Help outfit Michael, Sarah, and John

Friday, May 13, 2011

A sewing story

I cross stitched for about 15 years before giving it up. Then I discovered scrapbooking and did that for a couple of years before transitioning into blogging and digital scrapbooking. However, lately I've had this desire to do something with my hands. I have felt prompted to pick up a new hobby: sewing. Now, you should know my inexperience history when it comes to sewing. My mom sews. She made many of my clothes when I was young, in addition to Halloween costumes and quilts, etc. She's a great seamstress. When I was 10 or so, she sent me to a summer sewing class. The goal of the class was to make a pair of shorts for ourselves. At the end of the class I had a pair of red cotton shorts with an elastic waist. The only problem was that when I put them on me - they promptly fell off...something about the waist being too big. Or something. And that was the last time that I really sewed anything, unless you count cross stitching.

I thought it was a little different that I was being prompted to pick up a hobby...normally I'm prompted by the Holy Spirit to help a neighbor, assist my children, do spiritual things...not start a hobby. I approached Tyler about the idea of purchasing a sewing machine. Knowing that we are low in money right now with the adoption, I felt that he would say that we couldn't afford a sewing machine. To my surprise, he loved the idea and was 100% supportive. Okie dokie. So, like my other promptings, I acted on it and found this little beauty on Craigslist for $100:

My new sewing machine!

Currently, I am thinking to make a quilt for Anna and Iryna, then go on to make a quilt for Keith & Calvin's bed + crib bedding for Silas. I know, why start with the small stuff, right? I would be happy if any of my readers could direct me to websites with quilt patterns or good places to buy material and thread. I await your wisdom.


Ticklemedana said...

Hey! I love this idea! The more you ptactice the better you'll get. Starting with quilts is exactly what I did. Join Joanns mailing list and you'll get coupoins for 50% off coupins in your email. As for quilt patterns? I used my own. Gett large cones of thread in basic colors at walmart for $2 and you'll never have to buy thread. Shop the walmart dollar fabric tables: it's just $1.50/ yd. You can get cheap blankets that are like felt that can be used instead of batting, which can be expensive. I'm excited for you! Have fun! Call me if you need more ideas

Ticklemedana said...

And troll craigslist for deals on NEVER know when you'll use it. I hoard good fabric I find on clearance or $1.50/ yd and I'm JUST now able to use it to make awesome costumes! Try to get at least 5 yds if you buy something without something specific in mind...that way you have enough to do something with it in the future

Darting Family said...

JoAnns on the 192 has a ton of different fabric to choose from. You can also sign up to get 20%off coupons on things. I'm also gotten fabric at Hobby Lobby when they have sales. The WalMart in Viera have pre-cut material too. I can talk to you more about it tonight when we are eating yummy dessert. :-)

Amanda L. Davis said...

I second the Joann's 50% off coupons. They always have sales and coupons, so never buy for full price. :)

Yay craigslist!

I've been sewing for 16 years and I love it!

The problem with the less expensive walmart thread is that it is cheaper quality and it can fray inside your machine and supposedly it's not good for it (especially sergers), but it's probably not enough of a problem to worry about.

Quilts are a lot of fun!

Katie said...

I was like you--I did a 4H sewing class when I was about 8 or 9, then never really sewed again. I spent most of my adult life "not knowing" how to sew. A few years ago, I put together a sewing project with the young women to make Blankie Buddies for orphanages in Vietnam (my mom took them over when she went to help bring my sister's son home). I realized really quickly that I DID know how to sew, I just needed to learn to thread a machine! I've made tons of stuff since then.

Quilts are actually a good place to start, especially if you just piece together squares. Straight lines are a lot easier to do than the curved ones involved in making a lot of other things. Plus, quilts don't need to "fit" someone! Enjoy yourself. I find sewing to be very meditative.

McElwain Pirates said...

I totally love that you are doing this! I am terrible at sewing anything other then skirts, and capes lol! But I made a blanket for Evie's 2nd birthday and already found the fabric to make one for Inara's 2nd birthday! Now I can vent to someone when I sew my apron int the blanket right? lol! You go girl!

Anonymous said...

I actually learned to sew a little bit from my mom as a kid. Remember, as the oldest of four boys, I was the one who got domesticated. In the last couple of years, I've been moved (maybe/maybe not by the spirit--it's hard to say) to buy books so that I could learn how to: make cheese, quilt, run a farm, build and keep a root cellar, woodworking, and more. And I started crocheting about 3 years ago. I do mostly scarfs, but I'm working on a baby blanket currently.

My feeling is that with the economy as unpredictable as it is right now, knowing how to do things to help your family or community survive by making food, clothing, or even shelter would be a useful skill. I say good for you!!


Rebecca said...

I like simple square patterns, and I LOVE using jeans. More time consuming to cut, but you can usually get them free from friends and neighbors. They make a heavy, cute quilt. There's a book called "Quilting for people who don't have tie to quilt" that is helpful. There are tons of patterns and web sites with patterns, but a lot of them are really ambitious (for me!). I got a notebook of graph paper and drew up my own (copied) patterns. Good luck and have fun!

One other idea- our ward in NC had a quilting group and the ladies would go to a local factory that made scrubs and get their leftover fabric to make quilts for Ronald McDonald house. Darling material and it made sturdy blankets. Plus, it was free!

Anonymous said...

Check out
It is a huge community of 'craftsters' with a large majority who sew. They have some really fun projects posted there!

Sarah C said...

Good for you Jill! I can't wait to see all the projects you make.