Sew messy


For the last six weeks, I have been a mad seamstress. Not mad as in angry but mad as in crazy, frazzled and ridiculously blessed. As of this post, I will have made almost 70 aprons for Christmas. Since I am the mama of three OS, I have used nearly half a football field worth of material. I have sewn aprons for people who aren’t even related to me, people who would not feel morally indebted to purchase something made by my hands.

Beyond my wildest expectations, the Lord has spoken to my heart deeply and when I have time, I wish to share with you my personal history as it relates to aprons. For me, aprons are more than an “outer garment one uses to primarily cover the front of the body.” But alas, let me say that I am nearly without words to describe the depth of happiness and fulfillment it has brought me to make them for others including some of you who will read this post.

If there is a downside, it’s that my house has been a wreck. Seriously. Sew messy. And it seems as if there hasn’t been a room in my house where the Fabric Monster hasn’t touched. Threads, pins, remnants have invaded this once fairly tidy domicile.
Since I do not have a craft room, my kitchen has served as the Command Center for this operation. One evening I took a few pictures to offer you a glimpse of the vantage point from my sewing machine. It looked worse at other times but I didn’t have the courage to capture the chaos.

To me, it looks like one of those photos you’d see in an I-Spy book. “I spy with my little eye an orange dinosaur…” (I made dinosaur aprons) or “I spy with my little eye a Christmas ornament in a box…” (I personalized an ornament for a friend). We have a beautiful new room outside of our kitchen and to the Hubs’ chagrin, the ironing board became a new piece of furniture. It didn’t exactly match with the existing decor but I’ve had no choice.

And then there’s Tess. Tess is the name of my dress form. When my oldest OS returned home from West Point for Christmas Break, I asked him if he had met Tess. He said no and when I introduced them to each other, he told me I was seriously freaking him out.

At this moment, our house is less cluttered as my apron making frenzy has calmed down. I am proud of myself for working hard and so happy to being slightly relaxed until Wednesday…aka Christmas Cookie Making Time!

Merry CHRISTmas!

Sew blessed


For nearly eight years I had a wonderful part-time job. I poured my soul into the position and treasured every experience, from the funniest moment with a teenager to the most heartbreaking. Talking to young people about sensitive subjects, hearing their own stories often left me with little to give to my own precious family.

This summer the Lord saw it fit to have me step away from that job which came as both a relief and a loss. It was something I was good at and gave me something exciting to do. I stepped into a mission field of sorts and then one day, I didn’t.

With a very low desire to step back into the work world and with a hubs who supported me staying at home, I have enjoyed days caring for my family. I have also loved looking at my calendar and seeing that there is nothing I absolutely have to do. That doesn’t mean I’ve been lazy, it just means I haven’t had the usual constraints on what, when and how I do certain things.

One of my passions is sewing. And I love cooking. So one day I felt a tug in my heart to combine the two. Here is a simple mathematical equation of my idea. It’s a simple math equation because I can’t do any complicated math. I’m a word girl, thank you very much.

Cooking + sewing = aprons

About three weeks ago I ran into a friend at the Whole Foods and I told her about me making aprons. She makes adorable Christmas ornaments so it wasn’t just a random comment that didn’t make sense, as if that has ever stopped me. That’s when she suggested I participate in our church’s Christmas craft party and try to sell my little aprons. My heart skipped a beat as I rushed through the checkout aisle ready to get home and sew my brains out.

I came home eager to tell the Hubs about this new project. I have a ridiculous amount of fabric accumulating in our room so it wasn’t going to be difficult to produce many aprons. I knew he would be happy to see some fabric exiting our house instead of coming into our home Often I have wondered how I was going to get rid of it and if I would ever have the talent to make something people might like enough to buy.

My Project Runway sewing machine has been very busy as I have designed my own aprons not using a pattern but fashioning them based on qualities I have liked in several of my fave aprons I use regularly.

Many times I have spoken with the Lord. While making these aprons for imaginary people, I have confided in Him. “Lord, what if no one wants my aprons? What if I can’t sell any?” As I awaited His voice, I heard Him tell me, “Just sew.”

Last Sunday was the day of the Christmas craft party. I ironed each one and hung it on a rack. You would have thought I was preparing for a fashion show in New York City! There were moments when I actually felt slightly like a designer but not in an arrogant way, I assure you!

I arrived at the lady’s home to get my display arranged. I lugged in a full-length mirror, 20 aprons and several samples of material suggesting other aprons I could make and waited with the other crafty ladies for people to arrive. It is a vulnerable feeling to have people look at your wares. Some walk by with nary a glance, others admire and window shop, it is strange standing in front of something you have made wondering if anyone will like it enough to buy. Like my previous job, I poured my heart out on each little apron. If anyone bought one, they were going to be taking home a little part of me.

And guess what? To my delight I sold 18 aprons! I sold 12 directly at the party and have paid orders for six more. They liked my aprons! As I returned home with more money than when I had left (and that is a rarity, folks!), I remembered the words the Lord had placed in my heart. “Just sew.” He told me to leave the results to Him and in my obedience, the Lord blessed my family and me.

I can’t wait to tell you more about aprons. Remind me to share with you something about the Hubs, a broken toe and aprons. And remind me to tell you about my mom and aprons, too. Aprons and Soldiers too. Stay tuned, dear friends!

Fancy Scraps


I have been making eyeglass covers for El Salvador. I learned about this need during a Friday meeting with the Hannah’s Hands, Intl. coordinator and as soon as she left the house, I googled eyeglass covers.

To my surprise, I found a decent amount of entries for sew your own eyeglass covers along with a million other things, check it out. That’s what’s great about the Internet. I hate it when I stumble onto icky things when I am innocently surfing the Web but in this instance, I came upon a free eyeglass cover pattern. No sicko stuff! Woot!

What I really love is that I haven’t spent a penny so far. All I did was look on my shelf and in my drawers to find loads of fabric just waiting for a project. I have cotton fabric, fleece, satin flannel coming out of my ears, just ask my husband! Ok, on second thought, let’s pass on that idea.

The material has been cluttering my home for years. Some my sister Lorri gave me a long time ago, I think she bought it at a thrift shop. I have also stashed away bits of extra fabric from past projects. And, quite honestly, I have often wondered what I could do with all of it. What good could come from some of the fabric and the scraps I have collected? I haven’t had enough of some of the material to do aything useful and I’ve even toyed with throwing it out just to get rid of all the stuff. Never did I think to myself, “Hey, I’ve got an idea! I’ll go to El Salvador and I’ll use that pile of material to make eyeglass covers for impoverished villagers!”

But I guess God did and this got me thinking about my life. Do you ever do that? Wonder why you’ve gone through or are going through something? Is it just me, or do you sometimes hang onto emotional remnants or scraps of struggles you’ve experienced? Do you ever dare to think about how that stuff could find a useful purpose? 

Well, as I reflect upon my life, I have collected my fair share of “material,” if you know what I mean. I have pondered and prayed, “Lord, what good can become of that? And, how are you, God, going to use that (insert sin of your choice)? It’s so ugly and worthless!”
I‘m like those scraps that have been sitting on my shelf. Like many, I have vestages of my past stuffed away. Yet, firsthand, I have seen how my Jesus has used those things for His good! In my work with teenagers, it still blows me away that I am able to share the fabric of my life and offer them hope. I am an example of what God can do with our material.  Mine. Even yours. 

He has used each one of those pieces and trust me, that is testimony to God’s goodness. I had no idea how that would be possible because they’re not too attractive. It excites me each time I now sew a simple eyeglass case to find the spiritual parallels in my Christian walk.          

So far I have made about 20 eyeglass cases. The pile of spare material is shrinking and I am so proud of myself because they look pretty good! I feel satisfied and am in wonder. Not because of my mad sewing skills (said like Napoleon Dynamite) but rather for how the Lord is so resourceful.

“I will praise the name of the Lord, who has worked wonders for me, never again will I be shamed.” paraphrased and personalized from Joel 2:26. 

Sew Much Fun – Chapter 2


Here are some new projects I’ve done in the last week. I’m getting my money’s worth on my super awesome Project Runway Brother sewing machine.

As opposed to cleaning my house or other mundane things, I made:

Napkins for my co-worker who has decided the time of talking about love, sex and relationships is over. She is a big Elvis fan so I made her eight Christmas Elvis napkins and four of reversible, fringe-edged dinner napkins. 

Pillow cases – these are not difficult but NOTHING is as easy as it seems. I made Isaac this digital ACU pillow case in honor of his big brother going to USMA. It doesn’t look especially fancy but I had to think of my “audience” and my OS don’t really want a tricked out pillow case, thank you very much. I’m going to make several of these including one for me so I can feel closer to my son who leaves very soon. It will be a tear-soaked pillow case, btw. I might make that one a little more fun since I will be using it. 

And since I had an abundance of holiday material sitting in my drawer and really like making things, I made this Christmas pillow case and trimmed it with a red and white gross grain ribbon. It is so cheerful and I’m donating it to the family reunion as a prize for an activity planned.  

Sew Much Fun! Robe Mania!


It only took 2 years and four months to make Aaron’s robe. I finished it at last this evening. I bought the material for Aaron as a Christmas present with every intention of making him a special robe of his favorite professional football team. That was in 2006.

Recently upon hearing about me starting another random sewing project, Aaron retorted, “I’d rather you just made me the robe you promised me a long time ago.” Gulp. 

As I have learned about many things in life, things aren’t always as easy as they seem. That goes for swimming, parenthood, marriage, ministry and sewing. Last night I had a sewing lesson with Chriss (with two s’s) and after spending countless hours pouring over the sewing pattern, I brought the neckline and collar to get some advice. We were supposed to work on placemats and napkins but this was a more urgent matter. Thanks to her help, we figured things out and tonight my boy is cozy in his snuggly robe. 

Before Spurny went to bed, I took a series of awkward robe pictures since I am not a great photographer and Aaron isn’t the world’s best robe model. 

Every time I sew something I have fantasies of making the same thing for friends and family. If I like you, watch out, one day you might get a pair of boxer shorts or pajama pants, or an apron or a robe.
Hope you are not scared! Put in your order, friends and family! 

My repertoire is expanding. I like learning new things and I am happy to give him a heartfelt expression of love. 

Look What I Made!


I did it! I made my first pair of boxer shorts! My DH Mark was the big winner of the blog post where I requested you pick the person and the material. 

I could have gone back and forth to Target eight times and bought boxers considering the amount of time it took to make them but I think it was worth it. I mean, how many husbands do you know that have their own homemade boxers?

It was my first time using the button hole sewer and this was a momentous event. It’s called a utility stitch and my Project Runway Brother Sewing Machine with pink trim is da bomb! My husband is going to be the proudest guy at the gym. While all the other guys are wearing dreary undies purchased at a department store, feeling horrible inside like their wives don’t really care about their undergarments, my precious husband can stand tall. He’ll be strutting all over the locker room walking proudly knowing he’s probably the only guy there that’s wearing his style of boxers.

If you’re interested in making your sweetie some boxers, here is the pattern.