A Handcrafted Home

This Sunday, I’m participating in “Stream of Consciousness Sunday”, hosted by Jana of Jana’s Thinking Place. The idea is to type for 5 minutes, a brain dump of sorts, and then to publish without editing the writing at all.

I’ve taken over a big portion of the dining room table this week. My throbbing upper back can attest to the hours spent sewing, bent over the machine like a near-sighted Christmas elf. I’m sewing shoes, yes… but I’m also really enjoying other little projects for our home.

I’ve hoarded quite a lot of spare material over the past few years — favorite t-shirts and dresses that didn’t fit anymore, or had too many holes to wear to school or work, but were too well-loved to throw out or donate. These treasured articles of clothing are slowly being turned into napkins, because it makes no sense (to me) to buy paper napkins that will go straight into the trash, when we can make our own to wash and re-use.

I have a beautiful collection of handkerchiefs, which once belonged to my grandmother and her mother. These have been carefully hand-washed, ironed and pinned to a length of hand-sewn bias tape for a vintage valance curtain in our living room. It makes me smile just to walk into the room and see these beautiful things and their bright colors.

I have plans for pillows, curtains, a chair cover… so many things.

In my boxes of old business inventory, I found a huge box of every color thread that you can imagine — from fire reds to lemon yellows, sunset oranges to deep magenta pinks, metallic copper, rainbow variegated, a color for every imaginable project. I remember debating whether I should sell the box of thread, and I am so glad that I decided to keep it.

It’s so very satisfying, teaching my daughters how to thread the machine and run a bobbin. They pick out the fabric and coordinating thread, and then supervise every step of the various projects, just like they did when they were very little and I was a full-time sewing business owner.

These are the moments that they will always remember, I hope… when their mother taught them how to turn a house into a home with a needle and thread.

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I'm Heather, a married mama of two teen girls, a stillborn baby girl (7/1/12), and a sweet and wild preschool girl (4/2/14). I've been blogging at The Destiny Manifest since 2001. I like to write about appreciating all of the beautiful little things that surround us, particularly in the face of grief, infant loss and mental health issues. Every day is an adventure!

Latest posts by Heather O. (see all)

  • a.eye

    My boyfriend took up sewing and took classes to learn to make things. I think it is amazing when individuals make items around them!

    Congrats to you for making the various items and for sharing the skill with your children.

  • Kenya Johnson

    They will always remember. I can feel your excitement in teaching them. Pretty threads!

  • Thank you Kenya! 🙂

  • Thank you! 😀

  • I love to sew, too. My girls were interested in learning at one point, but I am too impatient to be an effective teacher, so we all kind of gave up. Now they’re at the stage where it would not be cool to learn, which is unfortunate because now is the perfect time.

  • Nice job with all the re-purposing and teaching your girls such valuable skills. Great post!

  • Thanks!

  • Wow! Look at all that thread! Sounds exciting!

  • I know, we were having so much fun going through all the colors. I joined a co-op for Marathon embroidery thread about 7 years ago and that’s where the majority of it came from. I have almost every color they make, and 75% of them are still in plastic!

  • I’m not a very patient teacher either, but I try. When things get too intense, I call an end to the lesson or just have them watch me for a while, rather than participate, and that seems to help all of us keep our cool.

  • a treasured life

    This is sooo fun! OMG. I love your posts. It’s awesome. & I think you did a pretty good. Even without the editing 😉

  • Thank you! My teachers used to give me such a hard time because I could write a rough draft and not need to edit it… it comes in handy during Stream of Consciousness Sundays though! 😉

  • Anna Hettick

    That awesome… I remember sewing with my grandma when I was younger…such a fun time. 🙂 visiting from Jana’s.

  • bapsi

    wow what a thread collection, beautiful! repurposing old clothing and fabrics are one big reason why i’m seriously considering getting a sewing machine. like you, i just can’t bear to throw such good fabrics away when i use so many disposable napkins for the same job.

  • You should definitely get a sewing machine! You get one for pretty cheap and you earn the money back quickly in savings. 🙂

  • Thanks! 🙂