Tag Archives: Sewing

As you may know, my husband bought me a sewing machine for Christmas. (So it’s kind of been a year.) I’ve made some small pillows, pillow covers, and a shoddy dress and t shirt dress. I also created an apron from a pattern that my MIL and SIL got me as a combination gift. I’ve also made pants. That bring said, I am such a beginner, I realized that I don’t really know finishing techniques, and how to effectively use a pattern.

This led me to look for online tutorials on how to make a dress/skirt. That’s how I found Craftsy. I found a basic class for fundamentals, where Brett Bara walks you through a simple pattern from start to finish, called Sew Ready Garment Basics.

Finished skirt flat

Finished skirt flat

In the class, I made a straight/pencil skirt. It has no lining. It taught me how to properly put in pattern darts and install a zipper. I really learned some great fundamentals, such as pressing all my seams as I went and finishing my seams. I also used fusible interfacing for the first time to reinforce the waistband. I’m really pleased at how it came out.

Here’s a little quick recap.

Cutting the pattern

Cutting the pattern

The class came with a basic straight skirt pattern from Butterick B5466 Misses Skirt and Belt. It includes 6 different variations on the basic skirt. In the tutorial, she offers a view into version A and C. I created the basic version A.

The tutorial walks you through how to read the pattern, which may be very basic, but was something I was missing. I totally didn’t know any of the short hand for going along the grain/cutting the pattern so the garment lays correctly. If you never had anyone teach you how to read patterns, this is a really helpful tutorial to get you set up with all the basics.

It takes you through putting in a dart and how to press the fabric to make it look really professional. The zipper installment was pretty straight forward, too, although I kind of fudged the seam there.

A little snafu, putting in the zipper.

A little snafu, putting in the zipper.

The thing I liked the best is that I normally skimp on a lot of steps that would make a garment more professional looking, such as finishing seams, pressing, and adding interfacing to the waistband. All of these things, really helped the end result. She also had nice tips for adding the curvature to the garment.

Adding the fused interfacing/facing waistband

Adding the fused interfacing/facing waistband

And for the record, I totally missed that the sizing on these things are not based on traditional sizes and you had to take actual measurements. I actually had to fudge the pattern a bit, since I didn’t think the larger cut out would fit me. In the end, it was pretty big, and I was able to take the pattern in. I also messed up on the slope of my hips, but I easily fixed that in one of the early steps (where she has us try the skirt on – when you assemble the larger pieces). I’m pretty happy with the end result, although it’s still a little looser than I how I buy commercial garments. (I didn’t want to end up with something too snug, though.)

Not too bad for my first garment without elastic, right?

Finished skirt!

Finished skirt!

Voila! Do you guys have any patterns that are good for beginners?

I wanted to use cotton to begin with, but I might go over my steps to create a skirt that is a little shorter out of a warmer fabric for winter. Maybe something in twill, so that I can wear it to work in the coming months?

20130119-113041.jpgI had some leftover fabric. Originally, I was going to make some pot holders to match my apron. But I had enough of the fabric for pants, so I thought I would give that a try.

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Overall, I finished the pants within 1-2 hours. Even finishing the seams. This and the apron was a good project to learn how to use the bias tape. I actually completely messed up some of the apron trimming, if we talk about technique, but I don’t think you can tell very easily. I am quite proud of the job I did for the edge of these pants.

Pants was always something I thought would be HARD HARD HARD, and anything fitted is still a challenge. However, I was SUPER surprised to see how easy it was to make pajama pants. I think that might be a new thing for me with friends. Everyone is going to get pajama pants as a Christmas gift. HAHAHAHA.

These are really baggy, but quite comfortable, but I will be experimenting with tons of other shapes. I also look like a hobbit in that picture, since it was taken from above. High high above. Maybe I am a hobbit.

I was a little embarrassed to post the photos, but oh well.

Happy New Year! I hope everyone’s holiday was good. My holiday in Oregon was quite enjoyable. I
received more than I could hope for in good cheer, hospitality, and presents.

This year, I feel incredibly motivated to:

  • decorate/improve my living conditions
  • Look to buy an apartment space
  • Cook more dinner at home
  • Craft more (Jewelry, Knitting, and teaching myself how to Sew)
  • Get in better shape financially
  • Kick ass at work
  • Work out/lose the weight gain
  • Finally run 26+ miles
  • See friends regularly
  • Host game nights

The start of 2013 felt like any ol’ day. I wasn’t so much motivated in 2013, as much as I was motivated by my friends. There was something about 2012 that case a shadow over a lot of people I care for. Whether it be health concerns or financial issues, it seems like everyone is looking forward to 2013. I’ve had 2 friends go back to school in the end of last year, another friend starting a new job in the new year, and 2 people graduate from nursing school. There is A LOT of optimism and new beginnings going on. So, I should make this year a productive year, no? I’m trying to be better about letting time go by with the only thing to mark the days, being work during the weekdays.

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I got a new shiny sewing machine for Christmas. :D I also received a beginner pattern, fabric, rick rack trim and bias tape. My very first project was making some pillows out of used bed sheets. Once I confirmed that I threaded the top and bobbin correctly, I was in business and tried my hand at making an apron.

20130107-011319.jpgCutting the pattern and fabric was pretty straight forward. After getting a hang at sewing corners, I was in business, more or less. I still need to figure out the right amount of tension and some thread clumping when it comes to sewing multiple layers (fabric, trimming, bias, and ribbon, for instance).

The pockets didn’t come out very good, so I might rip out the seams and try again. Also in my haste, I sewed the back tie on the wrong side. I’ve finished the trimming on the neck and both sides (the picture on the left is before I was done). It came out pretty well, if I say so myself. I think all in all it came out pretty well for my first project. Some bunches here and there, but it adds character. I didn’t have enough trim to finish the hem, though. It’s still functional, currently, at least. I just broke one needle ( ;( boo) and the thread tangled a bunch.

So… that was my Sunday! Here is to a new year and trying new things!