This Little Miggy Stayed Home: How My Life Would Be Better With a Serger

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

How My Life Would Be Better With a Serger

*this is a special post written for a contest to win a new serger from the blog Sew Mama Sew!  See details here.

You want to hear about how my life would be better with a serger...well shoot, how wouldn't it be better?  That's the obvious answer.  I could make my purses and


more "professional," and 
 my play tents

 more stream-lined, which means I could stop faking it with the zig-zag edging and french seams.  Yeah, yeah, what?  That's why everyone wants a serger.  And while it would be nice to have a serger for those reasons, I happen to have a much better reason why I need a serger.

So please, take my hand and allow me to escort you on a little journey back in time to where it all began....  (we don't really have to hold was just an idea.)  Years ago in college I became obsessed with sewing.  Except I didn't have a sewing machine... so I did it all by hand.  It started as an experiment with my own clothes.  Being short on funds I never had enough money to buy new stuff, so instead I would cut up the clothes I had and sew them back together to make new clothes.  I know this whole DIY clothing re-design is old hat these days, but back in 1999 I have to say I thought it was quite ingenious...sometimes tacky and homely, but ingenious.  Not having a sewing machine didn't really bother me, If the pioneers could do it, so could I, I thought.  I even went so far as to piece an entire quilt by hand.  And then sew the entire hand.  Looking back I had no idea what I was doing, but I did it.  And pretty soon not a shirt or a skirt in my closet was safe from my frequent sewing experimentations.  One day a roommate suggested I use her sewing machine.  She said it would be a lot faster.  Oooooohh...a machine that sews for you? Shoot, that's just plain fancy.  I admit that I was pretty hesitant since I already knew what I was doing I sorta hated the idea of having to learn to use a complicated machine to do what I already knew how to do by hand.  But one night my roomie showed me how to use said machine--which surprisingly took all of 2 1/2 minutes--and my simple little sewing life became transformed.  Sure I only knew how to do straight stitches at first, but that was enough.  It wasn't long before I went and bought my own sewing machine.  I had no idea how to use it, but I knew I'd learn.  And learn I step at a time.

And this is how I know I love sewing.  I've never had a class, I've never taken a lesson but little by little and through pure desire to learn more, I've slowly taught myself how to sew.  You could say I caught the sewing bug.  As a painter I've always loved art and creating, but sewing is really the only thing that has been completely self-taught and self-motivated.  I'm not sure where this drive came from, but I can't tell you how grateful I am--especially now--that I decided to learn to sew.  Because right now, after a 10+ year learning curve it seems like a gift...another blessing.

As most of you know--except the sewing people reading this blog for the first time--I have a daughter who was born with abnormal limbs.  On the blog she is known as baby Lamp.   

Right now, as a 6 week old, onsies are her uniform.  But with arms that are drastically different lengths (her left  arm pretty much missing altogether) and legs that are also different lengths I look at all the beautiful clothes we've received as gifts--especially long sleeved shirts and long pants--and my husband and I have commented more than once It's a good thing I can sew.  Out of all the blessings that we've been grateful for during this time, my sewing skills haven't been at the top of the list (you know, not quite as important as our amazing children's hospital or the great insurance coverage we're fortunate enough to receive) but in time, when my little Lamp starts to grow, sleeve lengths and pant legs will surely need to be altered.  And new clothes will need to be made to specifically fit her very unique body type.  Like most little girls (and big girls) she's going to want to look pretty and wear cool clothes.  That's hard to do if there's not a retailer or designer on the planet that makes clothes that will fit you "off the rack" so to speak.  And of course I could make more professional looking, classy and cute clothes if I had a new serger.  So while being grateful that I can sew wasn't on the top of my gratitude list, I am (and I think she will be) really grateful I ever caught the sewing bug.

In short, my life would be better with a serger, but my daughter's life would be transformed.


  1. Seriously, how can you NOT win???

  2. You win! Contest over.

  3. You so have to win. That post was amazing. I'm teary-eyed.

    My sister has a 2 year old daughter who has achondroplasia (extremely short arms and legs, almost "average" sized head and body) and her ability to sew has never been more valued. Who would have thought that those crazy attempts to design a skirt/dress pattern and all would be so needed in the home? Yet, that's her regular day.

    Know that you are loved and your family is prayed for by another here in NYC.

  4. If for some unimaginable reason you DON'T win that serger I am going to buy you one myself. Seriously--pick out the serger of your dreams and send me the link and it's done.

  5. You have to win this!

  6. I entered the same contest. But you may have just blown my chances. Sigh.

  7. Anonymous1:51 AM

    Dearest Miggy,

    Hope you read my post (late) on the beautiful nursery you designed and created for Lamp!
    I mentioned the beautiful quilt you made and thought that it was one that you made by hand! And I was SOOO remembering how you learned or actually "taught" yourself to sew, and how amazing and talented you are! Funny that I was thinking about those things just last night.

    I hope the judges read all of your blog and see how many wonderful and creative things you do. And even that last Christmas you gave away one of your beautiful play tents, and a few other things you made! How great was that!

    And while you have blessed so many with all of your talents, no one will be blessed more that Lamp especially with a serger to transform ALL of her clothes!

    YOU win Baby Girl! It must be so!!!!!

    All my love,

  8. You. Must. Win. You. Must. Win. You. Must. Win.

    This would be such a perfect gift for your sweet babe!

  9. Michelle1:41 PM

    I entered the contest, too, but I HOPE YOU WIN!!!

  10. You will win for sure, if anyone has any sense at all. Wow.


  11. How does this contest work? can we 'vote' for you or help you win? That was amazing.

  12. Thanks everyone! I hope I win too. (Or you Cara. :))

    Molly--nope, there is no voting. I think the Sew Mama Sew editors choose a winner. The contest is open until Aug 31st, so I won't know for a LONG time.

    Thanks again though...surely all the positive vibes and comments will seep into the judges brains' and help me win. :)

  13. You totally just won that. Enjoy your serger!

  14. It's hard to think of a more deserving winner.

  15. I'm a first time reader and I just spent an hour sucking up all the adorable treasures on your blog. But it was the end of this post that had me tear up just for a moment. Of all of the things that Heavenly Father put into place to help you a long your way. I don't know when you started to sew but I gather it was some time ago. He started you on your path to be the best mom for little Lamp even before your first sewing machine.

  16. My sister, Urban Tangerine, sent me to your post. (I posted for the same contest...) I think your entry is great, but what I really want to know is why you don't have any tents for sale on your etsy store? That's just ridiculous! You must have sold out already.

  17. I really love Disney Embroidery DesignsI am gonna try them for sure, nice, color-full and creative one.