Information overload…

If you are learning how to sew on your own, where do you start?

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I felt like I was at a loss. I kept grabbing the flyers at my local craft stores and I just couldn’t find the time to commit. I wanted something I could do online, on my own time…

 I came across this amazing compilation of tutorials by thediydreamer. It is almost overwhelming! It is filled with so much knowledge, I didn’t know where to start. So, I didn’t. I glanced through, and noting its value, have saved it, as well as kept it open in my browser for future research. Then I found the thinking closet, where Lauren shares her experience with RaechelMyers.com‘s sewing 101 class. Gold mine! All from one source, all the important basics to know when starting out on this adventure. I will definitely be going back to enhance my knowledge with thediydreamer’s list, but for now, this is where I am at. I need someone to hold my hand along the way! 😛 There is still so much to take in! Right now I am in what was the first week of lessons and I really hope that, even though I’m about 2 years late to this class, I’ll still be able to access it all and follow through. I’m excited to try this class out. I just ordered the recommended supplies that I am missing from Raechel’s list and they should be here this week sometime. This week also contained the lesson on the different parts of the machine, which inspired me to finally reopen my official operation manual. When I first got my machine, I tried to read the manual but, at the time, I was completely new to sewing and was frustrated with what seemed like a foreign language. I am less overwhelmed this time around, but I still have a lot of reading to do. (I’m on page 8 of 64!) I have to admit, I had no idea what the feed dogs were, or that I have a switch to change its directions. Do I have that right? Surprisingly though, I also didn’t realize, or at least forgot, that I have a thread cutter on the front of the machine. Thank goodness! Using the scissors at the end of each step seeming like it was more work than it should be… and apparently it was. User error. Oops!

I was also unaware that I am supposed to turn the handwheel toward me and not away from me, which is what I have been doing so far! I was also unaware that I have a button that will do that work for me easier… of course, I’ve seen it… I just didn’t know what it meant and hadn’t bothered to find out. All of this I learned from Raechel’s amazing step-by-step explanation of basic machine functions. I am forever grateful, Raechel! Thank you!!

I still have about 20 sewing 101 tutorials open in different tabs on my browser right now. At the moment though, I am starting with, and sticking with, Raechel’s sewing 101 class. I almost finished all of week one’s lessons. I still have to do “happy feet.” I can’t wait to practice some basics and get more comfortable with my machine. I’ve neglected it long enough! Wish me luck, and if you are learning, I recommend checking it out. If there is another one that worked for you, please share it! Although much of these tutorials will be repetitive, I learn something new with each one, at least, I have so far.

Happy sewing! Have a great week and I will see you next Monday.

Back to Basics

First things first. I’m so excited because my fabric came in! I finally got it all washed and ready to go… (Well, they still need to be ironed, but I’ll get to that as I get to each fabric.) I ask you not to judge my ironing board cover, it’s on my list of things to learn to make. I may have had a ‘slight’ addiction to smiley faces growing up and this is still the first cover I ever had. Yes, I don’t iron much.

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This was my first order from Pink Castle Fabrics, actually my first order online, and I absolutely adore the collections they carry. I tried to start with some basic patterns for now but there are so many on that site that I want to have! Locally, I can’t seem to find a store that carries patterns I love, so I just decided to ventured online. Where do you buy your fabric from? I need recommendations. Though I will say, I think I might be at risk of having a fabric addiction after browsing a little for this purchase. I even started a Pinterest Fabric Wishlist! So far, I’m okay with my new obsession, but I may have to keep myself in check.

I thought today I would have something to show for my first blog post back into sewing, and while I guess I do, it is not as much as I expected to have. It isn’t that I didn’t attempt to work on a couple of projects, but I COMPLETELY FORGOT HOW TO USE MY MACHINE! I don’t know why I’m surprised, I’ve only used it 3 times and it has been a while since I attempted anything. I wanted to start on some bibs for my sister-in-law but realized that I had a birthday party to attend, and since the gift came in the day before I thought it would be perfect to give it to her in a little gift bag I made myself. The birthday girl is a card-maker and I require all future cards to be handmade from her (cause they are just that pretty), and it only made since for me to make the bag instead of buying it. I thought I’d be able to get through both projects.

Instead of sewing the whole time though, I spend most of the time reuniting with my machine and fixing errors I caused because I forgot some basic rules. I still don’t know them right now so I can’t begin to explain but I will tell you I learned how to take the foot off for the first time, in order to remove a pin that I forgot to remove in time (or to attach in a way in which I wouldn’t have needed to remove it first). The good news, I did get it out eventually!

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I DID find this awesome post by thediydreamer compiling sewing 101 posts from all over the web and my homework for the next week is to refresh what little knowledge I had acquired during the beginning of my learning process and hopefully learn something new along the way too! I’ve added it to my favorites to guide me until I’m comfortable with my machine.

In the end, I was able to create one of the bags. My goal was 5. I PROMISE to post next monday, hopefully with a finished collection of gift bags since now I’m making the birthday girl wait until next Friday to receive her gift, maybe even a little something for my sister-in-law, and some tips I found the most helpful along the way. No more school and wedding planning excuses.

Here is my first beginner gift bag 😉 I didn’t use any help, though I probably should have, so it is as basic as it gets, but hey, I did it. And I will keep seeking advice on how to improve. Every step counts, right?

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Until next time, happy crafting.