from The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

Hello again!

Being a perfectionist, I build a lot of roadblocks in my path. Often, I’ve thought about a post I’d like to share and then don’t because I don’t love something about my post. The truth is, I’m not here as an English teacher or graphic design guru. Heck, I’m not even here as an authority on sewing. I just want to write about my experience, meet new people, and keep learning. That being said, I’ll even welcome POLITE corrections on my grammar and any other tips you have to send my way. I like to learn new things! 

I’m proud to say that although I haven’t been blogging about it, I have been sewing! Through my job, I met a wonderful lady who has offered to teach me to sew for free for a couple hours a week. She is currently teaching me how to make my own pants, so stay tuned! I’ll post a picture of the final product once it’s done. I also try to meet a good friend once a week to sew together. We will start posting picture updates of that too 😉

I started picking sewing up again around September but with many breaks due to holidays and weddings. Even so, I’m happy that I’m actually doing it. I’m trying not to be hard on myself for being so inconsistent. Life happens. (Another place the quote above fits my life!)

This past year, I’ve learned that raising a puppy is exhausting but so rewarding. Cole is an amazing dog and a mama’s boy. He just had his first birthday before Christmas, and he had a little impromptu birthday party with his girlfriends. It’s crazy how fast he is growing up.

I also got an amazing job, providing resources to foster children in the Tampa Bay Area. It has been so rewarding to have a job that I know helps make a difference in the lives of others. I also took up a side gig as a Independent Jamberry Consultant. Why not? Ive gone so long without being able to wear anything on my nails, so it completely sucked me in. Don’t worry, it won’t be taking over my blog!

I do tend to take on more than I can chew so I think, this year, I will be focusing on simplifying, enough to be able to enjoy the things that are important to me, as well as spending more time with friends and family. I don’t typically do New Year’s resolutions, in fact, if anything, I do birthday resolutions, but there’s no time better than the present! 😉

What about you? Any New Year’s resolutions? 

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‘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.