I learned about this free animal font on Say Yes to Hoboken. The whale tee she did was so cute so I decided to try my hand at it.
I bought freezer paper, fabric paints and an X-Acto knife and had at it.
I was in JoAnn Fabrics when I spotted this adorable fabric that was reminiscent of Dwell’s Gio Fabric like this Gio Hooded Towel. I checked the bolt and it was in fact Robert Allen for Dwell Studio. I LOVED it so I bought TONS of it, yards and yards and yards in the different coordinating patterns.
Simple silhouettes with cute and classic fabric can be the most adorable. Simple details like a ribbon tie on a dress can be ridiculously cute. I love a pinafore I made early on that’s one of the easiest to make but turned out really adorable!
I made a few purchases over the next couple months of 2010 as I expanded my repertoire. One of those purchases was Amy Butler’s Little Stitches. I also purchased One Yard Wonders an Oliver + S pattern and a couple Butterick/Simplicity patterns from JoAnn’s. By far my favorite was the Oliver + S pattern. The pattern had pictures at all of the crucial steps the instructions were clear and detailed and the details were meticulous, by the time you were done the garment was polished and beautiful, they looked like they were production level quality.
I’ve abandoned projects halfway through a pattern because the instructions weren’t clear. I’ve stared at the pieces I’ve sewn, read the instructions 32 times over and said “What?!!?” every time and then I give up on it. I’ve realized that the reason I like sewing is that it’s a challenge but that when I stop enjoying it, when the enjoyment I’ll get out of a project is less than the frustration I’ll get from it I can give up on it without regret. Some of those projects I’ve come back to and completed others still remain in my sewing room and a small few have been discarded.
So related to lesson 1 I tried things to hide the hideous rats nests that I created with my bobbin threads (obviously this was easier than fixing the problem!). Lining something completely hid those threads so my next project was a fully lined purse. This was one of my early favorites. One of the first things that I made that I really liked and used.
I started with the Singer 2250 Tradition Basic. Is it sad that I didn’t even read the book to learn how to thread the machine? There were numbers and arrows that made it seem pretty obvious. I got the top thread all looped through here and around there and down here and through the needle and was set. Then. Came. The. Bobbin. Ugg, that thing is a beast! Not only did my bobbin winder on top of my machine not want to evenly distribute the thread on the bobbin but loading in that area hidden under the plate was CHALLENGING! I couldn’t believe the number of steps to load that thing in there.
For Christmas of 2009 I asked for and received a Singer Traditional from my husband. I bought myself a couple of books and some fabric and got down to it. I was never the type to get into a hobby slowly. I believe in immersion. When I started scrapbooking I nearly bought out the local Michaels stocking up on paper and embellishments. When I started playing with mod-podge I swear I had more glass and wood covered in thin paper than I knew what to do with. Sewing was no different.
When I began sewing I didn’t look for easy patterns, nor did I read a book or take a class. I sat down with a pattern I liked and tried. The first few had straight edges that weren’t so straight, pieces that didn’t quite match up. I made mistakes like making shirts out of upholstery fabric and didn’t line dresses that were made of lightweight quilting cottons. I’m still making mistakes, especially when trying to hem difficult fabrics and making sure sleeves line up perfectly with the shoulders but I’m learning. Each pattern has different things to teach and I think of those patterns as a replacement for an educational book or a class.
I’m hoping to show that it’s not that hard to sew! I see so many people post about how they wish they could learn and how daunting it seems. I’m in no means an expert but I’m incredibly proud of what I produce, it’s always enjoyable and sometimes maddening. I’ll tell you about my mishaps as well as my triumphs and hopefully we can have a good laugh together!