Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Sew Grateful Week: Friends and Family

Besides being grateful for my mom, who started me off sewing, I'm grateful to several other people who enable this whole making-my-own-clothes thing.

Hey girl. You want those Astorias? Put them on my credit card.
{idea. photo.}
First off, my husband. I know I rag on him occasionally for being skeptical about some of my fabric choices, but really, he's the best. He's the first to point out to people that I can make my own clothes; when people comment on a me-made item I happen to be wearing, he'll always pipe up with pride, "Did you know she made it herself?" He's also the one to thank for my improved picture quality of late, being both the sponsor of the new DSLR and the wielder of such. It's so much easier than waiting for a bright enough day so that I can catch the light coming in the dining area windows! And of course, he shows his support in so many other little ways, like doing up hooks and eyes when I can't reach them, giving his honest opinion about frumpy versus vintage, putting up with going to fabric stores on vacation and carrying bags of fabric, and being the "bad cop" and dragging Walnut off my fabric when I'm in the middle of a tricky pinning situation. And let's not forget buying me my sewing machine in the first place. Best Christmas present ever.

Last year's extravaganza.
Next up: my friend Elaine. She is my costuming enabler. Seriously, no one else in the world wants to do these things with me. Or at least no one else I know of in my vicinity. Except that Elaine's not even in my vicinity! She drove all the way from Tucson just for our first SD ZombieWalk in 2010, and we've only been getting more elaborate since. We're making grand plans for someday when we're back in the Bay Area together and can attend the Edwardian Ball. Sometimes she makes fun of me for saying "I could totally make that," but her belief (and her mom's belief) in my creative abilities were what kept me going as a beginning crafter in high school. She's never anything but gracious about being gifted with my random DIY output. And one day, she's going to let me make her wedding dress. Now if that's not trust, I don't know what is!

And then there's someone I've mentioned before many times: my sheet supplier, Shayna. She's the one who gave me the sheets for my Star Wars Dress, Miss Lavender Goes to Hawaii Dress, Betsey Johnson Floral Explosion Dress, and Seamstress' Rendering Dress. Also my ill-fated mannequin cover UFO dress, but that's not her fault. Anyway, she is also super-encouraging; she's probably one of the nicest people I know. For example, she even confessed recently that she didn't read the summaries of my finished dress posts, you know, the boring part about techniques and pattern drafting and such. I think it's so sweet and indicative of her kindness that she felt like she had to apologize for that. Anyway, sneak preview: she said she found some Spiderman sheets for me...I can't wait to pick them up! Also, I somehow don't have any pictures with her; this is a situation that needs to be remedied ASAP.

She captured perfectly the old-timey
science illustration look that we wanted.
Then there's my sister, Emily. She is seriously the most creative person I know: she did the graphics for our wedding invitations, she's a budding metalsmith, makes crazy-cool anatomical art, and is the person who introduced me to zombie-walking in the first place. She's my partner in crimes against the craft world, fellow lover of NPH, and knows just as many Little House quotes as I do. And many of my downright funnest projects are the ones that involve her. She inspires me to be more creative every day.

Last but not least, I am so grateful to my dad. He doesn't sew a lick, nor does he like costumes or even SF/F (he's the ultimate realist: he only reads nonfiction books about non-made up universes), and he frowns upon spending money for unnecessary things (i.e. more than three sets of clothing). But! He's also the one who taught me to be rational, to analyze what aspects of x can be translated into y, to mentally take apart a made item and make it for yourself. The ultimate DIY-er, he taught me to use a drill, put in new tiling, and build a useable product just from an idea and some well-planned sketches, all before I graduated from elementary school. Some of my fondest childhood memories are the times he built us a tree swing, a seesaw, and dual-level tree house in our backyard, all from wood scraps and other things lying around the house. My can-do attitude is largely attributed to him. Even my inspiration for turning cardboard boxes into furniture comes from him -- one time he built us a castle playhouse from several refrigerator boxes. Also, despite being such a rational scientist type, he's always been the quirkier of my parents. So if I love hippos and giraffes on my clothing, it's because of him. And of course, he was the one who introduced me to Star Wars.

I love this shot of us during the traditional father-daughter dance, to "Sunrise, Sunset" from Fiddler on the Roof. These are the hands that held mine as I learned to drill, the hands that I held in a death grip when I learned to ice skate. Did I mention that my dad also introduced me to musicals, opera, classical music, and Impressionist art? He was my first example of a Renaissance man. {photo}

It's especially fitting that I'm thanking him during Sew Grateful Week, because it's his birthday this week, too. Happy birthday, Dad! Thanks for teaching me so, so (sew), much.


  1. What a sweet little post. Love that photo of you and your dad. The people in your life seem wonderful.

  2. What a great group of people helping you along, you're so lucky!

  3. What a lovely post, Cindy. I am honored to be included:) You inspire me with your creativity! I love finding random sheets and seeing what they become in the artist's hands! Reading your blog is always one of the highlights of my day. Thanks for always making me laugh and always inspiring me to get in touch with my creative side. You totally rock!

  4. Aw... that's awesome! I love that you included your daddy on here--mine's pretty special too (or at least I think so). I also love that you're a sci-fi geek... the world needs more of us!


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