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.