Wednesday, June 22, 2005

The Reason for Linda's Blog

Welcome to Linda's Blog the home of the Linda Walsh Originals Blog page. We'd like this blog to be an area where beginners or experienced seamstresses, doll or craft pattern designers, doll makers, or crafters can trade stories about their experiences,misadventures, humorous situations or just helpful tips. Anyone who has ever attempted to make something knows that sometimes it just doesn't turn out right. I'm sure we will all get a laugh out of some of our stories and, perhaps, we can provide some helpful information for beginners to learn from.

Here's one of mine:

I have been sewing and crafting since I was about 10 years old. My mother taught herself how to sew, my grandmother was a seamstress, my aunt was a seamstress, etc. Women from sewing families know what I mean when I say sewing runs in the family. Not that I want to date myself, but, I was born in the baby boom generation so that means I've been sewing and crafting for over 40+ years. When I was first learning how to sew my mother did not have a sewing machine. Her best friend, however, did. My mothers best friend is a wonderful woman who is an avid seamstress and who was thrilled with my desire to learn how to sew. She volunteered to let me use her old black metal Singer sewing machine. I loved that machine. I'd love to have that machine today. I know many of you will agree with me that they just don't make sewing machines like they used to. All of the parts were metal.

In any event, the first thing I decided to make was a shirt for myself. I set about buying a pattern, buying the material, supplies, etc. My mother showed me how to read the pattern and how to layout the pattern pieces on my material. I never followed the pattern layout instructions, then, and I still don't as I always thought they wasted too much material. She also told me to read the instructions carefully and to follow the pattern step by step. For my first few years I didn't dare go to step 5 before finishing steps 1 through 4. I thought the earth would fall apart if I did. What did I know I was just a kid!

So my mother explained how to read the various instructions on the pattern sheets and what the little black notches meant. I used to cut them off until I realized they could be quite useful. So I set about cutting out my shirt and then attempting to sew it. My mother and her best friend explained all the sewing terms, showed me how to sew a straight line with the machine, how to sew in reverse, etc. I really think my mother made me practice much more then I needed just to keep me out of her hair. In any event, I practiced sewing straight lines forward and backwards until I could do it with my eyes closed.

I knew what I was doing, or so I told my mother. Let me do my shirt. So she, as mothers always do, sighed and said "fine!" Go ahead! I sewed the side seams and the shoulders, then the side seams of the arms. Piece of cake. This is easy. Then the instructions said that I needed to sew the arms to the shirt easing the fabric so that it fit. Well, I looked at the shoulders of my arms and the armhole opening of my shirt. No way that was going to fit. The shoulders of my arms were way too big. I figured the pattern must be wrong so I cut the arms of my shirt straight across the top of the side seam so that the armhole opening of my shirt and shoulder of my arms would fit. Hey, no problem now. No more excess material. Oh, was I good. I sewed both of the arms on and then turned the shirt RSO.

I figured this might be a good time to try my shirt on. Well, you all know what happened. The sleeves were way too short and my armhole opening was a bit too tight. My mother and her friend were trying not to laugh but, I looked ridiculous. What did I learn. Laughter is the best medicine and sewing is always an adventure. Hey, if you don't try something you'll never know if it would have worked.

If you'd like to comment on my misadventure or add one of your own please feel free to do so.


  1. Well hello Linda - Its exciting to see your website! I remember playing dolls with you so very long ago. Can it really be over 40 years? I remember our Tiny Tears/Betsy Wetsy stage and then the Barbie/Ken marathons during the summer. You also had the BEST Dream House!

    I also remember a day (maybe you do too..) when we "drew" our houseplans of the future! I think we were maybe ten years old at the time. We spent days drawing architectural designs of our "mansions" to be. I remember a stable with horses was my passion. I think your dream house came true. As for me - I got the horse- not the house (Mansion)! I rode dressage in competitions on a beautiful full blood Quarterhorse and took 2nd place in the Cape Cod Horseman League - adult rider division for walk/trot.

    I love your website and your dolls are fabulous. PS I think my Mom still has that black Singer sewing machine!

    Take care and enjoy designing!

  2. I guess it's time I answered my daughter Linda's Blog. Right away I must correct her statement about my not having a sewing machine when she started to sew. I bought a White machine with all my saved pennies because all my friends were sewing and I just knew I could do just as well if not better. (No conceit in my family). Anyway that is how I knew how to tell Linda how to read a pattern, etc. My best friend and I had a lot of fun making our own clothes and our daughter's, but after I had made two wedding gowns and six bridesmaids gowns I decided to take a break and turned to other crafts. I must admit that I also had my crazy situation occur when I sewed my finger to the machine. I was trying to push a thick piece of material under the sewing foot and the machine took off and went right through my index finger. Boy, did that ever hurt. I yelled to my son to get some scotch from the bar. He thought I wanted to drink it, but I wanted to put my finger in it (after I reversed the needle and took my finger out) to cleanse the wound. Later I drank a good glass of scotch. Wonderful memories and great pride in my daughter's accomplishments in her crafts. She is truly a wonder woman!!
    Love you, honey

  3. I love reading your stories Linda!