Saturday, September 1, 2012

Goodbye Project Runway....hello sewing for fun

Around the time I realized that Project Runway was beyond fun to watch I realized that I want to try sewing again.  I took a home economics class way back when in Junior High and fiddled around (poorly) with making my own things and wanted to try again.  I asked my mum for her old sewing machine for my birthday and she went one further and bought me a new one.

There are so many great sewing blogs out there, and thorough tutorials to boot, so I won't be trying to teach anyone how to sew or do anything like that. Rather I want to just post pictures of things I'm working on, kind of like an online catalog of projects.

So far I've completed two things and am working on 3 others.

First I decided to take a class from Hart's Fabric, the cute local fabric store.  I have already spent quite a bit of money their on fabric, notions, sewing tools and even a book. Thankfully the employees are all very friendly and helpful. I took a great class for beginners and planned to make a bag for my mum in thanks for getting the machine.

Here's what I made:

The print in the middle is a super cute gardening print, and the contrast and lining is a flower print. 

Steve the doggie likes it too!

I learned SO MUCH just from taking this two session class where we got help making this bag. The teacher started out explaining fabric: precare, grain, crossgrain, bias, pressing.  It was all so helpful.  I also ended up learning how to use the sewing foot that does a clean top stitch, made the pockets, attached snaps and interfacing. I was very proud to finish this after hours and hours.  (The 6 hours of class time was not enough for a beginner!)

Once I started sewing I discovered I want to make things for other people! I currently have 3 things I'm working on, which I will post about when they are done. 

This is the latest project I finished, a reversible tote bag for my sister, who just left for a cruise today.  The theme was to be nautical, so we picked out these fabrics:
Cotton print, I've been dying to make something with this print since I saw it on Hart's website

This one was in the home decor part of the store, it's a canvas weight and I just love the print! I pretreated it just like cotton, hence the wrinkles....probably it's best to hand wash this kind. 

The finished bag:

It turned out a little bigger than I expected!! It's reversible and has a pocket on the inside and outside, which is handy.  The pattern called for the handle to be the same fabric as the contrast, but for some reason I didn't have enough fabric, so I must have cut it wrong.  With using the home decor weight and all the interfacing the pattern called for, it's a very sturdy bag! The first bag I made above was my first big project so I spent many hours sewing, getting confused, redoing, sewing some more and so on.  This time I understood the pattern language a little better and took my time reading it before I dove into the step.  I still need to learn reading ahead, it will save me some headaches.  :)

Both bags used patterns by Amy Butler, her bags are super cute and the instructions are pretty easy to follow.  Although the patterns are not cheap, she prints them on real paper, not the crazy thin tissue paper.  For the tote, I borrowed a book from the library and just copied the patterns for free.

Stay tuned for my next projects which include my first garment....a cute dress and a tie for the BF.