Sewjo: Lost and Found

It’s a strange thing when you have lost interest in something that you usually love to do.  

There was an odd dullness in my life these past few weeks because of the passing of our Wonderful Mother – my Biggest and Most Loving Supporter.  She was someone who constantly asked what was new in my world, someone who listened, cheered me on and encouraged me in every stitch of my life.

I certainly haven’t felt like planing or sewing any new projects – that dullness invaded my thoughts.  

I took a stab at my UFO pile, mending and hemming a few items.  Sort of a sewing therapy.  Turns out, now I’ve got a couple of new tops to wear.

Scrolling through Designer Fashions on-line, I found my Designin’ December  Designer Original.  How are you doing with your search?

I managed to finish a dress which I will show to you next time, when I have photos.  I don’t like how it turned out at all, but I did finish it.  It was important to me to finish it.  The bodice is probably an entire size too big.  I have an idea how to fix it up – perhaps you will have some helpful ideas too?

I was distracted for a while too with the vintage buttonholer on my Singer 500, “Barbie” my Rocketeer.  I spent way too much time playing with it, eventually sewing the buttonholes in my dress.  

This project started way back in May, the #magamsewalong on Instagram announced their May Theme – “May Flower” which worked in perfectly with my sewing plans.

I had this wonderful 100% rayon twill (not a “sustainable” fabric) – cornflower blue and purple flowers on a blue background.

Nice dress!  Thanks, I made it!!

I had this pattern, McCall’s M6503, which I have already traced and altered once to make view B, so this time I thought I would do a different collar style, view D.  I don’t have the faintest idea why the bodice fit so perfectly last time I made this dress and ended up too large this time.

Nice dress!  Thanks, I made it!!

I still had my Singer 500,“Barbie” my Rocketeer, set up from my last bag making project, so I figured I would continue to use her for finishing up my “May Flower” dress.  After all, Barbie came with a vintage buttonholer!  (Never have I seen a vintage sewing machine, cabinet and accessories in such good condition.  Barbie’s previous owner gave her lots of love!)

Nice dress!  Thanks, I made it!!

This is only the second time I have used this buttonholer.  But I am so fascinated by it.  This is where I got distracted again …  

The original manual for the buttonholer explained how the buttonholer worked, gave suggestions on making buttonholes, explained how to prepare and use the buttonholer, gave step by step instructions on how to make each of the different kinds of buttonholes and explained how to take care of the buttonholer.

Nice dress!  Thanks, I made it!!

There are twenty templates, so there are lots of different kinds of buttonhole choices.

Nice dress!  Thanks, I made it!!

The manual even gave the settings for my sewing machine and my buttonholer and they worked together just fine.

Nice dress!  Thanks, I made it!!

Like usual, I practiced my buttonholes first on scraps of interfaced fabric.

Nice dress!  Thanks, I made it!!

Then … Buttonhole Success with my actual bodice piece!


I love the sound of these vintage sewing machines.  While sewing with them, I always end up thinking about the inventors, possibly from as far back as the 1800’s for some machines, who decided which gears, screws, wires and needlebars would be needed to make a machine that is still in use today.

Anyway … on to the next project … this sewing therapy has given me a renewed desire to plan and sew …

I started a new bag!  I think this one is “IT!”  I’m calling it the “Rosie Bag”.  I promise to show it to you as soon as it’s done.  

During these past weeks, I have been thinking about my Biggest and Most Loving Supporter.  I don’t think she is really gone.  I’m sure she is around somewhere, chatting with her sister over morning coffees about what “her girls” are up to now – watching and cheering us on.

Happy Sewing!

STASH BUSTING WITH THIS PROJECT?  Nothing’s changed!  Still 132 metres left in inventory.

42 thoughts on “Sewjo: Lost and Found

  1. Oh Linda, I am so sorry about your mother, and I can totally relate as I lost my own mother on 23rd June, but I sewed my way through my grief, thinking about her every step of the way. Anyway, I’m glad you got your sewjo back and may you feel your mother looking over your shoulder and approving of all your endeavours. Hugs to you. xxx

    1. Thank you Sue. So sorry to hear about your loss. Although I certainly didn’t have the mindset to sew, the mending and finishing projects was definitely an activity that helped me though the days. I think I am ready to take on something a bit more challenging now. Take care of yourself! xx

      1. Thanks Linda, you too. Tough times… xx

  2. It is hard to continue doing something when the person who taught you how to sew is no longer around to talk about your projects. Mom was a wonder and I know she is hanging around, in spirit, watching us all. Keep a positive thought cause she will know if you sulk to much and heaven only knows what will happen to us then.

    1. 🙂 I agree, Rose, no more sulking!

  3. My condolences Linda, it’s such a hard time. My mum died six years ago, we were lucky to have such love and share so much

    1. Thank you. I was told “it is part of life” which is true, but doesn’t make it any better in the moment. My condolences you and anyone else out there suffering a loss.

  4. I am so sorry to hear of your loss – and she really sounds wonderful – do take it easy – grief is the toughest of all the emotions. Your mum is never as far away as you think –

    Glad to hear you are sewing a bit, but I know I found my mind kept wandering even on small projects.I found crochet useful for me, as it was only one stitch ever to think of and i could stop and start – I can also imagine how comforting the sound of the vintage machine and buttonholer is – I love using mine as the clickety clack sound is quite hypnotic.

    1. Thank you. I do like to think she is still close to us, watching. Slowly getting back into routines has been helpful – a few little chores at a time.

  5. Condolences on your loss x I was chatting with my mum yesterday when she casually said ‘nothing lasts forever’ and I momentarily choked up.
    Those buttonholers are a wonder aren’t they? I could sit using mine all day…

    1. Thank you. It’s lovely you have such a great relationship with your Mom. Some never realize what they had until it’s gone. ❤️

  6. It’s lovely to hear how your mother supported and encouraged you through life. It must be so difficult dealing with the passing of someone who was so close to you. Hopefully sewing can provide a either chance to think things through or a distraction, whichever you need. I have a 1960s buttonholer for my old Singer 201K and I know exactly what you mean about the noise they make – there’s something fascinating about being able to hear it working away making all the stitches!

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Janet. It was strange to be not interested in doing my regular activities yet when I forced myself to do them it was very comforting. Your 201K must be a lovely machine! I am completely fascinated by these vintage sewing machines!

      1. Me too – I wish more of them were still in use rather than just adorning shop windows and pubs so it’s great to see yours getting some use.

  7. Sorry about your mom. It’s totally understandable to lose interest in things you usually enjoy, while you’re mourning. The buttonholer looks very cool. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thank you for you lovely comments.

  8. Oh Linda, this is such a hard thing, even if expected! I spent a week in my sewing room after my mom passed, and it was cathartic in so many ways. Familiar things can be very comforting.

    1. Thank you Kathy. So sorry for your loss too. I guess this is something we all have to face some day.

      1. It does get better, but even six years out there are odd moments. Hugs to you!

  9. Hello Linda – So sorry about the loss of your Mom – I still miss mine after 7 years… One the topic of your dress not fitting – I had this experiences with a rayon dress some years back, and was ready to give it away. Since I had worn it, I washed & ironed it before I put it on the donation box. I really liked the fabric, so I put it on again to see if it could be fixed. Lo & behold…it fit! I had stretched the fabric significantly while constructing the dress. Perhaps you could give it a try.

    1. Thank you very much. I wish only happy thoughts for us all when we think back on the special people in our lives. I hadn’t thought about washing it. I can’t remember if I prewashed the fabric now, I usually do, but it’s worth trying again!

  10. Linda, I’m glad you got your sewjo back. Our Mom was an amazing lady, as Rose said after a decent interval (perhaps a day?) Mom would tell us to snap out of it and get on with life. She’ll always be there when we need her.
    Hugs and kisses

    1. I agree. There is a little voice saying “snap out of it!” Thank you! 😘😘

  11. I’m so sorry to hear about your mum. It must be a very sad time for you. Losing your interest in sewing is very understandable. It’s nice that you’re getting back into it a little. I’m sure your mum would like to see you back doing something you love xx

    1. Thank you for this Diane. I have decided I must keep myself busy now. I’m looking forward to seeing what everyone else is up to too!

  12. I’m sorry to hear of your loss. It’s hard to deal with.

  13. So sorry to hear that you have such sad circumstances at present. I still have my mum but miss my dad frequently.
    Even if you don’t get on brilliantly with your mum,as is my case, they are a huge influence on your life and attitudes. I love my mum dearly but we drive each other bonkers. Sadly she is going through tough times at present and I am helping move her into smaller more managed accommodation.
    It’s good that you have been able to ease back into sewing by clearing some backlog. Enjoy playing with Barbie and the buttonhole attachment.

    1. Thank you Kim. All of you and my friends outside sewing/blogging have all been sharing such kind comments with me, it gets easier to think and talk about every day. I am sure I can find some more projects to play around with. I hope you can get your mother settled soon and things turn out the best for you both.

  14. And just when I thought I had made it through a day without tearing up I read the last paragraph of your blog. Our mother would be so touched knowing we are remembering her with our words. You should feel very proud you finished your dress! Im sure Mom, with her black-framed glasses at the tip of her nose, was peering over your shoulder the entire time as you sewed. Im looking forward to seeing the photos of your dress. Hugs.

    1. I know… I tear up at the silliest things, then I am perfectly fine through other more serious events. You never know when it will hit! I’m hoping for photos very soon. Thanks for the support! 😘😘

  15. Linda, I am so, so sorry to hear of your mother’s passing. I do believe that people stay around us and watch over us, letting us know that the are there through little things. Sending you and your family very best wishes. Xx

    1. Thank you very much, and thank you from my family too as they have been reading along and you all have been so wonderful.

  16. Linda, so sorry for your loss. I lost my mother 3 years ago and feel your pain. Life goes on. Keep sewing and hurry up with that bag………… can’t wait to see it.

    1. Thank you. I agree. Life goes on. I am just about to sit down and spend some time sewing. Hopefully without interruption from the family, although they have been a great support. ❤️

  17. Delighted to read you’re sewing and it’s helping you through this difficult time, Linda. Sewing is so creative and constructive. Doctors are beginning to acknowledge how much a creative activity helps people to feel better in themselves. All best wishes to you and your sisters. Know this new bag will be terrific, and I look forward to your big reveal. xx

    1. It is very helpful to keep busy and I am having fun with this new bag project. Thank you for your kind words.

  18. I’m just catching up with my blog reading so have only just seen this Linda. I am so sorry that you have lost your mum. Having lost mine earlier in the year I know how you are feeling. It leaves such a big hole in your life. I’m glad you are starting to sew again – I’m sure she would want you to do that. Take care x

    1. Thank you JaneyB and my condolences for your loss. 🤗

  19. My condolences on your loss Linda. I know it’s not remotely the same, but I lost my dear cat companion this winter and was in deep grief for a few weeks. Death …. it’s so profoundly absolute. I had a wonderful set of buttonhole templates with my previous Kenmore sewing machine (circa 1980). I gave the machine away when I bought a new Kenmore last year. How I regret that now! Now I know to NEVER give/throw away an old sewing machine.

    1. Thank you. Grief is difficult no matter what the loss. Even if they are not used all the time, vintage sewing machines are fun to try to add something new to your sewing habits! 😍

Comments are closed.

search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close