Hello, and welcome to the Pins and Pinot blog!! I imagine most of you found your way here via my Instagram – I so appreciate your support and interest there, and now here as I try out a new endeavor! I am so excited to have a platform to express the part of my heart that loves to write and tell stories in combination with my love of sewing.
So on to the introductions then!! My name is Elizabeth, and I’m a born-and-bred Oklahoma Sooner. Despite my Oklahoma roots, I relocated to the Dallas area a few years back and fell in love with my new home. I work as a nurse on an incredible Bone Marrow Transplant unit, and I truly love every minute of what I do. I have the most wonderful family and friends, and three precious pups who are my babies. I spend the majority of my free time away from work in my sewing room, thinking up and making beautiful things.
I was originally introduced to sewing as a young girl, with my Mimi. She was my favorite person in the world, and she had a beautiful sewing machine table, which I still admire to this day. Though she didn’t sew a great deal when I was young, and I didn’t really take to sewing at this time, she showed me the basics and we made a couple of pillow cases and other simple things together. I vividly remember a blue dress that she had made for my mom many years back, which I dubbed to be the dress Wendy wore from Peter Pan. I thought I needed to round out my Peter Pan collection and remember begging her for a matching Tiger Lily dress for me to putz around the house in. Even as a little nugget, the idea of someone hand-making clothing was so exciting and mind boggling to me!!
Fast forward to my high school years, when my love for sewing was sparked slightly. I don’t quite remember what reignited my interest, but my sweet mama indulged my new ideas by gifting me a sewing machine for Christmas, and my little heart went wild with big ideas. I took in a few of our high school spirit week beefy tees here and there, and even ventured a bit further and made a couple of skirts using patterns and fabric I bought at Wal-Mart, as well as a few self-drafted pieces made with knits using tutorials I found online. (I recently found one of these tucked away with old fabric scraps – expect a throwback post someday in the future!!) I don’t imagine that I properly finished anything, or that any of my garments really looked that great, but I sure was proud to wear them!! Oddly enough, self-drafting and knits are two of my biggest challenges now that I know what I’m doing – with ignorance comes fearlessness, I suppose!
I played around with my machine for a year or two, off and on, sewing on a tv tray set up in my room from time to time. Ultimately, my machine went into storage, and didn’t see the light of day again until I graduated college and moved to Texas. For some reason, that sewing machine was one of the things I prioritized to move down with me, despite years of disuse! From 2013 to 2015, I believe I made two dresses and a skirt. I liked the idea of sewing, but quite honestly had no idea what I was doing, and therefore often ran into frustrations that I didn’t know how to troubleshoot. Aside from my distracted sewing moments with my Mimi as a little kid, I’d simply learned as I went along making things. At some point, a dress that I desperately loved online was sold-out, and somehow through the depths of the internet, I was directed to a Facebook group geared towards sewing your own novelty print dresses.
Through this group, I joined a sewalong for Simplicity 1873 hosted by the loveliest of ladies. (If you are on Instagram, check out @StitchyMavenSews – her novelty print dresses are the best!). This actually happened to be a dress I’d haphazardly muddled through on my own in recent years (again, this will be lovely material for a comparison post someday… S1873 through the years? Trust me, the difference is extreme!). I had some fabric, and I had the pattern, so I figured why not give it a go? Over the next 6 or 8 weeks, Gina, our hostess, walked through each and every step, and I learned SO much. By the end of the sewalong, I had a super cute new dress, with beautifully finished insides, and I’d sparked a passion that would just keep growing. By increasing my learning and understanding of techniques, fabrics, and my machine, I’d found a way to love sewing like never before. As I began to sew more (though ever. so. slowly.), I was encouraged to document my makes. I didn’t want to spam my friends with things they didn’t care about, so I sheepishly created the Pins and Pinot instagram account. In my head, this would simply be a great way for me to look back at the progress I’d made and the new dresses I’d whipped up from scratch. I was excited, but also nervous, and almost embarrassed for people I actually knew in real life to discover this exposed little piece of me.
Now, a little over a year later, it has become my favorite area of social media. The community of teaching, learning, sharing, and encouraging I’ve found has been far more than I’d ever imagined, and has only catapulted my love of sewing even further. Through Instagram, I’ve learned so much! I’ve discovered new techniques, new fabrics, new patterns and designers – even podcasts, which I now adore! I look forward to posting each new make, and scrolling through the multitude of inspiring posts while connecting to other awesome makers from around the globe.
However, as you might be able to tell, I’m a bit wordy. I love to write, and I’ve always been inspired by taking a blank white page (or screen!) and transforming it into a story. At times, I want to go a bit more in detail about my handmade wardrobe pieces than is insta-appropriate, and so we have found ourselves here. I hope for this to be a space where I can share my makes in-depth, as well as give a little feedback on the fabrics and patterns that I use. I won’t presume to promise a set number of posts every so many days, but I will promise to offer you a peek into my sewing journey, and the things that make my brain tick! Thanks for bearing with me through a lengthy introduction, and I hope that you enjoy following along as I add a little story-telling to my makes here in the future.
- XX Elizabeth