Keep Calm and Sew On

wraparoundskirtI made this wrap around skirt (and matching scarf!) in high school

I’ve always enjoyed sewing.  When I was in junior high, girls had to take a sewing class.  I think the first thing I made in that class was a gym bag (which I still have!).  I also took a sewing class in high school, a class in college and my mom and Grandma Pitchforth taught me a few things too.  When I was sixteen I received a small inheritance when my Grandma Patton passed away.  I bought myself a Singer sewing machine; one of the best purchases I’ve made (it’s a workhorse and has never needed to be repaired)!  I’ve made myself lots of skirts and dresses and one time made a dress pattern four different times because I loved the dress so much (I’m pretty sure no one noticed).


There was probably a decade that I didn’t touch my sewing machine at all.  The last 15 years or so I’ve made a lot of things and I really think sewing has made a comeback.  I make a lot of handmade gifts: cloth napkins, coin purses, stuffed animals, smocks, aprons, garlands, headbands, holiday decorations, and quilts.  I get a lot of satisfaction from making things myself and I think people really appreciate receiving something thoughtful and homemade.  My mom passed away last year and I made coin purses for family members and hot pads for my dad out of her jeans.  After my friend’s husband passed away, I helped make a quilt for their little boy out of her husband’s dress shirts.  I made sure that we included a few of the pockets from the shirts.

coin-purseI keep my subway pass in this coin purse made out of my mom’s jeans


A girl from my stake was called to serve her mission in Thailand.  I thought she needed a stuffed elephant so I made one and mailed it to her at the MTC.  She wrote me a letter asking if I would make elephants for the six elders in her MTC group.  She sent me their favorite colors and enough money to cover supplies and postage and I mailed a box of elephants a week later.

elephantparadeThe elephant parade

A few years ago I set up a sewing area in my living room and it’s been really great; whenever I want to sew, I sit down and sew.  I always say I wish I could sew everyday and technically I guess I could.  It’s nice to have a hobby that helps me focus on others and makes me SEW happy.


red-quiltI made this quilt for my wall from a Denyse Schmidt pattern – a woman in Iowa did the machine quilting for me



Author profile

I grew up in the LA area and moved to Boston sight unseen and am never leaving New England. I work as an assistant in the president's office at MIT and do photography on the side. I am in YW for the third time (I am the Beehive counselor) and I love it. My hobbies are photography, antiquing, baking, sewing, quilting, blogging (and reading lots of blogs), writing letters, reading on the subway and exploring around New England (there is lots to see!).

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  • Emilie Knecht
    September 28, 2016 at 10:17 am

    Oh, wow this looks amazing! Is it hard to make the elephants?