Ann M. Martin Hot Topics! See the Complete BSC Series List!
About Ann Photo Album Letters Books
Letters from Ann
To: My Fans!
From: Ann
Ann’s Favorite Hobby

Early August 2001

My mother had a Singer sewing machine that was already old by the time I was born. I loved to watch her make curtains, shorts, or costumes for my sister and me. She didn't seem to mind my standing next to her while she worked, and she was patient enough to answer my many questions. With my mother's help, I was sewing some very easy projects by the time I was nine years old, and by junior high school, I was making a lot of my own clothes. I loved to sew, and for a teenager, I think I made some pretty neat outfits!

Sundress with flamingos smocked across the front.

I used my mother's old Singer for many years. Then, when I was fifteen years old, I saved every penny of my summer baby-sitting money to buy a new Sears Kenmore sewing machine. It turned out to be a good purchase, because I used it for the next twenty-five years! Now I have a super-duper machine (with a foreign name that I don't think I pronounce properly) which can do all kinds of sewing tricks. You should see the awesome button holes it makes! I know that I don't take advantage of everything it can do (I don't even know everything it can do) but there are some things (like embroidering) that I still prefer to do without a machine.

I love making clothes for kids. Between my family, my godchildren, and my friends' kids, I'm working on something all the time. For the boys, I like to knit sweaters, hats, vests and mittens. For the girls, I like to make dresses out of pretty floral fabrics. I've just finished the Birthday Dress with Smocking. smocking on a dress for my goddaughter's third birthday, and now I'm ready to put the dress together. My other just-completed project is an adorable fisherman's sweater that I knitted for my nephew to wear this winter. He is going to look so cute!

Birthday Dress with Smocking.

With so many projects going on, it was getting hard for me to remember what I made for which kids, in what size, and with what material. So a couple of years ago, I got this great idea to take a picture of each completed outfit before I sent it on its way. Now I jot down all the information on the back of the picture and then tuck it away in a photo album that's just for my sewing projects. I love this album. I only wish that I'd started it a long time ago, especially since styles have changed so much over the years. I always thought that the clothes I made in high school were the coolest, but if I had the pictures in front of me, I might ask myself, "What was I thinking!?"

I know that sewing isn't for everyone. But if you think it might be something you'd enjoy, summer is the perfect time to give it a try. See if there's a beginner sewing class at your local sewing store, high school, or rec center. Or maybe you can find a friend who'd like to team up on a simple project with you. I've met some of the nicest people in fabric stores, and they're usually happy to help a beginner pick out an inexpensive fabric and maybe an easy sundress pattern. It may not be absolutely perfect when you're done, but I guarantee that you and your friend will have a blast figuring it out together. And be sure to take a picture of it when you're done. This could be the first entry in your photo album! Happy sewing!

Love, Ann