, my Nana very generously sent me her “old,” but really, “barely used,” sewing machine.  A quick tune-up and it’s been working great.  Since then I’ve made some things, mostly of the rectangular variety: coasters, placemats, pillows, and then the odd quilted eye mask.  I hadn’t played with the machine in a while, mainly because our new place is smaller and I have to keep it tucked away.  When I want to sew now, I have to schlep it out and set it up in the living room on the kitchen table.  So, if I’m sewing anything that’ll take longer than a day, I have to put it all away and break it back out later.  Pain in the hiney.

Our new place, while lovely, was previously inhabited by smokers.  Since this is a non-smoking building (we lived below them and could always smell their smoke), we figured they were smoking out a designated window.  It turns out that window is in our now bedroom, which is disappointing.  We used to have our bed against the windows, but every time it rained I could smell the smoke coming from the gross, yellowed blinds, even after cleaning them.  Now our bed’s on the other side, but the windows were still an eye-sore: the blinds are broken, one is bright yellow, and just ick.  I bought fabric to make curtains to match our newish duvet cover back in October, but I was afraid: casings?  What the heck is that?

On my last day of winter break, I went for it.  I spent the better part of a day measuring (which I did poorly.  Don’t judge me for the length of the middle curtain!), cutting, ironing, and sewing.  I was really careful, actually ironing again when the pattern told me so I’d get a neat seam.  Then J hung the curtain rod for me, which we got super cheap.  Thanks, local Kmart, for going out of business and giving us great deals on curtain rods!  And here’s the result.

Not the most exciting thing, but I’m very proud.  The colors are tough to see here, since our bedroom gets really lousy light, but it’s a great, acid green.  I used a lovely, heavy flannel I found on sale at Field’s Fabrics.  Have I said how much I love Field’s?  Because I do, so much.  The people who work there are friendly and helpful, they have great prices and quality fabrics, and it’s about a million times better than JoAnn’s in every imaginable way.  I feel so lucky to be able to support such a fantastic local business.  Which is fortunate, as it turns out I’ve caught the sewing bug.  Last weekend I went with some friends to check out their winter sale, and I got some things.  J got me the pattern for Amy Butler’s Birdie Sling for Christmas, because he’s awesome and remembered when I pointed it out during our last trip to the fabric store.  I picked out the following, and can I tell you just how excited I am?  Nervous, of course, since this is my first “Real” sewing project.  People will see it, out in The World, and that’s kind of scary.  But I can’t wait!

The top will be the body, then the other two will be the handles and the lining.  Any preferences?


  1. that is going to be an awesome bag — and i love your curtain color choice. they look terrific, and it will be so nice to not smell smoke in your bedroom!

  2. A bit of reassurance…I have sewn for years and for brief periods to earn a living and I DREAD making curtains. Yours turned out lovely and acid green is one of my personal faves.

    I vote for the polka dots on the inside- its going to be adorable 🙂

  3. Sewing! Go you!

  4. I think you did a great job on the curtains. If you ever want them fuller, full of thumb is to at least 1 1/2 the width of the window.

    I agree. Polka dots for the interior. I love the pattern!

    Love mom

  5. The curtains look great, Mick! And the fabric for the sling is adorable. I agree with the other comments – polka dots on the inside and the other for the handles. I think it’ll turn out really well. How fun! Go you!

  6. Sewing is a great skill to have – and you’re off to a good start! The windows must be different sizes, because I’m sure you didn’t measure wrong. (My living room curtains that I made are different lengths, but I don’t then anyone stares at them long enough to notice.) Love the bird fabric!

  7. I love flannel, it is so cosy and warm. Great job on the curtains…I don’t think you mismeasured either…those old houses have their quirks!
    The bag is really cute and I agree with the other comments about the lining being polka dot. Can’t wait to see the finished project.

  8. YEAH SEWING!! *wrings hands together a la morty burns*

    love that acid green… and pressing seams will help you in every way imaginable when sewing. what kind of machine did your nana use?

    next you’ll be on to clothing, i can feel it… burdastyle rocks….

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