Thursday, January 27, 2011

My Creative Space

I've been thinking a lot lately about why I sew, partly I guess because I've started to teach my girls to sew and I want them to see the benefits of it, and partly because I like to ask 'why'!!

My mum taught me to sew when I was little, and my granny was also a dressmaker, so it does run in the family !  Mum used to make everything for us - from clothes to bags and toys.  I grew up in a family where you could 'make' just about anything you wanted or needed - with fabric, or wood, or whatever you had handy!  Once I settled down and had my own little family, I began to revisit this philosophy more and more.

I did some hand-sewing when my first daughter was born, but soon my ideas needed a machine - and a visit from Mum and Dad from England soon sorted that out with a gift of a new machine!

The first things I sewed were baby rugs. I'd asked Mum to make me one with her scraps, with lots of different textures.  This turned out to be a fabulous patchwork rug with lots of scraps which had memories for me of things she had made over the years.  I wanted to take this idea one step further and make 'picture' baby rugs, with different textured fabrics.  Here are some I made:



I made these for a few years - for both my daughters, and friends who had babies - sold some, gave more as gifts, and thoroughly enjoyed it!  My girls still have a selection of these rugs - and still play with them - with their teddies, for picnics, covers when they're sick.....  They've been great!

As my girls have grown, so has what I've wanted to sew.

As we started renovating houses, I put my skills to use making roman blinds - I've now done two whole houses - every window!!
I've made a lot of storage solutions for my girls - from bed pockets for their books, to hanging jewellery and hair tie holders.  And I've finally started sewing for myself too - bags, and only this last week I started trying out fabric jewellery.

So why do I sew? and why should my girls learn?

Well, aside from the most important factor, which is that I enjoy it... It's a practical and useful skill.  To be able to mend your own clothes, sew on buttons, adjust hems etc, can save you both time and money.    A local DJ said recently on the radio, that she spent and extra $10 every time she bought a pair of trousers, to get them altered to fit her as she wasn't a standard size!  That's a lot if you add up every pair of pants you buy over the years....

I want to bring my daughters up to be independent and resourceful.  I think in teaching them to sew, I can help them develop those skills.  I can nurture their creativity, and also help their improve their growing skills of physical dexterity,  control, accuracy and spacial awareness.

I love sewing - it's one of my biggest creative outlets.  Discovering blogging over this past year has helped me enjoy it even more as I've found and connected with so many wonderful people worldwide who share my passion for sewing and creativity.  I gain so much from the blogging world, and I hope I put enough back into it, to help, encourage and inspire others. 

My tutorials are one way of doing that.  I've recently revamped them into PDF format, and have made them available for free download - see my tutorials page for the link.

As I've considered this topic over the past few weeks, I have revamped my blog and concentrated it a bit more in the direction I want it to take.

As such I now have my weekly routine, if you like:

Monday - A Round Tuit linky party - where I can showcase some of my favourite projects made by others, and try to inspire and be inspired by all the creative talent out there.  Also as the name of this linky suggests - it encourages people to 'get around to' those jobs and projects you've been planning for a while!

Tuesday - My tutorials and projects.  Never having been a big fan of patterns, I've actually found they are very useful (I know, bit slow on the uptake sometimes!)  so I've started making tutorials for the things I make, so others can have a go too, and to make it easier for me too, when I go back to making another one!!

Wednesday - Each week I'm featuring someone new - with a series of questions about how they are 'Creating their own way to Success'.  I love hearing other people's stories, and again, it's a chance for me to give back to the blogging community, and promote someone else's fabulous talents!

Thursday - This will be all about learning to sew!  Since I'm teaching my girls to sew, I'm going to show their sewing projects each week.  At 5 and 7 years old, they're just starting out, so it will be nice to chart their progress! I'm sure there will be weeks they are too busy to sew, so I'm also going to improve my sewing this year by learning some new skills!

Friday - this year I've decided that I HAVE to start using up my scraps!  So I'm going to make Fridays 'Scrappy day", and try out and discover as many useful, interesting and well - whatever ways I can, to use up my stash!

Phew!! 

Well if you're still reading this LONG post - thanks for sticking with me to the end!  I hope you'll come back and visit my blog again! Sign up to follow if you like (I always love new followers) - or you can even 'like' me on facebook (just started out on there too!). 
Do leave me a comment - and tell me why you sew / craft / blog ?  Like I said, I like to ask 'Why' and love hearing other people's stories!!


I hope you all have a great day!  See you again soon!!

Jill

To see some amazing creative spaces - pop over to Kirsty's place at Kootoyoo

14 comments:

  1. I sew because I love it! Just to play with color, work things out and design and at the end of it you have something that you made and can ooh and ahh over it. Good stuff for the soul.

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  2. Oh your baby rugs are gorgeous!!! I love your creativity.

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  3. I was taught to sew as a child but it was always more of a chore than fun. Strange how things change as we get older - I love sewing now, but that's probably because I choose to make things rather than being told to!! Now I appreciate the skills I learned all those years ago and wish I'd started sewing again sooner!

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  4. Jill, thanks for visiting me at A Season for All Things. I love to sew, but haven't made anything substantial for quite a while. Hoping to spend time with my sewing machine sometime in the near future! I'm your newest follower! ~ Ellen

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  5. Oh I am excited to follow your blog--thanks for coming over to Day to Day Adventures! I love to sew but rarely actually do. Right now I am making rugs & scarfs but not on the sewing machine. I love the idea that you are teaching your girls(mine have taught themselves). I'd like to have specific projects to assign to them for school(homeschool). Hope to see some I can give them!

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  6. Great post I love where you are heading with it. I want to pass on sewing to my girls - but they will get lessons as i have no clue (I sew, but there is sewing and "sewing" u know?!) and will probably learn with them. It is a great skill :-)

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  7. Thanks so much for stopping by my blog, "Makin' It Work!" Thanks so much for you interest in featuring my tutus! I am definitely interested so just shoot me an email with the info. sweetbabytutus at yahoo.com

    Great blog by the way :) New follower

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  8. Wow, Jill! This is amazing. Loved reading through your reasons and history with sewing. Your panels are just fabulous :) Kx

    p.s. BIG thanks for your advice with the buttonhole foot! I'm elbow deep in fabric printing at the moment but I'll try it out soon. Thanks again :)

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  9. http://www.realmomreviews.net
    Following your blog! Please follow back!
    If you could follow me on Facebook/Twitter, that would be awesome too!!
    http://www.facebook.com/RealMomReviews
    http://www.twitter.com/RealMomReview
    Thanks for your time!
    Skye

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  10. Thanks for visiting my blog! I actually did a post quite similar to yours not long ago. . basically asking why? especially why in particular am I a university student teaching myself how to sew and knit etc while my peers are out partying? The reasons I came up with were 1. In memory of my grandmothers, and great grandmother, who were crafty ladies each but who I wasn't patient enough to listen to when I had the chance. . .2. Because I love being able to create. . .and 3. (perhaps most importantly) I met the man of my dreams, who fell in love with me back and the realisation has just recently really hit home (we've been together almost 3 years) that I'm going to be having children one day and I want to be able to provide for them in that way.

    Sarah
    http://kiwigetscrafty.blogspot.com

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  11. My grandmother taught me to sew when I was younger. I have a machine but now a days I'm so busy I usually don't get the chance. I like your little rugs. I think that children would love them. Great job!

    Melissa

    www.pembrokelane.blogspot.com

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  13. Your blog is really cute! I love that you are going to add a "How to sew" section and have a daily topic! Thank you for stopping by my blog last night and for following it! My second follower! YAY! Have a great day!

    Stephanie @ http://redberrycrafts.blogspot.com/

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  14. I've been sewing since I was young too taught by my Mom. Unfortunately, neither of my girls wanted to sew when they were young. Now my youngest (25) is interested but having a hard time finding the time. Hopefully we'll get around to that but I'm also hoping my grand daughter will be interested. She's only 3 but loves to play with my fabric and patterns in my room.
    I believe sewing is such a creative outlet. I always enjoyed having clothes and things that were unique. Thanks for sharing your story!
    Absolutely love the rugs!! And the weekly plan!

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