Laziest Daisy, and a Question

comments: 1257


While I was taking pictures of the puppers, I went into the guest room and found my laziest daisy, Violet Paulson, lying on a pillowcase-covered bread board I had brought upstairs last week — a makeshift ironing board I was using to iron in bed while watching TV. (Okay, maybe I am the laziest.) I am trying to iron all of my fabric scraps so I can cut them up into little patches for my patchwork pillows. IT. TAKES. FOREVER!!! I've lost count of the number of hours I've spent doing this. Good thing the Tori and Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood marathon was on!!!


"Oh, I'm sooooo tired! Because I have to sleep on a bread board !!!"


"I. Am. Soooooo. Pretty. Though."


"Ya know?"

* * *

In answer to several questions yesterday, that is a little vintage reading light that hangs on the headboard of the bed and yep, my pillowcases are thrifted — I have a large and well-used (and well-loved) collection of flowery cases from the '60s and '70s. We have so many pillows in our house it's nuts. I believe I am going through a pillow phase. Has that ever happened to you? No??? Try it. It's good.

Secondly, here's my question for you: Do you sew?

Lately I have been getting a lot of emails from people who don't sew, or are just learning to sew. They always interest me, because I come from one of those families/circles of friends where everyone sews, or knows how to sew, and doesn't really think too much about it. It's just what you do. For most of my life, I really did just assume that everyone grew up with big piles of fabric in the dining room, or pieces of thread all over their shirt. But now I know that's not right. So my question is: Do you sew (with a sewing machine)? If you do, what age did you start? Who taught you? What do you make now?

If you don't, why not? What would you need to start? Do you even want to?

I'm just curious, so if you have a minute this weekend, please comment here, and feel free to expound — I want to know. I am going to report back on the results, so even if you don't usually comment, see if you can this time. I really wonder how those numbers will break down, don't you?


My mother sews and always has, but I never had much interest until a couple of years ago. I have a nice sewing machine, and many half-finished projects, but since I started going back to college, I find I don't have the time (or don't make the time) to sew as often as I want to. I want to make a small book-bag for my 3yr old niece, though, so that may encourage me to get the machine back out and working. :-)

I sew. But that is a broad word! I don't sew clothing so much as anything with nothing but straight lines. With a machine or without, depending on the project. Embroidery and quilting are thrown in there too. And I guess my mother taught me but my grandmother and aunt had a hand in it as well. But none of them ever taught me to make clothing so I've sort of stalled out there. I'm trying to learn, right now, with the help of Weekend Sewing!

Hey! I did take Home Ec. in junior high and sewed a couple of stuffed animals, and I used to piece together clothes for my Cupie doll as a kid. But really, I don't sew. Put me in front of a machine now and I wouldn't now what to do. If I had space I'd be very interested in learning!

I do sew but come from a family that don't (although my Nan has a button collection that I've got my eye on!). I was rubbish at sewing at school and everything I made looked grey, but must have a deep need as I keep at it! I'm self taught and don't really know what I'm doing. I wouldn't attempt clothes but like making things like bags from scratch. I love to sew by hand even though it takes ages - it's a therapy thing. I've tried quilting and would love to know more about how to do patchwork - like how to cut up the squares properly, etc. I've also discovered crochet and I've just made up some squares for a cushion cover - inspired by your blog!

I sew. I think I learned how to sew in my early teens. I didn't sew again seriously until about a year ago when I bought a nice sewing machine. Since then, I've sewn quilts, pillow covers and lots of bags!

Yes! (I'm NOT good though.) My mom sewed a little when I was growing up. She didn't really make things, she'd hem... My grandma did but I wasn't really around it. I have a small, inexpensive machine, and my husband got me a small serger for my first Mother's Day. (what a sweetheart.) I've made one top and a couple of pairs of pj bottoms. I mostly do bags/home projects. I made my daughter a DARLING nap mat with an attached pillow and blanket that rolls up. LOVE it!!!!

I've been sewing since I was 7. My first "art" was a Santa doll made out of a sock. Since then, I've become a quilter, but still enjoy the occasional non-quilt sewing project. I think there was a period of time where the schools didn't teach sewing. When I was in high school we learned to make a skirt, a sleeveless dress and a short sleeved dress. I think people these days are interested in re-purposing and creating art-to-wear. People need to make something with their hands; I believe we went way too long just "buying stuff"!

I own a nice sewing machine and several helpful crafty sewing books but I never sew now. I'd love to make awesome crafty things like duvet covers, curtains, pillows, market bags, and all the lovely things I see and adore on your website. I first sewed as in grade school and took an actual sewing class in junior high but have never really gotten confident in my sewing skills.

I sew, but not clothes or anything. My mother taught me, not formally, but just because I showed interest when she sewed. I really don't know how old I was when I started but I'm sure I handstitched things when I was little, like around 6 years old, and I bet she let me use her sewing machine too. A few years ago (I think I was 24?) she got me a sewing machine for Christmas at my request and it's one of the best presents I've ever received. I've made curtains (just simple panels), pillowcases, tote bags...and assorted other small things, like drawstring bags and Christmas ornaments. And I have a few unfinished quilts!

Both of grandmothers sew, although as they have gotten older, the sewing has gotten less and less. They were both fabulous seamstresses and quilters in their day. My mom didn't sew and I had no interest until my junior year of college. I made a quilt with my grandmother. When I graduated from college she gave me a Singer Featherweight sewing machine, which has set unused for the last five years - until now! I've been bitten by the sewing bug. I don't know how to make much, but I do a lot of experimenting - shirts, bags, etc. I would sew more if I was a millionaire because I can't seem to afford all the fabric and the serger that I want!!

Mary Ann Hughes says: June 12, 2009 at 09:16 AM

I learned to sew in 8th grade Home Ec. Sewed a lot in High School and then again when my daughter was young - making frilly pary dresses was cheaper than buying them and you couldn't get really warm kid bathrobes.

However, my skills were never above barely adequate and I found the whole business HARD WORK - not fun or relaxing. So when my daughter got old enough to no longer want my creations I sold the machine.

What would it take to start again? Well, a self-threading machine that would stay threaded. Plus at a price I could afford, which would be approx. $1 at this point. (Although I do find myself interested in quilts these days ...)

LindaSonia says: June 12, 2009 at 09:17 AM

I sew, mostly by machine and some by hand, and started when I was about 20 or 21 - started by making clothes - blazers, pants, skirts mostly. Got a machine and took the mini class the store offered to learn basic machine skills. Taught myself to read patterns and learned about fabric selecting by looking at the clothes on the racks - trial and error. My mom is a sewer but she didn't teach me. I moved into home decor items, curtains, table skirts, pillows, runners, you name it and this is where the sewing skills have settled. No more clothing.

I sew. Constantly. I sew all the time. As soon as I finish this comment, I am going to go sew. I think I'm addicted. And I have some deadlines. I started sewing by hand when is was...well I don't remember. 4? 5? I got my first "sewing machine", a Holly Hobbie hand crank number when I was 8. My mom kind of showed me how to do it and then I went from there. We made an Esprit pattern together, then my prom dress. I made a lot of my own clothes in college. I have recently sworn off ever using a pattern again, since NOTHING ever fits right, whether it's for me or my daughter. I dream of a room where there is me, my sewing machine and fabric. And nothing else but the sound of birds singing.

I come from a long line of sewers and can't even remember when i "started". it just happened. now that i've inherited my mom's viking machine (that weighs a ton), i'm sewing much much more.

Sewing was always a big part of our family. My grandma taught me how to hand sew when I was about 6 (making stuffed toys and Barbie home decor) and how to sew on a machine when I was 10 (making a lot of my own clothes). I lapsed for a while after going years without a machine, but I'm slowly starting to get back into it with some simple clothing projects.

Hi! I just started reading recently and I love your blog. Very Inspirational. I grew up with a mom that was always sewing and is really into quilting now. I had a little sewing machine that I would sew paper on as a child. Now, I can sew and I own a wonderful machine, but usually don't. I still need my mom around to give me the confidence to finish things. I often feel like there are just too many instructions to follow when sewing. I do however, enjoy sewing little stuffed things by hand. So I guess yes, I do sew. Never really thought of it this much. Good Question!

I sew, my mom sews, my grandmothers both sewed, as did their mothers. Three of my aunts sew (one is a seamstress). Their children (even the boys) learned the basics of sewing. Our homes all have/had boxes and closets and rooms, in some cases, of fabric. It was considered a necessary skill as well as a creative outlet.

Most of my friend's mothers didn't sew, though. I felt pretty lucky, except when I was 12 and grandma made me lime polyester elastic-waist pants (it was 1973, but still).

I've sewn "for real" for about two and a half years, since I got a little Kenmore sewing machine for Christmas. I've made skirts and dresses, as well as bags, simple blankets, and little accessories like headbands. My mom sewed various things while I was growing up (making curtains, hemming pants) and my grandma, her mom, made outfits for the whole family when they were growing up, and "worked over" hand-me-downs to make them fit. I think I come from a long line of sew-ers. I kind of taught myself, from what I'd learned from Mom and Grandma, as well as internet tutorials and just plain practice.

Hi, Alicia. I learned some basic sewing skills as a kid from my mother and grandmother, and my interest has been rekindled as an adult mostly because of the amazing work and photography on craft blogs. I sew stuffed animals, skirts, and quilts, but I'm dying to make a Western shirt and embroider it myself. The setting in sleeves part has me a little cowed. "Easing" is the bane of my existence at my current skill level. Only two of my friends sew, so thank goodness for the online community!

I don't sew very much, but I really want to! My mom and sister used to sew a lot (and were great at it), but I wasn't interested when I was growing up. I'm kicking myself now, because I find it hard to get momentum. I'm totally scared of patterns, you know?

I'm 19 and I've just started to sew! I took some lessons at Jo Ann's and now I'm just learning from my mistakes (a lot of them) as I go through vintage clothing patterns.

Mary D in Texas says: June 12, 2009 at 09:20 AM

My mother taught me how to sew when I was about 8 years old. I took home economics (required at the time...years ago) in junior high school. I love make all different types of clothing, bags, curtains and, of course, quilts.

My mother sewed by hand, but growing up my best friend's mother had a sewing room - VERY exotic! She hand-made everything they wore, basically out of necessity.

When I was in Jr. High (middle school) I took Home Ec and LOVED sewing. Then my younger sister went through Home Ec and she loved sewing, so my mom bought us a Kenmore sewing machine. We were in heaven.

My sister still sews by machine, mostly practical projects - she actually recovered all her living room furniture a few years ago! I sew for fun - craft sew - and my mother still mends by hand. None of us is very good at clothing construction, although I do make myself skirts and simple accessories.

Set in sleeves?! Fuhgeddaboudit!

The weird thing is that NONE of my friends or my sister's friends sew. They all think we possess some Mad Magical Skillz because we can operate a sewing machine! It blows my mind that women my age (early 40s) don't sew, cross stitch, do needle point, smock...they knit because it's a cool thing to do right now, but sew? No way.

Cassandra says: June 12, 2009 at 09:20 AM

I sew, with a machine, by hand, whatever strikes my fancy. I started sewing when I was a wee girl and I would stitch up scraps of fabric and make little dollhouses. Then I took home ec in junior high, and both of my parents taught me to use my mother's machine. I've always sewn bits and pieces here and there as it struck my fancy: mostly modifying clothes in high school, a little creation in college for raves and such, and now, I have returned to my roots and sew something nearly every week.

My Nana taught me to sew as a kid and I also took sewing in Home Ec and in 4-H. My grandmother, Nana and mother are all great sewers and so I picked up bits and pieces from all of them. Lately I've been sewing mostly things for the house- pillows, curtains, crib bedding, stuff like that along with baby gifts for all my friends. Once and a while I'll sew a piece of clothing or a tote bag or something...

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About Alicia Paulson


My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at