Monday, March 28, 2011

Short and Sweet

So, I finished my Africa dress.

I finally got a wild hair and hauled everything out to Get. It. Done.

I declared that I would not rest until that last stitch was stitched.

This would not be my Waterloo.

I sat at the machine with much trepidation, my fingers shaking.

Exactly four stitches in, I ran into a most dire situation.

The bobbin was empty, ya'll.

And I have a legendary fear of threading the bobbin.

Darkness loomed.

I almost called the whole thing off.

But then I remembered my earlier decree.

And I really did hope to rest at some point that night.

I had to find a way to press on.

I decided to call my Mama.

Cory's response? "This will be just as bad as trying to walk your dad through logging on to the internet over the phone."

He had a point.

(He also clearly had a lot of extra time on his hands.)

As it turns out, my Mom is the Bomb-Diggity.

She hooked me UP.

And, I must say, the spirit of Mrs. Blevins was upon me that night.

It all came back to me, minus the 7th grade tote bag and the strange, 8th grade sweatshirt.

And yes, I chose to make a sweatshirt in 8th grade Home Economics.

Whaddya have to say about it??

I believe it was royal blue.

In the end, the dress was finished, by way of many, many run-ins with the seam ripper.

I felt like I could conquer the world!

Or at least another Africa Dress.

* Thank you, CMB, for the dreamy photos, although that last one seems a tinge show-offy. Maybe it's just me.


  1. Good for you! Stick with it. It gets easier, I promise.

  2. That Ruby is too cute for words!!!

  3. I also made that strange sweatshirt...mine was green and white...such school spirit!! (Go. Concord.)

    I also made a gym bag in the same colors...pretty sure that was the last time I sewed anything.

    My kids say things like, "maybe Daddy could sew it" in our house. I am not kidding.

  4. No worries, You. I made a sweatshirt in 8th grade, too. Mine was teal. And it said, "HAWAII." Lovely I say.

  5. I LOVE the dress! And your model! ;) Glad you conquered the bobbin!

  6. Way to go accomplishing a goal. She looks perfect in it. Pure perfection!

  7. thank heavens! and it is adorable! Glad you pressed on, I don't think you would have been able to rest unless you had. I also notice that one of the labels in your post is Handsome Men...interesting.

  8. love it!
    just before christmas i had a huge emotional battle with my sewing machine-haven't touched it since-you may have just inspired me to visit it soon though! xo

  9. Those pesky bobbins. I love your stories! Glad I'm not the only one who needs personal decrees to make myself get things done.

  10. Great. Now you've gone and conquered the bobbin. I was holding your lack of bobbin skills in a high place in my heart. I can hear the echos of the bobbin taunting me from the hall closet. For shame. I hope you're good and proud of yourself.

  11. I wish I had a live in photographer. It would make blogging SO much easier, and I would feel like a true proficient.

    SO I want to make my own curtains, HECK I want to SEW in general. I went to the fabric store and picked up a sewing class schedule. I was GOING to sign myself UP!

    It was a schedule for January/February.


    Do you know how much my boys hate the fabric store? It's gonna be a while before I get back there. Maybe I will solicit friends to help me on fb. I have this dreamy vintage pillow case....really. I want to do it too...

  12. Sewing in always an adventure, is it not? :) Way to finish, girl! What a sweet mission accomplished.

  13. I'm not sure why, but it is very endearing to me that hubs took pictures of needles and sewing paraphernalia. He's a keeper Miss Shannon, but I think you knew that.

  14. I so can relate, and yet I just bought fabric to make pillow cases, I mean how hard can it be...

    Also may I just say my first thought when I saw that picture of your hands, they look so nice!, I need to check and make sure you didn't label this one "claw hands"

    Oh I just looked and you did, well we all have those things about ourselves, yours is just funnier than most :)

  15. I love that you said your mom was the Bomb-Diggity...cracked me up. And FYI I think you may have an aspiring model in your midst...Ruby is so pretty. ;)

  16. beautiful dress, my dear. you totally rocked this project.

    and did i ever tell you about my bobbin winder? the poor fellow has been broken for the past 6.5 years, and since my machine heralds from the 1960's and must be shipped out in all its 40 pound glory to be fixed, i have instead been winding the bobbin by hand for the past 6.5 years.

    if i were smarter and pessimistic, here is where i'd calculate how much of my life i have spent circling thread around bobbins, but instead i shall banish all such lines of thought and head to bed. :)

  17. yay for pressing on! it turned out perfectly perfect!

  18. Yay for you for finishing the dress! It feels so awesome to finish something challenging doesn't it? You, my dear, are quite the Bomb-Diggity yourself :)

  19. Your mama is awesome because depending on the age of your sewing machine....some of them thread bobbins differently! Beautiful it! My 4 year old is in a Portuguese heritage parade this summer (5 of them) she is walking as 'Little Queen' and if they didn't have a queens cape for us to borrow, I was going to attempt sewing one myself, they had one for us:) I do love sewing though.

  20. It's not just you... my dearly beloved is just a tinge show-offy in the same kind of way.

    The dress looks fabulous! (And the kid's pretty cute too!) :)

  21. when i first got my sewing machine i couldn't even thread the needle. had to take a class to learn to operate that thing.

    hooray for persevering and getting it done!

    i especially loved the part about your phone call being akin to talking your dad through logging on to the internet. smiles.

  22. I sewed a sweatshirt in middle school too! And what's even worse? I freely wore it to school...even though it looked horrible. Many stuffed animals, strange pillows later...I too am afraid of the bobbin. Press on. Love that little dress.

  23. Yay! So proud of you. I gotta tell you, there are indeed easier things to make, and getting to know your machine is the biggest battle, I think. Hope you come back to the next sewing circle. We're making some simple burp cloths-- without bias tape!

  24. It's gorgeous!

    And Cory handles a camera well---I think he's entitled to a bit of showing off.

  25. your so dang funny it's ridiculous!

    You did a great job and what's so cool are the shots captured of your adventure;)

  26. I used to make gorgeous little girl dresses, using yards and yards of fabric, when my daughter was a little girl. Then one day, I realized I could no longer see well enough to thread a needle. Time to move on to something like blogging, I said. Talking Dad through logging onto the internet over the phone? Now that sounds dangerous.

  27. That last line was funny, because I was just about to comment on that final picture being really good.

  28. Congratulations on conquering the challenge. The dress is lovely.

  29. It's beautiful Shannan. That little girl will be blessed, no doubt. She's going to feel wrapped up in love.

    And I'm thinking with as cute as Ruby looks modeling it, you are going to have to make another.

  30. SO great! I hate rethreading the bobbin too.

  31. Checking in on my favorite Farmgirl after far too long. Zeesh, I feel like I've been on an island far, far away. Oh wait...I am.

    I also have a fear of the bobbin threading. I learn it, and forget it. Every time I sew. Sort of wish I would have packed my machine now. Lovely dress.

    Good to see that you are still doing your thang! I've been missing ya!

  32. yay for you!! :)

    i also have a fear of the bobin! hahah!!

    i can sew a straight line fairly well - but the mechanics of the sewing machine is still very much a mystery to me.

    i sewed a sweatshirt NIGHTGOWN for Home Ec. niiiice, right? I think I actually wore it exactly ONCE. :)

  33. great post - I think I have made that same call. And that fabric of the dress is some of my favorite sheeting of all time.

  34. Cute, cute, cute!
    The Flower Patch Farmfamily knows no bounds when it comes to artistic talents.

  35. I so would have given up. Or I sew would have given up. I have battled and lost so often with my sewing machine I've decided I have bad sewing karma like some people can't wear watches. My new year's resolution was to ban all crafting from my house. It ends badly every time. Of course, I haven't tried my mom walking me through it on the phone. :)

  36. Those are Fab photos! The dress is super cute. I'm almost tempted to buy a new machine and start sewing clothes for my daughter. I'm having a hard time finding cute, girly things for her that fit her and don't cost me much more than I want to pay. You're an inspiration!

  37. Cute dress!! Cute Ruby!! And go you with the bobbin thingie. :)

  38. I absolutely love these dresses! My 7yo loves to wear these and I don't have to worry about her playing outside in an expensive dress. I'd like to share a tip with you... I found an easier way to make these. I followed all of your directions for measuring and cutting. Then I simply hemmed the armholes. Folded over the front and back pieces and sewed them to create a pocket - not for elastic but for ribbon! Loop the ribbon through the front and then through the back, gather, and tie on the shoulder.

  39. Hi Shannan,
    I just posted a comment under you on Jeane Oliver's blog and it prompted me to come visit you next. I love that you forced yourself to finish this project.
    I think it is great that you shared your bobbin fear with us.
    And feeling that you actually finished this project it will the next sewing project and bobbin fear easier and.... go away.
    Have a great day!
    Love the dress too.

  40. Great job, and great job following thru... I sometimes at night when my bobbin runs out call it a night haha, even though it only takes a minute to do, for some reason is such a pain

  41. Way to carry on and make it happen! Couldn't find a cuter model... she's adorable!

  42. This made me smile. I cried the first time I had to re-thread a bobbin on my own. And I might have thrown things. Then I saw the pre-threaded bobbins at the store & realized it must not be just me :)!

    Good work!

  43. So cute! As is your beautiful little girl! You sound like me and the sewing machine. I so dread the perils of bobbin threading. I have curtains for the kitchen I started forever ago and throw pillows for gifts. I feel like I have to carve out a whole day to get everything out and set my mind to sewing. I need to move past this hurdle! Good for you. (

  44. The empty bobbin scares me to death too. I can never retain the memory of how to refill it - and then get it back in the machine and the thread drawn up. I get the sweats just thinking about it. Maybe that's why my sewing machine resides on top of the craft cabinet tucked away safely with an almost full bobbin. I don't dare use it.... I mean what if I started a project and it ran out midway through. Maybe I'll get around to facing the evil beast down over spring break - I would love to make some pillowcase dresses or some cloth napkins. (I've even been on the lookout for cute pillowcases since seeing your post.)

  45. I'm right there with ya, sister. Anti-bobbin all day long.
    But WOW was that dress worth braving it!
    And Ruby looks absatively bee-yootiful!


  46. I think you bestowed that lovely tote bag on me. Royal blue with white straps? I still have it! :) That dress is beautiful. I love that your mom can hook you up like that! And yes, dreamy photos! ps. is it me, or is Ruby a natural? Watch out Tyra!

  47. Knock Knock. Who's there? The Coop Keeper. The Coop Keeper who? The Coop Keeper misses you.

    Such a lame comment for such a cute post - and the pin photo. Slays me. It do it do. xo

  48. You are so talented!! I wish I could sew.:(
    The Africa dress is darlin'! Special too.

    Just popping in to see what you are up to.

    Richmond, Virginia

  49. You conquered the bobbin. Oh yes you did. So proud. Single tear proud. And that dress is the cutest. And that model? Don't get me started. There is no stopping you and that machine now.