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Sewing and Finding Your Passion – Chrys Howard
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Sewing and Finding Your Passion

Sewing and Finding Your Passion

It’s been a while since I got out the sewing machine. Well, it actually stays out. My son’s bedroom is now my sewing/office/photo storage/wrapping paper room. Just sharing this as a little voice of hope for you young mama’s out there. They do grow up and leave and you can reclaim their room.

Back to my sewing blog.

Sewing was a passion for me at one point in my life. For all my millennial friends who love to use the word “season,” I guess it was my sewing season. I would literally stay up until 2 and 3 in the morning getting a dress made for one of my girls and one of their cousins. When my two girls were little, I always made matching Christmas and Easter dresses for them and their cousins. I continued that tradition when my granddaughters were little. So, you see, sewing bordered on being an obsession. I’m pretty sure my husband would have called it that.

Why did I start sewing? I don’t think I’m particularly gifted at sewing. I just loved it from the minute my mother-in-law gave me a sewing machine as I went off to college. Being a typical late sixties teen, I didn’t take Home Economics during high school declaring I would do more than cook and clean for the rest of my life. Little did we (my sixties peeps) know, no matter what career choice we took, cooking and cleaning would still be part of the equation. Oh well, I did figure out both to some degree without taking the class.

Still, given my love for sewing, I would have benefitted from a sewing class. My mother was a beautiful seamstress. She made nearly every dress my sisters and I put on. Sadly for her, again, we were products of the late sixties when jeans and bare feet won out over beautifully made dresses.

Me in one of my mom’s creations in a yearbook pic


I do think I inherited my sewing skills from my mom. She didn’t teach me to sew, mainly because I was a busy-body and in every school activity possible, so I didn’t stay home long enough to be taught how to sew (possibly what happened in the cooking department too). But, I think we all are genetically gifted with traits that someone going before us had, therefore, I claim I sew because my mom sewed, not because she taught me to sew.

To be honest, back in the day, sewing was necessary as it was cheaper than buying store-bought clothes. With three girls, that’s why my mom sewed. That is not the case today. Many store bought clothes are cheaper than buying the fabric and a pattern (some as high as $18.00).  I love to sew today because I love the creative and legacy part of sewing. Making a dress for a new baby tells that mother and baby that you love them enough to make something personal and one-of-a-kind. I started doing heirloom, keepsake dresses when my girls were little and continued that tradition with my granddaughters. I probably have over one hundred dresses hanging out in various closets from my “sewing season” of life.  

My daughter, Ashley



The grandkids in matching Easter clothes


One of the things I love about heirloom dresses is they really don’t go out of style or at least that’s what I thought. One of my favorite grandkid stories is when I was cleaning and mending a dress I had made for one of my daughters for my granddaughter, Macy, to wear. When she saw what I was doing she commented, “You can give that dress to Sadie. It’s not my style.” Keep in mind, she was four! Oh my, I suddenly knew what my mother must have felt like as we rejected her dresses in the sixties.

In any case, I sewed on, and loved seeing my grands in dresses their mothers had worn or the new creations I made for them. Now, my grands are too big for homemade, smocked dresses. But, great-grands are on the way as well as a new flock of nieces.

My newest creation for niece, Cora


That’s way I made my way back to the machine. I have two new nieces so I was able to “re-fresh” some of the old favorites as well as make a few new ones. This little bubble suit was simple to make and looks adorable on baby Cora. We don’t have any true fabrics stores in town anymore so I shop at Hobby Lobby for simple cotton fabric. The pattern is Simplicity 8347 and costs 17.95. I know that’s high, but look how cute!!!! In all fairness, the pattern can fit from size six months to four years so it can definitely be used again. If you’re just starting out, look for the patterns that say EASY on them. They truly are easy and the directions are written with beginners in mind. This one is not one of those, but there are plenty to choose from. And, remember, the iron is your friend. Iron each piece as you go for a more polished look.

Three of my nieces wearing some of my original heirloom dresses


I hope you have something you are passionate about. It might not be sewing-in fact it probably isn’t-but something that drives you to wake up in the morning and stay up late at night. Having something we are passionate about moves us to be more than we thought we could be. Passionate people tend to be purposeful people and when we operate with a purpose in life, we are happier and more satisfied in every area of life.  

I hope you have a great week. Hugs, Chrys




  • Sarah

    I had to do a double take on that picture of Ashley because it looks SO much like Bella!!

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