Adventures in Sewing

One of the skills I want to learn this year is sewing.  I’ve always wanted to learn and was discussing that fact with my Stepmother in December.  She enjoys sewing and has recently been making doll clothes for my niece.  What a surprise when I received a sewing machine from her for Christmas!

It made me think back on the afternoons spent at my Grandma’s house (Gammy) who was an avid sewist.  She had drawers full of patterns that I would spend hours looking through.  Gammy also made me Barbie clothes, two of which were my all time favorites:  a black ‘fur’ coat (black velvet) and a white gown.  One of my favorite toys growing up was Fashion Plates.  Anyone remember those?  They were the best!  In college, I majored in Fashion Merchandising wanting to get into the business end of retail.   While I’m very happy with the path my career has taken, I can’t help but wonder if there is a little bit of me that still wants to ‘play’ with clothes but in a way that allows me to learn a skill and isn’t my job.

Now, while you can express your creativity through sewing, it’s tough if you’re like me and not artistic in any way.  So, I’m going about this the way I do everything – read everything I can, spend hours on the internet, and come up with all the cool things I can make, all before even turning on the machine.  I know there will be lots of flops, especially to start, but as long as I learn something with each new project, I’ll be happy.  With each project, I will list what skill I did for the first time.  Hopefully, I’ll see a steady progression.

I found my first two projects on Pinterest.  What a great resource for tutorials, blogs and ideas!

The first project I tried was a Dishtowel Apron found on a great website, Simple Simon & Co.  I thought I needed to start with something that was simple, no pattern, and only straight lines. Plus, I could use it.  Well, I had to scrap the first tie I made because I sewed the seam allowance too wide – it was stuck inside out!  The stitching looks like I was drunk-sewing (I wasn’t) but all in all I think they are kinda cute.  Who knew sewing a straight line would require practice?  The towels are from World Market.  I’ll definitely make more.

Skills Learned:

  • How to thread and operate my machine (seriously, that’s how remedial I was).
  • Wind a bobbin
  • Use rotary cutter and mat
  • Determine appropriate seam allowance and sew straight lines

tea towel aprons_edited-1Forgive the odd pictures throughout this post – I didn’t have a blog at the time!

Dog Bandana:

For this I used a combination of this tutorial and this one. Neither worked perfectly since Sadie is so large.  The first bandana I did, didn’t hold up well and I realized it would look better either reversible or at least double thickness with both sides “right side out”.  I’ve made about three so far and have learned from each.


  • Make own pattern (the source of most of my mistakes but necessary to fit Sadie)
  • Clipping corners for nice sharp points
  • More practice on machine

bandana bone_edited-1

sadie bone bandana_edited-1

pinkgreen bandana 2_edited-1

More projects later this week!


About girlguydogcat

Living in the midwest, wife to a fantastic husband, mom/servant to two cats and a dog.

3 responses »

  1. I’m so happy you have discovered what Gammy loved! It sure passed a generation with me. Just curious as to what Matt is thinking, especially if you are making him pajamas!

    • I made his PJ’s tonight and since the others were so huge, I went a size down. oops – too tight. So, I guess I have two new pairs because the ones that would fit Matt are floral.

  2. Pingback: 2012–My First Year of Sewing « Girl, Guy, Dog, Cat

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