Coming into my Own

When I was growing up, my mom was always crafty. She spent her very little spare time sewing up Halloween costumes and Easter dresses, making hair bows, and creating holiday themed treats. Keep in mind this was all before the Pinterest days. My Grandma and Grandpa Taylor spent their weekends at their booth at craft fairs. He made wooden projects, and she painted and decorated the wood pieces. My Memaw worked with ceramics and porcelain, making the most beautiful dolls and home decor items. I, on the other hand, spent my time in sports. I had all but figured I somehow missed out on the crafty gene. Thanks, Dad.

Years later right before I was due with my first, Boudge, (nickname will be used for my kids and Husband) I decided I needed a sewing machine. I was going to make fun holidays rompers for my little boy. I also wanted to sew his Halloween costumes. The final six weeks of the pregnancy I was put on bed rest and decided to tackle my first project, a Big 4 paper pattern. It used terms I was unfamiliar with despite its “easy” description. Needless to say I never finished it.

Fast forward several months. We had made a life changing decision to take a Foreign Service Assignment with my husband’s company in Japan for two years. I am forever thankful that I shipped my barely used sewing machine and a few supplies overseas. Months go by again before I finally tinkered with my machine making non clothing items. But let me tell you, living in a country where a size 14 US is considered size 3-4-5 large will make you learn how to use your machine to sew women’s clothing!  I searched Pinterest and found a few free patterns to try. I braved having fabric cut at a Japanese fabric chain store. I made a shirt and a skirt out of knit fabric. It wasn’t pretty, but it was mine.

Then Nippori Fabric Town happened. After coming across a post on a Facebook group for Tokyo moms (especially foreign moms), I hopped a train into Tokyo to check out the holy grail of fabric districts. See knit fabric is crazy expensive in Japan which is not ideal for a beginner. But in Nippori I stumbled across a famous store called Tomato. It has an entire floor dedicated to knits!!! Most importantly, it has a large wall filled with ¥100 to ¥200 per meter knits (in USD that is $1.00-$2.00 per yard). My obsession was born. I had plenty of cheap fabric to learn my craft.

The next turning point in my crafty life occurred when I was searching for suitable patterns for my eminent return to work. I stumbled across a blouse pattern on Etsy called the Everyday Elegance by an indie PDF pattern company called Patterns for Pirates.  In the PDF tutorial was a link to the P4P Facebook group with approximately 10,000 other sewists (the group is at nearly 40,000 members now!). And my obsession tripled. And I haven’t looked back!  Even now my free time is filled with browsing all of the pattern company facebook groups, looking for inspiration for my next project.  Learning how to sew for my body has been life changing.

I will share more about myself and my little family with each post. Stay tuned for sewing related posts along with my favorite family recipes, crafts including Silhouette projects, and the occasional fitness advice.  Who knows? I may even through in some more stories from our time in Japan. Until then I will be working hard to make my crafty family proud!

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