7 Months

That’s how long it’s been since I’ve sewed anything. That’s how long it’s been since my best friend ever, Carolyn Kaufman, died of a brain aneurysm.

I think we started sewing together in 2011. I went to her house almost every Saturday, bringing my sewing machine and project-related items. Sometimes I’d stay for a couple hours. A few times, I stayed for 5+ hours!

I already kinda knew how to sew before meeting Carolyn. I even had a machine that my mom bought me in 2005. But the couple projects I’d completed were mostly done by my mom. I’d get bored or frustrated, and I’d hand the project to her and say, “You do it!”

Carolyn had been sewing for several years already. I honestly don’t know how many. She made mostly dresses and skirts, but she’d make other things, too. She made the most fabulous steampunk Halloween costume one year.

When I started sewing with Carolyn, she was teaching her sister-in-law Elisa how to sew, too. We went to Jo-Ann’s and looked at patterns and fabrics. Elisa and I both picked the same pattern, Simplicity 2305, but she chose a black-and-white brocade, and I chose a gray silk dupioni.

gray fabric

That is silk dupioni, right? Or is it shantung?

It was a pretty difficult pattern, and it stumped Carolyn, too. My mom even came to visit at one point during construction to help me out.

I didn’t finish it, and I don’t remember if Elisa finished hers. With mine, the embellishment on the front gave the skirt a really funky shape. I shelved it.

I actually tried remaking it in early 2013. But, because of seam allowances after taking it apart, it was waaaay too small. It was kind of funny, actually, that I’d tried to sew this skirt twice, but it was never meant to be.

Actually, I’ll probably do it for real, some day. Maybe.

Anyway, that was my first of many sewing projects with Carolyn. The best part about sewing on Saturday was that I worked on projects almost every week, and I naturally completed them! I am not the best at finishing things, and I am terrible about deadlines. My mom even commented several times, after seeing finished garments, that it must be nice to sew at one’s own pace. She often started projects with actual due dates (like my 8th grade graduation dress, or my sister’s maid of honor dress for my wedding) a night or two before. I think I’d hate sewing if I put myself through that.

But I haven’t sewn anything since August 31, 2013, which was a week before Carolyn died and the last time I saw or talked to her. I’ve certainly been thinking about sewing, during these months, and buying fabric and patterns. But actual sewing hasn’t occurred. With Carolyn, it was fun just sharing new fabrics we’d bought or watching the progress of each other’s projects. After she died, I felt like, “What’s the point, if I can’t share this with Carolyn?”

That’s going to change starting tomorrow, though, because I’m participating in the Fabricistas Sew Along. I’m very excited to get started, and I’m super glad to have found a community to sew with. Of course I’d rather be doing the Sew-Along with Carolyn, or at least telling her about it, but that’s not possible.

So, this was my kinda long first post. Thanks for reading, if you did. : )

A note about the header image: That’s Haylie! She was one of Carolyn’s cats that I adopted after she died. Haylie always helped us sew. As you can see, she’s still into it.

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