Sew what have you been up to?

HELP. My mother-in-law is coming to visit on Friday. It just occurred to me that I have not sewn anything – NOT. ONE. THING. – since my initial success with doll pants and a tiny toy bin. I can’t even remember how to thread my bobbin. (Is it just me, or do I sound kind of macho when I talk about my bobbin?)

At a minimum, I’ll dust off that $400 sewing machine she bought me so it doesn’t look quite so neglected. But I know she’ll want to see other signs of progress. I’m thinking I can throw a few fabric scraps on the floor, wear a measuring tape around my neck, and tell her I’m working on something “really big.”  I’ll also randomly measure everyone’s inseam because I specialize in awkward and overkill. Should be a great week.

That’s right, WEEK. Not a weekend. Not even a long weekend. No, no. We’re talking about an extended week here, people. The in-laws are flying right by the sacred one-week mark and staying two more days beyond that. Because why the hell not? So I’ve got 9 days of lies ahead of me. NINE DAYS.

I can’t really be held responsible for my actions during that amount of time. I can generally keep it together and make conversation for 4, 5, or even 6 days. But 9? What more is there to say? How many times can we talk about the garden or the weather? At some point we will HAVE to discuss my sewing.

I’m worried that in a moment of desperation, I’ll break down and show her Creepy Baby. “Hey, look what I made! It’s a ski mask that I cut out of a sock and put on a doll and then I take pictures of it and write about it on the internet and I need therapy.”

Poor Baby

My best friend meets my worst enemy

She’ll probably try to have me committed. Rightfully so. Rightfully sew.

I did some stuff

Phew that last post had more views than any other post I’ve written. I’m not going to lie – I almost quit blogging just to make sure I end things on a high note. I don’t want to let the success go to my head, but I’m curious – how do I go about getting paid for that post? Will someone be sending me a cashier’s check? Is it via direct deposit, or ? If someone could let me know, that would be great.

Actually I haven’t been blogging because I’ve been attempting to be productive in other areas of my life. I know – it’s weird for me too.

I’ve fallen victim to the gardening trend and am trying to start one. Right after I finish pulling out the ten million weeds that have taken over this hellacious plot of dirt.


My back hurts just thinking about it. I was asking my husband some gardening questions the other night, which were apparently so dumb he thought I was joking. Am I the only person who didn’t realize that a pea seed would look like a pea?? Don’t answer that.

I also bought the ingredients to make some muffins…

And I’ve been working on my drawing skills. On Easter I made this rabbit.


Those were supposed to be paws, not breasts. I’ll keep practicing.

I’ve also been spending time outside enjoying an unusual stretch of sunny weather that makes me giddy. Mmmmountains.


But the real cherry on the cake of my achievements is again related to sewing. I know – it’s weird for me too.

I found this cute project for fabric toy bins. I thought I’d give it a shot. Dare to dream, you know?

I bought remnants at the fabric store – which, incidentally, is my new favorite hangout. The ladies who buy fabric on a Wednesday afternoon are the chattiest crew in town. And one of the saleswomen looks exactly like my grandmother. It’s uncanny. I wanted to stick her in my stroller (she would fit) and take her home. I still might.

I stared at the fabric for a week. Then yesterday while my daughter napped and my other kid made curtains for her dollhouse, I fired up the sewing machine and went guns blazing and made this!


I mean, seriously. Isn’t that cute??

Here’s another angle because I know you are curious.


That thing has lining, yo! And like, a whole bunch of stitches and stuff!

I am so impressed with myself I can barely stand it. Notice that the grainy photos of my family are taken with my cell phone, but I pulled out the nice camera to capture the color and magic of my Fabric Bin.

Next I’m going to make a bigger one for bigger toys. Then I’m going to make a set we can use for soup bowls. Christmas 2013: The Year I Gave Everyone a Fabric Bin.

My newfound interest in crafty things continues to creep me out a bit, but if I have some sort of innate talent – which, who are we kidding, I must* – then I figure it’s my duty to share it with the world.

In the meantime this bin has been put to excellent use.

My two greatest creations (not including my children, of course)

My two greatest creations (not including my children, of course)


*sarcasm, in case you are new here

Sew what?!

A few weeks ago my mother-in-law was visiting. She is an avid sewer, so in an attempt to find common ground and spark a decent conversation, I told her I had considered getting a cheap sewing machine to hem pants and make curtains.

I have no idea how to sew. Nor am I a domestic or crafty person.

But my tactic worked, and she proceeded to tell me about the costumes she made for her kids when they were little, showed me photos of dresses she made for her daughter…it was a nice bonding moment, which doesn’t happen often. Mission accomplished.

I should’ve known better. The next day she took me to the store and laid down $400+ for a sewing machine and a bunch of supplies to get me started on my path to Project Runway.

Oh f*ck. Good job, me.

You might be asking – Amy, why didn’t you just politely tell her no thank you? Because turning down her offer would have been perceived as an insult, and believe me – you do not want to offend this woman.

So here I’ve been sitting for the past several weeks with this damn machine staring at me from across the table. Mocking me. Haunting me.

My lack of sewing skills is the least of my worries at this point. Now I have the enormous emotional burden of knowing my mother-in-law will ask about my sewing progress – and rightfully so, since she bankrolled me – every.single.time I talk to her. FOR THE REST OF HER LIFE.

To say I am screwed is an understatement. I have already been perusing Etsy for things I can purchase and tell her I made myself because I know where this is headed.

I never bought a machine before because I knew I wouldn’t actually use it. I don’t do this type of thing! It’s not in my DNA.

And I resent the insinuation that I should do it just because I have two daughters. Both my mother-in-law and the sales clerk seemed to think I should spend the rest of my days sewing doll clothes and Easter dresses because duh – two girls!

Um, NO! That kind of antiquated B.S. does not apply here. I can be a great mother and role model even if I patch their clothes with masking tape and don’t know how to make pancakes (shush – I’m working on it).

But I went ahead and took the free introductory class to learn how to use the machine, so that at the very least I can understand the lingo while spinning my web of lies.

Then the other night my daughter asked me to sew some pants for her doll. Ugh. Seriously, kid? You don’t even know how much of a headache this is going to give Mommy. Not to mention how many hours, if not days, this will take. But fine, I’ll try.

So I dug around on Pinterest, found some beginner 101 level sewing projects, and 45 minutes later I had completed the MOST BITCHIN DOLL PANTS on the planet.


I couldn’t believe how easy it was, how well they fit, and how excited I was about my achievement. My favorite part is they are made from old pants that both of the girls wore as babies. Cost-effective AND sentimental value! Genius! I don’t want to brag but I also made those club foot socks and that itty bitty hat. Crafty Cathy in da house!

Today I pulled out more old baby clothes that I can re-engineer into custom doll accessories and attire.

cannot believe I just typed that sentence. What the hell is happening to me? Am I on a downward spiral toward making matching bonnets for my children? Will I start sewing patterns on my jeans? Heaven forbid – am I going to own a thimble someday?!?

Sometimes I think parenthood is laughing at me and my attempts at domesticity. Or maybe that’s just my mother-in-law cackling in the background.

Either way I will claim a small piece of victory knowing that my favorite creation is actually one that didn’t require a single stitch. I used the remains of a leftover sock to create a ski mask for one of the smaller dolls, and in so doing, I made the cutest, creepiest bank robber in history.


And now I plan to terrorize my husband by leaving her in random spots in the house. Like the fruit bowl.


Or perhaps on the kitchen counter, ready to greet him when he gets his morning coffee.


And this is why I should not be allowed to do crafts.

Do you have any entry level sewing project ideas I can add to my Pinterest board? Do tell! Otherwise I’ll just keep making ski masks and then we’re all in trouble.