Round one completed and I’m still standing!

I survived Lesson one!! My sister-in-law taught me some basics. The best lesson she gave me: “I forget things!” Today’s lesson started at the fabric store. She taught me how to shop for fabric, making sure I test the feel of it, know where to look for the better deals, and how to get it cut to the length I want. We bought about a yard of the material we used for the bag, some smaller pre-cut fabrics for lining and design, and thread. We didn’t use any patterns or outlines. Mostly, what I learned… or should say attempted.. was the practice of sewing a straight line. I think I was pretty good at getting it straight…. about 50% of the time. :-/ The edges I messed up the most.

Our goal was to complete a bag, but we are both sick. Having to sneeze, cough or blow your nose every few seconds tends to slow down the process. I almost cancelled my first lesson before even starting but I’ve been looking forward to it for too long to cancel at the last minute! This cold can’t stop me! 😛 At least not completely, that is. We only got to the base of the bag before calling it quits.  Although there is no “finished” product to show, I do have some pics of my very first attempts on a sewing machine. The first one we did (the orange material) was on some scraps that she had already. If you can see the lines, they are a little rough, but not too bad for my first try. I’m still proud of it!


After the scrap material trial run we got to work. She did most of the initial cutting and pinning so I’ll still need to work on that but after all that was said and done I basically did a larger version of the exact same thing. If possible, the lines may have come out even worse than the first time around. The larger and heavier material was a bit tough to keep straight at first. I did get better though. Here are the pics of the seams.

Not at all straight. Since its my first bag, I was not worried about undoing my more “minor” mistakes. That can be part of the next lesson! If you can’t tell, I tend to be hard on myself, but I’m really trying not to be. Even though they aren’t perfect, and I’m a perfectionist down to the bone, they are a lot better than I thought they would be! I guess that has to count for something.

We meant to put a lining down the center of the bag, but after we had sewn the bag together was when my sister-in-law gave me that favorite lesson of the day “By the way, I forget things.” Noted!

I know I said that I was probably going to come home and buy the sewing machine right away… but now I’m thinking I should wait until I pay off my card. Last weekend I bought my dress for my best friend’s wedding. You’ll never guess how much it was! $160. My fiance was the first to point out the similarity in price. Oh well! I’m just barely short to pay that off and as soon as I do I will be buying my machine (unless I cave in earlier, which is likely.) 😉

Overall, I think it is safe to say, day one is a success! It also included spending some time with my brother, which I never get to do anymore, so all around great day.  Here is the end product of first day:

And now I think I have procrastinated long enough. I must return to studies. Thanks for checking in. If you have any feedback or tips to make straight lines or corners easier, I’m all ears. Either way, have a great day 😉

2 thoughts on “Round one completed and I’m still standing!

  1. You did really well for your 1st go. Your sister-in-law is doing a good job teaching you. As for tips, I have a couple:
    Use dress-makers chalk to draw the lines to sew (it rubs off easy enough).
    If something is too tricky to sew full pelt on the machine do it really slowly by working the wheel by hand rather than using the foot pedal.
    To make a corner sit flat cut darts out of the seam that way the fabric won’t bunch and look bumpy.
    That’s all the tips I can think of off the top of my head.


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