Posted in So You Want to Be a Homesteader Series

The Trusty Sewing Needle

I have a pretty specific style.  Oh, sometimes it changes depending on my mood, from Santa Fe diva to vintage rodeo queen, but I typically wear a mid to long skirt, top, and apron.  I have six Mennonite aprons that are my absolute favorite.  I have worn them nearly every day for so many years, I cannot believe how nice they still are.

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When I first starting writing this blog, a fellow blogger and I decided to make each other aprons and send them to each other.  It was a fun experiment and the one she sent me was from a pattern her Amish neighbor gave her.  Her neighbor then made me five more a few years later.  I adore their pinafore style and roomy pockets.  I still have a shy six year old hiding under my apron when we meet people.  I use my apron to wipe my hands on, carry in fresh produce, bring in eggs, and any number of other household tasks.  I get more compliments when I venture out in my flowy skirt and apron- most of the comments coming from young people.  I am bringing the apron back!

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My skirts are so worn that any day now they may just disintegrate off my hips while I am working in the garden.  Broomstick skirts and the like run $30-$100.  I would love some nice A line skirts.  I made a lovely, yellow print, long skirt before.  The elastic was a little weird, and I had to wear a shirt covering the top of the skirt at all times, but who cares?  I made it and wore it until it tore on a fence.  I really ought to get out my old Viking sewing machine and stitch some things together.  I am no sewing expert- my patience and lack of perfection just make everything “good enough.”  But who cares?  The chickens sure don’t!

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I have many aprons.  Some were precious gifts from friends.  Others belonged to my dear friend’s grandmother (both have passed away) and are close to a hundred years old.  I sewed quite a few myself.  But those Mennonite aprons, they are my favorite.  My blogger friend recently sent me the pattern to that apron.  Intimidating for sure!  But I can do it!  Right?

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Learning to sew is a wonderful homestead skill.

  1. You save money on clothes.
  2. You get exactly what you want.
  3. You help save the earth from cheap China clothes overload.
  4. Mending brings new life to clothes.

Sewing also leads to quilting, making cloth napkins, dresses for the chickens…

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Anyways, get yourself a sewing machine and a sewing kit and start on your creative journey!  Homesteading is incredibly satisfying, especially when you can create so much beauty.  We had a little fun with camera yesterday at my daughter’s house.  Here are a few pictures and a few other blogs I wrote over the years about this subject!

Farmgirl Swap

Love Wrapped Up in Stitches

Posted in Farmgirl Decorating

Adding Spring to the Farmhouse

The trees are set in a frozen still life.  A myriad of icy white, snowy trees set against the landscape as if from a painting.  Fog rolls softy over the hills muting the land and soft flakes of snow dance dizzily to the ground.  Yet I know spring is arriving.  She peeks her head out then retreats from the cold.  But signs of her are gradually appearing.  The black birds have arrived.  The finches speak loudly as they work on their apartments, preparing their nurseries.  Babies are being born in the fields.  The egg basket is filling back up.  She is tip toeing back, welcome Spring, welcome.

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My farmhouse is darker right now because of the sun rising higher in the sky.  Soon, the plants will have to be moved to the porch to sunbathe.  The living room in all its warm winter colors now depresses me as I cannot get outside quite yet into the warm sun, but cannot stay in the confines of this dark house.  It is time to add spring to the farmhouse.

There are easy ways to add seasonal change to a house for spring.  Last fall we added soft, textured blankets, and candles everywhere.  Soon, it will be lighter longer and we won’t need so many candles, nor will we need the heavy woven Indian blankets.

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I just bought two chairs after Christmas off of Craigslist.  A quite nice western design which matches our southwestern décor.  Southwestern décor around here needs to be saved for when the mustards, deep reds, and browns shine…fall and winter.  Right now I crave large rose prints.  Laura Ashley style, small floral prints, spring colors.  It would be ridiculous for me to get back on Craigslist and find more furniture with these design parameters.

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Surefit.com provided the means to reupholster the chairs seasonally.  Two lovely floral prints arrived by mail.  They can be washed, stored, and displayed all as I see fit.  Quilts and vintage pillows of desired pattern cover the sofas.  New inexpensive cushions are added to the rocking chair making it green with a homemade pillow of small red flowers instead of the gold and red plaid it was.  Two old throw pillows hidden inside a large sham from our sheet set instantly transform the other rocker.  A tablecloth of lovely print covers the tile coffee table.  Flowers can be added to any room to instantly add garden life to spaces.  Unnecessary knick knacks and decorating pieces that match the southwestern décor take a vacation to either the thrift store or the garage.  Everything is spiffed up, cleaned up, and new photos added to the wall.

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Now the house is ready for spring.  It’s time to start seedlings.