Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Sew What: How I Learned to Sew


I've always considered myself to be fashion-forward.  One of my favorite things to do when I was a little girl was play dress-up.  I had like 394 Barbies with about a bajillion different outfits, shoes, and accessory combinations.  Don't even get me started on those fashion plate toys!  I was constantly running out of paper to put my designs and combinations on.

I was seven by the time my sister was born, so I had to force my brothers to be my mannequins while I fitted them with dresses, scarves, strands of pearls, even clip-on earrings!  I was always looking for new ways to style my clothes and I was never one to go to school with just a t-shirt and shorts.  I was constantly DIYing and upcycling items to make something different.  Some things were a hit, while others were a fail.  It was a learning process and I loved every bit of it.

It wasn't until high school when I got my first sewing machine.  It was an old machine on a wooden table that was too large and too heavy to fit anywhere besides the corner of our dining room.  I was so excited when I got it as it had belonged to one of my grandmother's best friends.  I planned to create a whole collection, sell it, and become the next Coco Chanel.

Unfortunately, I had no clue what I was doing.  There's a huge difference between putting two clothing items together and creating something entirely from scratch.  I had no time to take sewing lessons as I was already juggling school, paddling, and driving lessons.  And, unlike today, the internet didn't have as much information readily available back then.  So I gave up.

It wasn't until about March 2012 when I got a new machine and started sewing again.  I used it to sew a few hobby horse heads for Chloe's 4th birthday and then used it on and off for the next few years making simple little projects for the kids, mending holes, hemming, etc.  All that time I still had no idea what I was doing, didn't really know the terminology, and didn't even read through the whole manual of my machine.

This year, my goals were to learn more so I could do more, and do it better.  Thanks to Amber at Crazy Little Projects, I've pretty much accomplished that goal in just 6 weeks.  Through her Learn to Sew series, I learned and practiced and put those lessons to use in projects that I'm actually really proud to show off, unlike my older projects.  Never have I ever learned this much or had as much fun as going through this series.  All of the lessons and resources are in one place, from getting to know your machine to tips on how to buy fabric.

The past six weeks have been so fun and I've created so much thanks to the knowledge and confidence I've gained from learning things the right way.  I really cannot thank Amber enough for sharing these lessons and tips, and providing encouragement throughout!  I HIGHLY recommend that you start with her Learn to Sew series if you're interested in getting started.

Here's what I made thanks to Amber's series:


Lesson 1:  Sew a Straight Line.



Lesson 2:  Zig-zag Stitch.






Lesson 3:  Turning and Top Stitching.



Lesson 4:  Adding Elastic.




Lesson 5:  How to Sew a Zipper.



Lesson 6:  How to Sew Ruffles, Buttonholes, and Applique.



Not bad for 6 weeks, huh?  I'm extremely proud of myself about that last project since it is the first project I have ever done where I bought and followed an actual pattern with instructions.  It was very intimidating and tedious to follow it exactly the way it's supposed to be, but the outcome is pretty amazing.  Chloe absolutely loves it so I know that I'll be punching out more of those dresses in different colors and patterns soon.

And, in case you couldn't tell from the title, I'm going to do this little "Sew What" series to document all that I'm making (and hopefully, eventually selling) and to share tutorials, resources, and tips I've found helpful, just in case you're interested in all this sewing/crafting biz like I am.  If not, that's fine too, but thanks for reading and supporting anyway!

7 comments:

  1. WOW very impressive. Those tropical prints are so cute.

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  2. I am so jealous.
    I cant even thread my sewing machine

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  3. Very cool! A friend gave me an old sewing machine that I have yet to even look at, but my maternity leave project is to get it fixed up and learn how to use it. I'll definitely check out the Learn to Sew series!

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  4. um you should absolutely be proud! this is awesome. i am going to do this series, for sure, one day.

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  5. I think you're doing great for only 6 weeks into it! Good job! I'd gladly read all these posts :).

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