Tuesday 15 July 2014

Sewing: A New Obsession!

In March, I took a three week sewing class.  It’s been something I’ve wanted to learn for many years, but never seemed to make time for.  I loved Home Ec. class in Junior High, when we got to learn cooking and sewing.  When I saw that an adult sewing class was being offered at a local children’s sewing school, I decided that it was my chance.  It was also a “get Mommy out of the house” project.  A chance for me to do something other than take care of my son, which had pretty much been my life 100% of the time for the past 5 months.  I certainly love that, but I knew I needed to learn how to be away from him, and he needed to be okay being away from me. 
Brother CS6000-i
Since taking the class, I bargain shopped for a sewing machine and have enjoyed practicing and learning new techniques.  My first project, for the class, was a pair of pyjama pants. They didn’t fit me well and had to be shortened into capris because they were too short for me.  Flattering, they were not!  To top it off, they fell apart after wearing them a couple of times. I’d say that project was a total fail. Luckily, I’ve had some successful projects since then. 

My second project in the class was a purse.  I use it all the time as a mini diaper bag. I love the material. 

At the same time, I made a pillowcase.  Now that I see the picture again, I think I need to make some more of these.  It was a super easy project that gave me a chance to learn about my sewing machine.  I made it a little too long, but since I guessed what measurements to use, I think it turned out pretty good.  Plus, the pillow doesn't inch its way out, because it's extra long.

My first big solo project was a fun one.  We were going to a birthday party and the theme was a princess party.  Since it was April, it was hard to find a costume for a baby, so I thought I’d make one.  It was a challenge! I made a pattern, by tracing the outline of one of his onsies and designed a tunic based on that sizing. Then, I looked on Pinterest for some ideas.  It was really fun to make and I was able to learn some new techniques to create the tunic, belt, and crown.  I think Little C had fun wearing it too. He was all smiles when he had it on. Hopefully, I’ll be able to make his Halloween costume for him this fall.


Since then, I’ve been making a lot of baby stuff.  I thought sewing would be a nice way to make personal gifts, and a way to make some fun things for my son.  They’re also small projects, which give me the chance to practice, and I can do them during nap time.  Here are some of the projects I’ve made:

taggy blankets, soother/toy tether, bandana bibs, stroller lap blanket
My absolute favourite baby project is the bandana "dribble" bib.  I've made a ton of these! I found the pattern on Pinterest and love it.  Instead of having a snap or Velcro to attach the ends, it uses a single button hole on one side, which you pull the other side through.  It’s really easy to remove, and there aren't any scratches from Velcro, which has been a problem for my son. They're great for teething babies! Here is the link to the pattern: http://leafytreetopspot.blogspot.ca/2014/02/free-pattern-and-tutorial-baby-dribble.html

back of the bandana bib
My big sewing goal is to make a quilt. Any quilt would do, but I saw a quilt on Pinterest made of outgrown onsies. It was kind of one of those crazy quilts – random size pieces, no real order, fun stitches. I loved it, and thought it would give me an excuse to keep some of Little C’s outfits.  I had recently packed some of his outgrown baby clothes away, and it was a major boo-hoo task.  (Why is it so hard to pack away outgrown baby clothes? It’s not like I want him to stay a baby forever... although it would be nice if he could stay little for just a little longer though...)

To start practicing for a baby outfit quilt, I’ve been working on a simple quilt.  I found a pattern on Pinterest (here is the link: http://neverenoughhours.blogspot.ca/2010/08/fat-quarter-baby-quilt-tutorial.html) and have been working on it on and off.  There's good and bad to this quilt.  The good? It's been fun and I've been learning lots. It has also been a budget quilt, so a great one to start with, in case I mess it up! It's made of fat quarters, which I was able to get really cheap.  I am using a piece of leftover flannel for batting, and got a piece of fun fabric for backing at a good sale.  It is probably costing less than $15.  The bad? I've got a lot to learn! Sometimes have no idea what to do. When I start to get stuck or frustrated, I take a break. Currently, I’m at the quilting stage and on a break. I feel like it’s turned out pretty well up to this point, and I really don’t want to mess it up.  It’s a bit scary.  Because I have zero hand sewing skills, I’m trying machine quilting.  My hope is to eventually try some hand sewing, but not yet.  This is what it looked like when I made my “quilt sandwich” with the top, batting (I used a piece of flannel), and backing. It doesn't look like much now, but hopefully (fingers crossed!) it will come together soon.

So there are the highlights of about four months of sewing adventures.  I feel like I’ve accomplished quite a bit, considering I have a baby to take care of. I still have a lot to learn! I’m always looking for new ideas (thank you, Pinterest!) and will continue to work at getting better!

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