Saturday, May 29, 2010

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How I Came to be a Seamstress

My mom tells this story about how she knew I would grow up to be a seamstress by the tender age of 3. I had found some scrap gingham fabric and somehow I got the idea that I wanted to make myself an outfit. I asked my mom for some scissors to cut the fabric with but she wouldn't let me play with them since I was just 3 years old. But I was determined to make my outfit so I ended up ripping the fabric. Before my mom realized it I'd made myself a halter top and skirt, which I stapled together since I wasn't allowed a needle and thread. My mom was very impressed at how well it turned out and still talks about it to this day, some 23 years later. I wish she had gotten a picture of it but I still remember it!

By the age of 8 I was taking hand sewing lessons from my grandmother. Grandma Shumate taught me the basics of hand embroidery. I remember picking out the design, ironing it on to the fabric, and sitting at her kitchen table working on it. I have since expanded my knowledge with books and the internet. I don't hand embroider as much as I used to but I still find it a great way to sit and relax.

For my 11th birthday my dad bought me my first sewing machine. My mom remembers how excited I was to get it and it's probably one of the best gifts I've gotten! My mom also told me that getting the sewing machine was all my dads idea and he picked it out and everything. My dad is so good! I used that machine for such a long time when I eventually gave it to my friend after I'd gotten a new sewing machine.

When I was in 9th grade I took a home economics class. I thought that was the best class ever! That was my first experience sewing with a pattern. I made a pretty dress which I wore out and got lots of compliments on. I learned so much in that class.

I also learned quite a bit from Becky, an accomplished seamstress and mom to my best friend, Rachel. Whenever I spent the night she'd always let us go through her scraps. We made all sorts of things but I remember sewing some pajama pants that I still have around here somewhere.

Over the years I have done lots of mending & sewing on of buttons for my mom. She always paid me. As my experiences grew I eventually recovered a couch for her. That was a lot of work but the end result was great!

My first experience in quilting was when I was pregnant with my first-born. I wanted to make him a quilt but I had no one to teach me how. I went to the library and checked out numerous books and taught myself what to do. His quilt still hangs on his wall.

My first real commissioned work was when my first-born was in the parents as teachers program when he was 2 or so. The program leader and I became good friends and I showed her what I did in my free time. She was looking around online for aprons to use during art time and instead of buying boring generic children's aprons she bought 12 multi colored beautiful aprons from me. I had so much fun making them!

Soon after that I opened my Etsy shop, Heather's Custom Sewing. I started off sewing just aprons but have since included much more. I sew so many different things because sewing the same thing over and over becomes really monotonous and just down-right boring.

I really enjoy sewing and I hope to continue to expand my sewing knowledge as time goes on. Someday I would love to take on a few students so I can share the sewing bug.

I hope you enjoyed my little trip back through time on my sewing adventures!


Monday, May 24, 2010

How to Place a Custom Order

If you're here reading this then you must be interested in a custom order! Welcome and thanks for stoppin' by!

After many custom requests and many explanations, I decided I needed to write out my explanation once and for all and post it on my blog. This way I can refer potential customers and save myself the time and headache of explaining it yet again. *bangs head on desk, why didn't I think of this before? LOL*

So here's how it works:

1) Come here and read these directions :)
2) Contact me. You can email me at or contact me via Etsy convo either through Heather's Custom Sewing, Hen and Chick Cloth, or Heather's Doll Shop.
3) Tell me you are interested in a custom order and what you'd like to order. If there is something similar in my shops then providing a link is extra helpful for me.
4) We'll then discuss pricing, shipping fees, order details, and time frame needed to complete your order (not including shipping time).
5) Once everything has been decided I will either invoice you through Paypal or if you contacted me through Etsy then I'll set up a custom listing for you.
6) You'll purchase the listing which you will then pay in full. Follow the directions provided by Etsy on how to pay. If you're paying directly through Paypal then follow their directions.
7) Once payment has been received I will create your item.
8) Once your item is complete I'll contact you to let you know that I'm done and show you pictures.
9) Lastly, I'll package it up and send it your way! I ship all my items via USPS First Class Mail with a tracking number. If you are outside the continental US then a tracking number won't be included as you can't track packages outside the US.

I hope this is clear as mud for you. If you have any further questions or if I left something out, let me know and I'll do my best to explain further!


Trials & Tribulations- Update

In my original post, Trials & Tribulations, I talked about getting my little guy in to his own bed full time.

I wanted to give an update. The first week, he did OK but I didn't do very good. The second week, I totally gave up & brought him back to bed with me full time. Well, I shouldn't have done that! We had the same problems…

My bed is too small for all of us. Justin slept on the couch while Jameson & I stayed in bed. Grumpy husband.

Jameson wanted to snack all night long. It's very uncomfortable being stuck in one position all night long.

We wake each other up. Probably the worst part is that I can't get out of bed in the morning without waking him up so my morning time is non-existent.

But there has been a huge change. Ian is now out of school for the summer which takes a whole lot of stress off of me in the time management department. And I've made a new resolve to get Jameson back in to his own bed, full time. I have no goal other than he's not to sleep in my bed any more.

With Ian being out of school I'm not so worried about getting up at a certain time in the morning, although I still like to get up early. I am the one who takes care of everything that has to do with kids, breakfasts, lunches, the morning routine. We keep it this way so that when my husband is out of town (which is very frequently as he travels a lot for his job) I am not expecting any help from him 'specially when I know he can't help & he isn't getting in the way of my system. With no school I can relax a bit & I can also take naps in the afternoon. I'm not a nap-taker & any time I try it always takes me forever to fall asleep and by the time I was ready to nap during the school year it would already be time to go get Ian from school & start the afternoon homework & activities. But now I don't have that & may actually get to lay down for a few seconds.

I have succeeded in keeping Jameson in own bed for the past 2 nights. I know it's just a start but it's better than nothin'! He hasn't been angry about it like he was when I first began & he's already stretched his sleeping times out a little. And the best part is that Justin actually got to sleep in the same bed with me & I wasn't stuck in the same position all night long. Hopefully our schedule falls in to place easily & we can all get a better nights sleep!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Trials & Tribulations

I am a part-time co-sleeping mama.

What is a part-time co-sleeping mama, you might ask?

Well, the baby starts the night off in his bed and when he wakes up to nurse he comes to bed with me for the rest of the night. That's the way it used to be, at least! Jameson would go to bed at 8pm and sleep until 2am then join me in bed for the rest of the night. If however, he ever woke up earlier my husband would bring him straight to me instead of soothing him back to sleep.

Somewhere a long the lines his 2am wake-up time began moving forward. It was still OK when he was waking up at midnight but then it moved up to 10pm & sometimes he wouldn't even stay in his own bed for a full hour.

So what has been happening? My husband brings him to bed for me. Jameson has gotten used to this & expects me to nurse him all night long. As my sister so eloquently puts it, I feel like a milk cow.

This wouldn't be a problem if I wasn't also being used as a pacifier.

Now, don't get me wrong. I enjoy nursing. My son is getting what he needs & he isn't starving. Far from it...

So I decided that it needs to stop. I don't agree with cry-it-out nor do I like saying that I'm trying to break him of anything. I'm simply re-training him. (And to train my husband to stop bring him to me at every little peep.)

My goal is to have him moved back into to his bed for the first part of the night by the time he is 8 months old (or about 2 more weeks). My next goal is to get him in his bed full time, to basically stop co-sleeping altogether but I don't have a time frame for this, maybe in a couple months time.

It has been tough!

The first night he went to bed at his normal time & was awake by 11pm. I didn't nurse him but I rocked him & held him instead. When he realized he wasn't getting to nurse, well, let's just say, he has a little temper. After a little over an hour he fell back asleep & slept until 4am.

The second night went about the same. He woke up at 9 this time & was back in bed by 10 where he stayed asleep until 4am.

The third night, he did much better. He slept for a good amount of time & when he woke up at about 1am, I nursed him & put him back in his bed. He did wake up again at 4am & he was soaked! And of course, I couldn't find a diaper where I needed it so I had to run with a naked baby to the laundry to get a clean diaper. LOL Other than that it went much better.

I hope it continues getting better. So far I have done lots of rocking & lots of cuddling.

Why am I doing this? Because I need to. For me, my stress level, & my marriage. Yes, my marriage has suffered because of co-sleeping. We have a small bed & my husband ends up on the couch most nights which results in a grumpy husband. And I'm of the persuasion that marriage comes before children.

So after writing all that, my hopes are to stop co-sleeping by the end of summer, get a little bit more sleep, & become a bit more stress free. It will be a real trial & a great tribulation getting to my goal but I hope to get there eventually.

I realize this is a controversial topic & I appreciate your comments and I moderate all comments so please keep them civil or they won't be posted.


How does my garden grow?

With irises & strawberry plants, of course!

It's has been a busy past couple of days & also fairly rainy! I'm getting a little bit of a break today & inbetween rain showers I ran outside for a few minutes to see what I could see.

My strawberry patch is doing so well! There are so many baby strawberries hiding in there...

Here is just what I collected today. They are so sweet & yummy!

And here are a few photos of my irises. They are so pretty right now!

I hope you enjoyed visiting my garden!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Sewing Wednesdays

I have been fairly busy this past week! Things have been sort of going smoothly so I got a few things done!

After I got my sewing room cleaned up I finished transferring a pattern onto interfacing. This is a trick some seamstresses use when they want a pattern to last a really long time. Well, my pattern was just printed from the computer & it was falling apart so I went ahead & made a much better one!

From the new pattern I cut out 2 new dressed. These are the same dresses as the 1940's swing dress that I previously made.

I also designed & completed a wrap around Hawaiian Luau skirt! I think this turned out really great. I plan to wear it to my friends Hawaiian themed bridal shower but I'll wear to other places too!

Well, that's it for this week! Thanks for taking a peak in to my sewing room with me!


Tuesday, May 4, 2010


Last weekend my husband had drill, which left me & the kiddos to do our own thing. Ian can pretty much occupy himself, which he did for the most part. And Jamie naps pretty well. So in my spare time I got to thinking about what needed to be done. My list is endless! But I chose to organize my sewing room. It's gotten a little out of hand recently & I feel less efficient with it being so messy. Plus, I was running out of room & things were exploding everywhere. lol Here is my fabric stash before…

I pulled everything down and made piles of each color of the rainbow. I prefer seeing my fabric color coded even if it isn't the same type of material throughout. Pulling everything out like this has really shown me how much of each fabric color I have. I have a ton in the blues, greens, whites/creams family but very little in the orange & purples. I guess that shows my most & least favorite colors!

And here it is all put back, nicely folded & color coded. My little helper woke up to help me finish putting it all away. He's such a cute little helper!

I've already been more productive because of organizing everything. Yesterday, I cut out 2 dresses & 1 skirt. But I will wait to show pictures of them tomorrow!

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