To Sow v. To Sew

When it comes to the weather being too wet or cold I usually turn from gardening to needlework, hence to sow v. to sew.

A few years ago I had a small business sewing and selling cotton bags through Etsy. It started as fun but as my Thingummy bags became more popular it lost its enjoyment. I was also coping with breast cancer so my little cottage industry went by the board, leaving me with boxes of fabric waiting to be resurrected. One of the biggest hurdles was pricing the bags. The fabrics I used were good quality quilting material, but the sum of costs x time x profit made the price high in a competitive market, so I also became a little despondent, they sold well but I was not making a profit.

It hasn’t stopped me buying interesting and unusual fabrics to sew dresses for my grand daughter. I love the American quilting fabrics, especially those by Riley Blake and Michael Miller. Trouble is there are only so many dresses a fast growing 7 year old can wear, so I do have to restrain myself.

I don’t expect you need a grammar lesson but as a lover of gardening and needlework there are two words that have a tentative connection, Sow and Sew. Sewing is stitching something together, like a tailor sews two pieces of fabric. Sowing, on the other hand, is planting, as in putting seeds in the ground that you hope will grow.

With a move due in the next few months – there is something in the pipeline but I don’t want to put the mockers on it yet, so I will write more about that in a few weeks once things have progressed a bit further down the line. I will say it is in Hampshire and NOT on the Isle of Wight.

Sorting out clutter and collectibles ready for a move is quite daunting. The above Singer sewing machine I bought in the late 60’s, is cast iron, weighs ton and is almost a family heirloom but sadly has to go, it was replaced about 4 years ago with an all singing and dancing new Singer.

The old Singer was instrumental in making extremely fashionable shift dresses for me in the 60’s and in the late 1970’s, I made clothes for both of my daughters from babyhood, and it even went to university with them. It is still in working condition and I was loathed to consign it to the local amenity tip so rang a local sewing machine repair man who suggested I contacted Tools With a Mission. It was collected today, and I waved it goodbye. TWAM are a charity who collect unwanted tools, refurbish them, sort them and send them across the world. What better new life for a much love warhorse.

I will be moving with my boxes of fabric pieces and may well, now I’ve retired, start to sew Thingummy Bags again, that is when I am not sowing seeds for the new garden.

19 thoughts on “To Sow v. To Sew

  1. I bought one of your thingummy bags for my granddaughter a few years ago for her ballet shoes. She turned 11 this year and no longer does ballet, but favours gymnastics and swimming. How fast time flies by. Good luck with the move, decluttering is very therapeutic I find.


  2. This is such a delightful post! thank you for sharing your news about the sewing machines new life! I to have a growing 6.5 year old granddaughter who I love to sew for. But as you say, restraint is needed. I wish you well on this sow, and sewing journey! You have many friendly people who will walk with you along the way! All the best to your good health!

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  3. Why NOT on IOW, I am interested on your thoughts of it, as we too are thinking of a potential retirement there, and we have not been for a few years. We used to live there but not sure wether we have ‘rose tinted’ syndrome! πŸ˜€I enjoy your general blog posts and longer format.


    1. Hi Linn – the IoW is lovely but for me there are issues when it came down to living there. Mainly health. I have had a 3 skirmishes with cancer, still in remission, whilst I don’t want any returns, the IOW hospital is not the best and trips to Southampton not ideal. Also where I have found is nearer to family and friends without the expensive ferry crossing. However, if this property falls through (I hope not) the IoW has not been completely dismissed, but praying that is not the case πŸ™πŸ» thank you for following my blog πŸ˜€


    1. It is becoming more of a personal diary rather than a gardening blog, but that’s how things evolve which is good. It’s learning to share personal thoughts rather than just how my roses are growing πŸ˜„πŸ˜„

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