Hi, my name is Carolyn, even though my online name for the last 16 years has been Diary of a Sewing Fanatic. It's not Caroline, Carol with or without an e, or Carolyne...but most especially it's not Caroline. I was born the year after Caroline Kennedy was born. At that time, the Kennedys were a beloved family. Many people thought I should be honored to be named after Caroline Kennedy. But my parents didn't name me that, my name is Carolyn.
I love three things - sewing, reading and Barbies. I've been sewing for 52 years and my love to sew has been well documented here. During that time I've sewn everything...coats, lingerie, wedding & prom gowns, tops, pants, tees, jackets, clothing for my children, grandchildren & ex-husband, and loads and loads of dresses.While I can sew well, I do not tailor. Nor do I care much about patternmaking/design, draping or quilting. I just like to sew clothing.
My First Love is Fabric...
The thing I absolutely love the most about sewing is fabric. I'm sure my grandmother, who sewed herself and taught me to sew imbued her love of fabric in me. My first sewing projects were Barbie clothes. The fabric I used was one of her recycled Church dresses. I still remember that fabric 52 years later because it was so amazing. It was one of those early 60s dresses. A basic sheath dress made from a beautiful navy blue silk. The overskirt was a beaded and embroidered navy silk overlay.
I knew she'd outgrown the dress but didn't know why it was in her recycle bin. Her recycle bin was full of everything in the house that no one wore anymore. All of that was cut up and incorporated into the quilts and throws she made for the household. Everything was reused. Nothing was thrown out.
Every summer until I was 12 was spent with my grandparents on their 5 acre farm in South Carolina. When I came home from that particular summer my Barbies had an amazing wardrobe that I'd hand stitched using the remarkable blue dress as my fabric. Barbie's wardrobe had dresses, pantsuits, a jumpsuit and an amazing duster from the embroidered overlay piece. My love of sewing, fabric and collection sewing was born.
Seriously, fabric is everything to me as evidenced by my collection. I understand that to some it could be overwhelming to own this much. But to me, it's my comfort zone...my creative outlet...the place where I begin my sewing journeys and what I continually add to. My fabric buying did decrease some in the last couple of years. Moving, packing and unpacking, will do that to you. However, I still love my collection and now I add special pieces to it, trying to buy more discriminately.
The Resource Center houses not only my fabric collection but also my notions, button & trim collection, as well as, my pattern collection. Honestly, I have a hard time giving away patterns. It's like I'm giving away hopes & dreams and creative possibilities. Now this doesn't apply to fabric or trims. Those I willingly share. I just tend to hold onto patterns...so my collection is DEEP!
Also, I use to sew ALOT. Turning out 50-60 pieces a year. I don't sew that much anymore. Some of it is circumstance. Some is I no longer need to fill my life with sewing to dispel the things I didn't like in other areas of my life. Some is that the pandemic has reduced the amount of time I spend outside my home. As we're moving forward now, I'm living a hybrid life. Time at work and time at home so my clothing needs have changed.
Books are my Second Love...
I love a good sewing book! I've collected quite a few of them and still reference them when I need to solve a sewing challenge. There are multiple ways to learn to sew now but books are my touchstone. It's the way I learned and what I still reach for when I need something.
I'm on vacation until March 1st. I'm really tired since I'm finishing up two large projects at work. Also spending a lot of time commuting to NYC is draining. I've definitely lost my commuting chops.
I also have two shirts that need to be photographed and blogged. I was so busy and tired that I was vegging on the weekends instead of spending quality time with my sewing machine.
Finally, is it just me, but the desire to sew lovely spring dresses is strong with me. The days are are starting to get longer and it's not pitch dark at 5pm anymore. This year we seem to be having more warmer days interspersed with cold ones. So my thoughts are turning to spring sewing. How about you? If you're in the Northern Hemisphere, are you still sewing winter or are you thinking about putting the heavy fabric pieces away and delving into those frothy, light fabrics for spring?
...as always more later!