Friday, January 16, 2015

Now What???

OK, so your have learned how to sew.  You took a class, you watched at Youtube video, or you just read a "Sewing For Dummies" book.  Whatever your method was, you have reached the point where you would like to try out the things you have learned.  I know for me, once I have seen all of the options, I want to actually do some practice.  That way, I can assure myself that I know what I am doing.  The "knowing what I am doing" part doesn't happen that often, but it is worth a try.  So, the questions is...NOW WHAT???

Well, I am glad you asked, because that is the topic for today.  Easy beginner sewing projects.  If you google "easy beginning sewing projects", you will get around 900,000 to 1,000,000 results.  WOW!!!  I don't know about you, but that is way too many for my little brain.  So, I will give you 3 projects that you may want to try:

1. Simple Square Curtains

Notice the word SIMPLE.  We are not talking about a valance or a draped curtain.  We are talking about a simple square curtain.  They are easy, because you are just sewing straight stitches.  There are no twists or turns.  You cut a square, make a pocket for the rod, and then put a hem.  That is it.  I would not try this with fancy curtain fabric...yet.  My first curtains were made with 200 thread count sheets.  That was even better.  No cutting!  Just stitch together and thread the rod through.  Also, make sure that you are using a solid fabric or a fabric that doesn't matter what direction you hang the curtain.

Here is a good video to get you started:

Simple Curtains Part 1
Simple Curtains Part 2

Here is a great blog to help as well:

Sewing 101: Curtains

2. Pillow Case

Seriously, a pillow case is very easy.  The best ones are all the same fabric.  Once again, a simple square, and this square only has 3 seams.  That is even better.  You can find measurements for a standard pillow case online.  Measure 2 squares, sew them together and there you go. 

This is a great video to help you:

Easy Tube Pillow Case

3. Tote Bag

The last easy sewing project is a tote bag or purse.  You can make these any way you like, but the easiest way is just a square.  Cut some fabric into 2 squares and then stitch up the sides and bottom.  Well, that is not all, but it is really very easy. Try these links to help you:

Easy Tote Bag Pattern

I hope this is helpful to get you sewing.  Don't be afraid of new patterns.  They are surprisingly easy, and you will be so excited when you are done.  Good luck and happy sewing.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Welcome in the New Year with ZIPPERS!

Welcome 2015!!! It is great to start the New Year fresh.  I love new beginnings, because they give you a sense of purpose.  New beginnings give you a hope of things to come.  It is like starting on a new smocking or sewing project.  I see, in my mind, the picture of the end product.  Sometimes, the end product is nothing like the picture.  There are a few times, it turns out BAD.  Those are great projects for the "circular file" (trash can).  A lot of times, it turns out better than I thought.  Those are the projects that end up on all my Social Media sites.  Why?  Well, bragging when you create something beautiful is a little fun.  Seriously, it is nice to create something you think is lovely and have others comment on it as well.

Years ago, when I first started sewing, I would come upon a pattern that called for a zipper.  "AHHH!!!"  That would scare me away from that particular pattern.  For a long time, all of my outfits came with either buttons, or one piece.  I admit, was terrified of the zipper option.  However, the best way to get better at any sewing skill is practice, practice, practice.  I did practice and I did see some success, but buttons were so much easier.  I mean, I have a machine that sews the button hole and the button for you.  I just have to be there to work the foot pedal.   There came a time when I could not avoid the zipper skill any longer. 

A while back, my kids needed new lunch bags for school.  Well, I have one in Middle School, and one in High School.  Did you know that the lunch bag community does not create lunch bags for older kids?  I could find all sorts of "child-like" lunch bags.  I could find little lunch bags that would fit a small snack for my High School son.  However, there were no lunch bags that would fit my needs.  I thought, "Surely, I could make one of these things".  

So, I went on a search on the Internet for a lunch bag option.  It was there I was met with that pesky little thing...THE ZIPPER.  Most all lunch bags need a zipper to keep things fresh or cold.  It was now time to conquer this thing.  My search led me to the Zaaberry blog.  This is a great site for tutorials.  I found a great tutorial for an insulated lunch tote.  It was so easy to follow, and it had a great way to do the zipper.  WOW!

I used the site to make a few lunch totes.  I actually put the zipper in and it looked good.  I still have to do some more practice, but I am not scared of the zipper anymore.  Now, I put those things in some of my kids romper outfits.  Here is one:

Orange Chevron Romper

So, if you are frightened away from sewing projects due to zippers, just stay calm.  There are sites and other sewing geniuses out there that can help you.  Once you figure out the zipper, making outfits and those lunch totes are so much fun.  Good luck, and send me your zipper hacks.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Getting Caught Up

How do you feel when you have a lot to do?  Do you make lists?  Do you stay on one task until it is complete?  For me, it depends on what I am doing.  If I am cleaning house, I tend to let some ADD take over.  I end up starting things in 3 different rooms.  I do eventually get the house clean, but there is  not a system.  Now, with my smocking, I tend to stay on one outfit until it is complete.  I don't know why, but I have a hard time moving on to another order when I have one started.

Now, that Spring is past and my orders are complete, I feel like I have accomplished a lot.  Yet, my brain is still thinking about the next idea.  I just can seem to stop the desire to make cute things.  This week, I feel the need to make a new dress and try out some of my embroidered t-shirt ideas.  I did finish one t-shirt idea.  I love the way it turned out.  What do you think?

I have actually worn this one.  I made this after seeing the movie.  By the way, great movie.  There are a few other ideas floating around in my head from that movie.  I have yet to get them on a t-shirt, but just wait.  I will have some samples before you know it.

My other projects for the season has been sister dresses and BFF dresses.  The sister dress are a ton of fun and I love getting customer pictures.  Here is one:

I love the smiles and the matching green chevron fabric.  I hope these two little ones will be able to wear these for a long time.

My next order was for a friend of mine.  Her daughter and her daughter's friend wanted matching dresses.  My friend LOVED the flip flop dress.  So, we decided to make a green chevron dress and a aqua chevron dress.  They turned out lovely.  I do not have pictures of the girls in the dresses...yet.  I need to get my wonderful husband to put on his photographer hat.  He does such a great job.  Anyway, here is a picture of the dresses that I took.

Yes, these are for older girls.  One dress is a size 7 and the other is a size 10.  However, I made them long, because the girls are tall.  I admit, I was worried about the aqua dress, but it is great.

Now, I am sitting here updating my blog, and thinking about another sun dress.  I have it planned out in my head.  Let's just hope that the finished product ends up looking like the picture in my head.  That would be awesome, because this picture in my head is great.

Finally, if you have any ideas that you would like to see, let me know.  In fact, you could post them right here in the comments.  You could also post them on my Facebook page if you like.

Have a great Monday, and a blessed week.  See you here next week.


Sewing Sweet Pinterest

Friday, April 4, 2014

OH NO! Guess Where I Have Been?

I have not kept up with my blog.  Yes, I am a bad blogger.  I am not even sure you could call me a blogger, since I don't blog on a regular schedule.  Maybe I am a half blogger.  Who knows?  I know I am at a loss for words.  Therefore, I have not been posting. 

Since my last post, things around the sewing room have picked up.  My projects have fallen into the deep hole of CHEVRON.  Chevron is the big fabric choice of the year.  Everything, from dresses to scarves, comes in some color of chevron.  Who would have thought years ago that people would make fabric that has the same pattern as this guy's shirt? If you think about it, the chevron pattern is just like Charlie Brown's zig zag. 

Seriously, I have been enjoying working with this fabric.  It is so cute with the colors.  I have also been messing with the bishop dress that has a solid white at the top.  Here is my finished product that I managed to figure out.

The picture on the left is the front of the dress.  The picture on the right is the back of the dress.  This was not too difficult, once I figured out how to pleat.  The only bad part was that I broke a few pleater needles.  Man those things are expensive.  I have been thinking about possibly writing a post about how I made these, but that will take some time to get my thoughts organized. 

Of course, once I finished this dress, I had someone interested in purchasing this one for a niece. The best part is my customer needed this dress to have a little sister dress to match.  So, here it is:

Now, these flowers on these dresses are so cute, but they are hard on the eyes to smock.  Each flower is a combination of at least 2 or 3 colors.  I spent the day making sure I got each row correct, but they turned out so very cute.  Also, if you notice the big sister dress has some little critters that join the flowers.  Oh yeah, I almost forgot, I also named each flower.  My daughter thought I was crazy.  Hmmm, I guess I might be, because, after these dresses, I moved on to Flip Flops.

The Flip Flop plate is another one of my favorites.  I just love the way the smocking gives the dress a summer look.  It reminds me of the beach.  This dress, however, was not going to be a bishop.  I wanted to try a pattern that I have not made.  OH MY!  I can't even begin to tell you how much fun this one was, and how sweet it looked on my little model.  So, I will let the pictures tell you. 

Seriously, this dress is so adorable.  It is a halter dress and has two ties in the back.  I already have an order for 2 more.  They will be for 2 BFF's.  One is going to be like this one, and the other is going to be in a Turquoise Blue.  Do you know how hard it is to find Turquoise Blue Chevron?  It is like looking for a lost treasure.  However, I did finally find my fabric.  So, now I just have to get smocking.

In between the girls outfits, I had a customer that requested a romper for a little boy.  I don't know if you know this, but there is little to choose from for little boys.  However, this customer made a great choice.  The pictures below are not the finished product, but they are almost complete.  The outfit just needs some buttons on the back and my favorite zipper in the legs instead of snaps. 

I loved these trucks.  Seriously, boys of all ages love trucks.  Even my husband.  He just had to sell his truck and get a smaller car.  He is still missing that truck.  This outfit is for a 2 year old boys birthday.  He is going to be super cute sporting this at his birthday party.  Can't you just see it?

OOPS, I almost forgot another one of my new items.  This is a top with string ties and denim shorts.  This one has Alice smocked on the top.  Once again, I had a great model for this outfit. 

This is thanks to some cute little friends and a great photographer.  My husband is amazing. 

So, if you are interested in any of these outfits, feel free to contact me through my etsy shop, through my Facebook Page, or just comment right here.  We can then begin to create something special for you and your little one. 

Sewing Sweet Etsy

Sewing Sweet Facebook

Before I forget, I am also now on Twitter.  You can follow me here:

Sewing Sweet Twitter

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Attack of the White Stuff

They said the snow would come.  I didn't believe it.  Why?  Well, if you live in the South long enough you begin to see a pattern.  Snow is predicted.  Everyone goes crazy and stocks up milk and bread.  The kids get excited.  The snow doesn't come.  This time, however, it looks like they were right on the prediction.  It started snowing yesterday morning and didn't stop until around 3 or 4 PM.  Then, it started again sometime this morning, and, as I type this at 10:30 AM, it is snowing pretty hard.  So, we are stuck inside, because as we know in the South the roads will be bad.  Also, most people here are not use to driving in the snow, because it rarely happens here.  So, inside we will stay.  Well, unless we get the urge to go have a snowball fight.  Hmmm...I wonder who will start that.  LOL!

While we are inside, I am trying to keep my hands busy on a new bishop.  I must admit that I had great plans for a cute green and white chevron bishop smocked dress.  After fighting with my pleater yesterday, I am not sure how it will look in the end.  I am not sure why, but sometimes my pleater has a mind of its own.  Actually, most of the time it is O.E.(operator error).  Despite all of my struggles, I managed to get the dress pleated.  The smocking will be flowers and the dress will be sized for a 2 year old.  The goal is for a 2 year old little girl to have something special to wear this Spring. 

What do you do to get ready for days inside?  Do you cut out a new pattern?  Do you get some yarn for crochet?  There are several things a "crafter" can do to avoid boredom.  Mine would include the smocking, sewing, and crochet.  So, when I get bored with my bishop pattern, I may find myself making a hat or scarf.  Who knows?  Post a comment below and let me know your favorite "snow day" activity. 

Also, before I forget, I am running a special in my shop for the month of February.  Here it is:

Easter is a long way off, but this dress takes some time to complete. Therefore, I am offering a deal. Pre-order the dress below by March and receive a $20 discount. Just enter the coupon code PREEASTER, when you purchase this dress in my shop. Hurry, the offer ends on March 1st.

Garden Tea Party Dress

Just click on the name of the dress and it will send you to my etsy shop.  You may purchase this dress there.  Are you not a big fan of white?  That is fine.  I can customize this dress to fit the colors you would like.  It would make a great Easter dress, Spring dress, or Flower Girl dress for a wedding.  Just send me a message via etsy and I can get started.  

Don't forget to post comments about what you like to do on a Snow Day.  Have a wonderful day and stay warm and inside, if you are near this storm. 

Friday, February 7, 2014


Ok, my husband and I have been discussing getting rid of our AT&T U-verse cable.  We really like the DVR thing, and being able to watch when we want.  The problem is, it is expensive.  We think we could save some money if we did things another way.  Our family is not a huge TV family.  We only have like 3 or 4 shows that we watch, and 2 that are favorites.  The others we most likely could get by not watching.  So, on to research.

We started by looking into Netflix.  We signed up for the one month free trial.  WOW!!!  The amount of shows that are available is amazing.  We found a bunch of old episodes of shows we watched as kids, and some new ones we had not seen.  We also tried Hulu Plus for a few days, but that was not much different than the Netflix.  Actually, Netflix gave us more options.  We are still in the process of trying to decide what to do, but for now the Netflix stays and the U-verse is on its way out. 

One of the new shows that we found is Dr. Who.  If you don't know, Dr. Who is a show from the BBC.  It is about a man that is a time traveler.  My kids loved it.  There are a few references to lifestyles that are questionable to us, but for the most part it is interesting.  Now, I told you my kids loved the show.  Me, on the other hand, became addicted.  I just keep watching.  I am totally lost in a huge time vortex.  OH NO!!!

Maybe I can get Dr. Who to come and save me.  LOL!!!

Seriously, I have spent time watching this show, but I have also been busy.  I did manage to complete one dress and started another.  Below is a picture of the first one.  The second one, began with a great idea, but it is not working out the way I had planned.

Bishop Smocked Dress
So, I decided to put the second one aside, and wait until I have had time to think about the finished product. 

Now, that I have put that one aside, I purchased some Green Chevron.  I have 2 ideas for 2 different bishop smocked dresses.  My plan is to have them ready by Spring.  Flowers and Flip Flops.  That is the idea that I have. 

So, if you ever get addicted to a show, make sure that you have something to work on while you are lost in the show.  By the way, the dress in the picture is available for sale on my Etsy shop.  It can be purchased there, or you can custom order one of my other outfits there. 

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Guess What I Did This Week...

I would like to say that this week I worked very hard and accomplished a lot.  That is not the case.  I had great plans for this week.  I was going to finish an outfit and get it listed on Etsy.  I was going to get my meals planned and grocery shop for the week.  Then, on Tuesday, it happened. 

They predicted snow.  The whole town got so excited.  The kids, my kids, were anticipating the calling off of the school day.  We woke up.  Not a snowflake in sight.  At around 11 I got a text from my daughter saying that they were letting the kids out at 12.  Seriously???  Once again, not a snowflake in sight.  So, off I went to wait in car lines for kids.  We came home and relaxed.  Well, I took a nap.  LOL!  Still, no snow.  At around 3PMish, there were snow flurries coming down.  Well, I would really call it that.  You see, I am originally from Ohio.  This was more like micro snow flurries.  A friend of mine on Facebook described it well.  She said it looked like little gnats.  She was right.  However, it continued and was constant throughout the night. 

By Wednesday morning, we had snow dusted all over our back yard.  It was not that big of a deal, but the ice on the roads was serious.  See, in Ohio, they would have had salt trucks out as soon as the snow started falling.  In the south, they do not.  Why?  Well, it is because we do not get snow that often.  They do not use tax payer money to buy up a bunch of salt truck that may or may not be used.  That equals icy roads that do not thaw and people driving on them that are not experienced with driving on ice.  I was very thankful that they did send the kids home early.


Well, my sister and her family live south of us.  They were absolutely not ready for the storm they received.  They schools did not call off early enough.  The snow hit fast and hard.  They also do not have the snow/salt trucks there, because, once again, snow is rare.  She and her husband left for work and picking up the kids at around 11 in the morning.  At 5:45PM, I received a text from my sister that she and the kids were finally home.  There were also people and kids in other areas that did not make it home until 24 hours later.  WOW! 

So, I was thankful for my time at home and getting here safe.  We relaxed and I worked in spurts.  I did accomplish finishing up some smocking and back smocking of an outfit that is still in the making.  I hope today to get some work done on the sleeves and put the top together.  Be looking for this new outfit on my Etsy shop.  Also, if you are need of some custom made dresses or outfits for your little one, or if you need a baby shower gift, stop by Sewing Sweet Tracy or my Facebook Page.  We can get started making something special for you and your little one.