Friday, March 18, 2005

My Sewing Adventures

Elegant Bridal Satin and Chinese Brocade Jewelry Pouch with Nylon Drawstring, Perfect for Pearls - $25 While Supply Lasts

I don't exactly remember how the bug bit me, but it bit hard, the sewing bug did. That was last summer, 2004. It started when Maria bought some cute jeans that were too long and asked me to hem them.

Just a few days before, our next door neighbor Margaret had moved to Atlanta and abandoned a lot of her household stuff to the Salvation Army. The army was a week late getting there, so the scavengers beat them to it. I was one of the scavengers, and my choice of the pickings included an old steel White brand straight-stitch sewing machine, the kind my mother had when I was growing up in Houston. Margaret was old enough to be my mother, so it figures she'd had that machine for at least 50 years. Now it was mine.

So I hopped to the task, setting up the machine on the floor of the guest room and hemming Maria's pants beautifully. Her delight encouraged me. I broke one of the two needles in the process.

A week or so later I was browsing through Wal-Mart, thinking I needed a new needle for backup. Lo and behold I spied a computerized Brother CS150 (150-stitch, including zig-zag) sewing machine for $240, about $100 off. I snapped it up, along with a few pieces of fabric and some needles and spools of thread, and lugged my booty home. Maria was surprised, pleasantly. She knew I would be doing all the sewing, and so far, she's right.

My first project was to make some draw-string bags from the feed-sack fabric my Aunt Wilda had given me in August 2004 when I visited her in Houston. I thought they were nice, but would be much nicer made from satin.

I asked sister Debbie to send me her little Chinese Jewelry pouch as a guide, and when it arrived, I decided I could re-engineer it and make something much nicer. After thinking it over and drawing and cutting some patterns, I headed to Jo-Ann's Fabrics and bought some beatiful, heavy white bridal satin, and some red Chinese brocade with golden trees and dragons woven in, along with matching thread.

I cut out a bunch of bags and started sewing. Maria snagged the first couple for her "Oprah Drawer," and another for her personal use. Immediately she stuffed her pearls in the personal one, and I liked the combination so well that I took a few pictures like the one above. You can see more at

If you like the looks of the bags, let me know. I have a few left. They are for sale at $25 each. If you prefer something custom, I'll be happy to accomodate you. I enjoy making the bags, and I've never seen any that are nicer.

Pouch Ties Snugly Shut with Drawstrings, Keeping Jewelry Protected. Email me if you want it for a loved one or your own Oprah Drawer.

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