A Sewing Update

Sewing Kit

A few weeks ago, I wrote about my plan to learn how to sew. I finally completed a sewing project (the pillowcase tote), and I am lining up a few more projects for the near future.

The final project turned out well for a beginner. At first, my sewing machine needed some adjusting. It seemed slower than usual and the threading was not quite right when I gave it a quick test run. I made some adjustments and then it was fine. The directions were clear enough and I was able to finish fairly quickly. Although the stitches were a bit crooked, I felt good about my final product and enjoyed the process.

My daughter wanted the bag after she saw it, so it is hers now. That little gal is so encouraging since she likes most of my handmade things. It worked out because I felt the handles were a bit small for me but perfect for her. I’m also planning to jazz it up as she likes frills.

After reading several sewing blogs, I’m excited to keep working on projects and  I want to make this a regular activity. I need a good schedule to keep me going. I could plan for two sewing projects a week and see how that works.

How do you manage your time pursuing various hobbies and interests? 


The Quest to Repurpose

It all started with my desire to become more eco-friendly. I began researching ways to recycle or revamp clothes and found many examples with tutorials. I’ve seen people reuse what they have and re-fashion things into useful and even fabulous items. (A tight budget does encourage this, yet a chance to be creative is also motivation.) With this in mind, I have been on a mission to collect instructions and materials for do-it-yourself projects for my family.

Finding resources for projects has been easy. I’ve bookmarked dozens of projects and websites that interest me.

Here are a couple of my favorites:

Tipnut.com compiles lists of enticing projects for all levels and interests.

Newdressaday.com is amazing! Marisa takes an ill-fitting, out-of-style article of clothing and transforms it into something modern and fashionable.

My daughter has a hard time parting with clothes that just don’t fit her anymore, so I set aside her favorite ones in hopes of making some clothes for her or her dolls. (We’ll see how that works out.) I’ve been to a few thrift shops and found some appealing fabric and bed sheets that I can use as well. I even got a small stash of fabric from Freecycle.

With all these project ideas, having a sewing machine is essential. I looked into prices and found them a bit too high for my budget. After mentioning the desire to start sewing, a friend was able to pass along a used sewing machine. Score!

Well, I’ve had the sewing machine for a few months, and I’ve only tinkered with it a few times. It took time to just learn now to get the bobbin in the right place and figuring things out. I knew my parents would be visiting soon, so I just decided to wait until my mom could help me with the first project. She showed me the basics and even a few tricks. We made a dress for my daughter with some of fabric I had.

After that experience, I feel ready to take on a project on my own. I’ve wanted to make a grocery tote out of a pillowcase for a long time now. I have everything I need to make it happen. With one project under my belt (which I did just a small part of the work), I feel up to it. I’ll report back to let you know how I did!

Do you have experience sewing?

Are you repurposing anything (sewing or otherwise)?