Hi, I’m Sabra.
I pronounce is “SAY-bra”, but answer to, and rarely correct, anything from Zebra to Sabrina. A for effort and all that jazz. I have four kids who make regular appearances around here:
Kael (13) Seth (10) Jonas (7) Ivy (4)
And an amazing husband of 15 years, Damon, who only sometimes makes an appearance around here, but I still like him.
In January of 2010 I started this blog as a personal challenge to learn how to *really* sew. It was my New Year’s resolution that year and I really had no idea where it would take me or what would become of anything. I just knew that I was sick of everything I sewed looking similar to clothing and almost fitting a human body, but not quite there.
My sewing history takes me back to 6th grade when I asked my mom to teach me how to use her circa ’60s Singer sewing machine. She sat down with my younger sister, me and her machine at the kitchen table. She had us each draw an animal to make into a pillow. I drew a teddy-bear-esqe (emphasize on the esqe) shape on some corduroy. She showed us the basics of the machine and we each sewed ourselves a stuffed toy. That night I had a nightmare in which my bear came to life and tried to kill me and my family. After spending the rest of the night in my mom’s bed, I got rid of my first sewn creation and laid aside any seamstress aspirations.
My last semester of college, senior thesis completed and presented, I needed another “filler” class in order to keep my scholarship and grant obligations in full-time quota until graduation. My schedule was padded with the likes of racquetball and cross-country skiing, but I was still a couple credits short. My fashion-design major roommate suggested a sewing class. Only the 100 level sewing courses didn’t jive with the rest of my heavy schedule. I had my roommate convince her professor-advisor to let me into a mid-level fashion design course, under strict pledge that my roommate would be responsible for me and hold my hand through it all. This was the first thing I turned in for a grade
I was dating my now-husband at the time. The most romantic hotpad ever!
And I’m sure my teacher wept inside while re-thinking her chosen career. By the end of the semester I wasn’t great, but I had improved so much that my teacher pulled me aside and told me that though she at first thought there was no hope for me, I was the most improved student she’d ever had. And then reminded me that it was most likely because I had come in with negative talent. She gave me a B, based solely on how much I’d improved. Very generous of her, really.
Two years later, my husband gave me my first sewing machine, a basic Singer, for Christmas. A neighbor gave me an old serger. I was set. I cranked out a ton of pajama pants for family and friends, some of which even fit. I made bedding and accessories for my children as they came along. But where I really felt most comfortable was sewing Halloween costumes. Part of it is because I could let my imagination have free reign. But if I am honest, it was mostly because I could get away with not doing a fantastic construction and design job. My kids didn’t care, people were distracted by the idea enough to not notice the details that screamed “homemade by an amateur!”. Or at least were polite enough to not comment on them. I wanted to move beyond that. I wanted to be able to make things that fit right and look right. Basically, I wanted to be good.
So, since I did my most growth while under academic pressure, I pulled out my old college sewing text book, A Guide to Fashion Sewing, second edition, by Connie Amaden-Crawford (amazon affiliate link). Chapter by chapter, project by project I worked my way through most of the book in 2010, sharing the lessons I was learning on this blog along the way. Things got more sporadic with the lessons in 2011, and then pretty much completely fizzled when I got pregnant with my daughter that spring. But I kept sewing. A lot.
Over the years, my sewing has greatly improved and I’ve been featured in Quilter’s Home Magazine’s 55 Rad Blogs, as a Bernina We All Sew Favorite Blogger, and on The Wedding Channel’s DIY Wedding Day blog, as well as on numerous other blogs and DIY sites including Craft Gawker, Style Gawker, UCreate, Craft Gossip, Made, Made-By-Rae, Crap I’ve Made, Tip Junkie, Skip to My Lou, Today’s Creative Blog, One Pretty Thing and more. Many of my tutorials and patterns have been featured at All Free Sewing, included in a few of their Ebooks, and two of my tutorials are on their “Favorites for 2012” list. I’ve been a contestant with Project:Sewn, took first place in I am Momma-Hear Me Roar’s boy contest, and a finalist in Made-By-Rae’s Spring Top series and Little Blue Boo’s Design Challenge. I’ve worked directly with Jo-Ann Stores, Michael Levine, Coats & Clark, Girl Charlee, Blank Slate Patterns, See Kate Sew, Shwin Designs, Peek-A-Boo Patterns, GoTo Patterns, CINO Patterns, Very Shannon, Create Kids Couture, and more. And I have some really exciting projects in the works that are still under wraps, but they’re going to be amazing and I can’t wait to share them!
Basically, I’ve come a long way, baby!
And I’m even more excited about what the future has in store for me and my craft. I still have so much more I want to learn and so many ideas always swirling in my head. I’ve discovered a love and passion for sewing for my kids, my boys in particular. I focus a great deal on boy fashion and am always looking for inspiring ways to add interest and details to my kids’ clothing.
I’ve moved from getting the basics of sewing down, to really focusing on details and trying to improve the quality of my work. I don’t know that I’ll ever perfect my sewing, but I’m having an amazing time trying to reach that Project Nirvana. And I’m happy to have you along for the ride.