Category: Sewing Projects (Page 3 of 3)

July 2013 Highlight Reel

In July, there were memories to preserve:

  • David & his roommate Paul spent the July 4th holiday with us. We cooked special meals for them and they cooked a special meal for us. We all enjoyed Sierra Vista’s annual Fireworks Display.
  • Bill and I celebrated our 34th wedding anniversary, eating out at our favorite local restaurant, The Mesquite Tree.
  • We enjoyed a fun Saturday afternoon/evening Canasta playing marathon with friends.
  • We took a Sunday trip to Chiricahua National Monument, which is always a fun jaunt.


In July, there were things that deserved editing:

  • More scorpions, one inside the house, two caught on the sticky pads at the door/house threshold.

In July, there were the moments that hold our lives together:

  • Two visits to the doctor for Karen – nothing serious, just little annoying things that needed treating with antibiotics.
  • We have had some wonderful Monsoon rains, which meant more frequent lawn mowing for me.
  • I picked two tomatoes from my three tomato plants (they are going to be giving me a lot of tomatoes in August, though) and we have been having fresh green beans about every four days for most of the month of July. Delicious!

fresh green beans

In July, there were mountains climbed:

  • I have continued to keep Quicken up to date.
  • Bill passed another Citrix certification, one more in the ever on-going quest to stay employable.
  • I overcame my negative thinking about sewing and successfully created a pattern from an existing skirt, thus sewing a new skirt for myself. I am most excited about the possibilities this has opened up, both for my own wardrobe and for gift giving.
  • I began making updates to my website, updating many church schools. It felt good to get back to working on the site daily.

In July, there were pitfalls to overcome:

  • No jobs applied to this entire month. I think we narrowed our search parameters too much! I really don’t want to be here another winter!
  • I missed another Hayes Reunion in New York. I had really planned on attending this one, before all the job issues started again. Next year. I say again.

Sewing Project Finished!

Last Friday’s Just a Moment was the beginnings of a sewing project. I haven’t used my sewing machine in years and it has been even longer since I did anything more than simple mending with it. We’re talking decades here! And I have never taken an existing item and copied it, making my own pattern. But that is just what I did, with a lot of written instructions and long-distance hand-holding by my friend Carol (thank you!).

I started with my favorite blue jeans skirt, which I have worn so often that it is beginning to show extreme signs of wear and tear. I have looked and looked for a replacement, but been unable to find one. And then inspiration hit! I could use the skirt as a pattern and recreate it!

Here’s how it went:

blue jeans skirt

Favorite Skirt

sewing instructions

Emailed instructions from Carol, plus skirt measurements and layouts

skirt material


first two layers

First two layers joined

three layers

Three layers joined

four layers

Four layers joined

hemmed with lace

Hem with lace

finished skirt

Waistband in and finished!

I felt so brave attempting this, since I never considered myself very good at sewing and even less good at using patterns. I wonder if the difference is that with this project I had the finished product in front of me and I didn’t have to “visualize” how the pattern + material equation was going to work out. Now I am excited with the possibilities! I can sew!

Actually, I am crediting this inspiration for this whole project to my grandmother, Mabel Esther Austin Gibson. Early in July I was asked by a distant Austin relative to write a short essay about my grandmother. One of the things I remembered about Grammy was what a great seamstress she was. And then I had a revelation (one of several I had while writing the essay)! I realized Grammy was probably not a great seamstress from day one … what I saw was the result of years (decades!) of necessity, effort and practice. Surely I could “channel” some of her creativity and skill and effort and begin my journey towards becoming at least a good seamstress.

So, thank you, Grammy, on your 105th Birthday, for continuing to inspire me!

Mabel Esther Austin Gibson

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