Learn to Sew

10 Feb

I started sewing on January 3rd, 2011.  I took a lesson that day.  I knew NOTHING about sewing.  Literally nothing.  I read through the quick start guide for my brand new machine but it was like reading greek.  I learned SO much in that first lesson.  We made a make-up bag WITH a zipper! Woah!  But you know the most important lesson I learned that day?  To have no fear.  Putting in a zipper was something I thought would take me a year to be able to do (granted I did manage to leave off the zipper pull when I cut the zipper to size and didn’t realize until we were done with the bag…details psh).  She gave me the confidence to conquer the world of sewing.  Right after the lesson I went to Joanns and bought my first pattern and some more material to start on my first apron.

Here is my very first make-up bag:

I was so excited when I got home that I immediately opened up my pattern.  Immediately I was overwhelmed.  The first thing to tackle was the different sizes of pattern pieces.  I figured that out relatively quickly and got to work cutting my fabric.

I got all the pieces cut out and felt pretty good about things.  Then I got the directions out.  Step 1- pin one piece to another.  Sweet I can do that.  It wasn’t until Step 2 that I got the overwhelmed feeling again.  The pattern was using words I had never even knew existed in the English language.  Awesome.  Now what.  Oh I know- call Mom! She used to sew a little!  She talked me through step 2.  It was time to stitch something.  OOOO exciting!  Of course, threading and bobbin winding was so easy at my teacher’s house.  At home, not so much.  That took about 30 minutes to figure out again.  Got it ready and yelled for my husband to snap a photo of my first stitch (please disregard my appearance and clothes…had worked out earlier)!  See that big smile! That was before the seam ripper had to come out and play.

After stitching, unpicking and restitching a few times, I was ready for step 3.  Again, no clue what it was telling me (“gathering stitch” whaaaat?).   Too embarrassed to call Mom back, oh I know, email teacher.  So I did and she walked me through it.  When I got stuck on Step 4, I turned to the internet (love you internet).  I trudged along step by step, stitch by restitch (love you BFF seam ripper).  I realized close to the end that I had made some grave mistakes in lining up the pieces.  Mistakes that were leading to the demise of my apron.  But being one to always monitor and adjust, I thought of a way to save my apron and made up my own steps.  I was feeling pretty good about things.  That was, until I held up the apron to try it on and I had only 1 side string.  Yet, I had just sewn them both on to the skirt.  Where oh where could it have gone?  I looked on the floor thinking it had fallen off.  Nope, not there.  Looked all around the room.  Nope no where.  What the heck!?  How does a strap just go missing??  And then…I saw it.  Hanging ever so perfectly from the bottom of the skirt.  Humph.  I had sewn it on (with my best stitch yet nonetheless) to the end of the bottom of the skirt.  SIGH.  Unstitch…Restitch.  About 5 hours (spread over 3 days), a lot of yelling, sighing, and pricked fingers later, I emerged from the office to show my husband what I made (yes I wear my christmas pajama pants year round).

It was FAR from perfect, but it was a very proud moment for me.  My husband was in shock that I actually made that all by myself (well minus the tips I received).  I knew I was hooked when I immediately went to work on my next project. 

I attempted to make some napkins for my sister.  She loves gray and black.  I had a beautiful design in my head for them.  Let’s just say, they didn’t work out so well.  But it wasn’t my fault, really.  Just didn’t have the right materials available to make what I had designed.  Here is the one I made.  It looks nice in the picture, but this was the only way you could fold it because the velvet trip was super stiff.

So because this was a huge failure and I wanted to make something for her since we were going to LA soon, I decided to try out some bags.  Here are my first few bags.  Thank goodness for internet tutorials. 

First Up- Little Boxy Pouch

Gathered Clutch was next

Again, these were far from perfect and I did a lot of unstitching, but I still felt pretty good them.   I decided it was time to work on my sister’s gifts.  Here is what I came up with.

Tote, zippered makeup pouch, keychain

White suede, fur-trimmed stockings!

 All of these gifts turned out so great!  The bags were adorable and the stockings were beautiful (prettier in person than this photo…she and her husband couldn’t find white stockings like they wanted, so I surprised them with these)!  The rest, as they say, is history!  Considering I’ve only been sewing for a little over a month, I would say I’ve come a long way pretty quickly!  

I bought a couple new patterns yesterday that I cannot wait to try.  I’m going to make a boxed pleat valance for our bathroom window and an ironing board cover to match the office (since it stays in there now that I use it for sewing…which is good since it never got used previously! ha!).   My list of projects to do is getting SO long.  And I keep wasting my time at night watching tv or sleeping!  Ugh! 




7 Responses to “Learn to Sew”

  1. Kristen Nelson February 10, 2011 at 6:00 PM #

    Look at you!! Everything looks great! Keep up the good work. I hate patterns too, but you are rockin and rollin’! Looking forward to seeing more in the future!

  2. Jessica Tenberge February 11, 2011 at 4:01 PM #

    I loooove the blue box pouch! and the fabric is adorable! Where did you find the tutorial for it? It MUST be my next project! Thanks!

    • KFW Designs February 19, 2011 at 3:20 PM #

      Hi Jessica! Thanks for the comment!! Here is the tutorial I used for it- http://threebears.wordpress.com/2007/10/15/little-boxy-pouch-tutorial/. It is super easy! The tutorial doesn’t have a lining, but you could easily add one! It is really small (the tutorial gives the dimensions). Also, if you wanted the pouch to have a little more stability, you could add some fusible interfacing! Enjoy!

  3. Allison Waken February 22, 2011 at 7:30 PM #

    Yay! There is hope for me :) My mom bought me a sewing machine and I have yet to get it threaded correctly by using the machine instructions. I think I need an instructor! Love your blog :)

    • KFW Designs February 22, 2011 at 10:16 PM #

      Allison- if I can do it, you can definitely do it!!

  4. Shannon West February 24, 2011 at 2:59 PM #

    The apron and all the bags look soooo great! You’ve inspired me to learn to sew! I eventually wAnt to reupholster furniture. I’ve got a long ways to go but I’ve been looking into sewing classes thanks to you! Keep up with the sewing, I like to see your work!

    • Charmingly Kristin February 24, 2011 at 5:54 PM #

      Thanks Shannon! I’ve only taken the one lesson, but I learned so much that I’ve been able to do a lot. I’ve still got a ways to go (if you look at the bag closely you can see some obvious errors) but I learn something new with each new project. Let me know when you are ready to start and I will forward you links to all the tutorials I found that are really great!

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