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Mothering › Groups › September 2012 Due Date Club › Discussions › Beginner Sewing Projects -Updated!

Beginner Sewing Projects -Updated!

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

So, we got our first sewing machine in the mail today. It's just a wee thing that we got with an Amazon gift certificate from my mom (see pic), but I want to start learning how to sew. I'd love to get to where I can make some baby stuff!

So, can anyone suggest a good beginner sewing project or two?  TIA!



Edited by Yeeska - 2/11/12 at 1:17pm
post #2 of 12

The land of knits (think, t-shirt material) is a tricky one to navigate, especially if you're just starting out, but I *love* working with knits!  Granted, I do have a serger, so it helps a lot... but... maybe you could try to make some baby hats out of old t-shirts or something? This is a pretty straightforward pattern idea: http://www.makeit-loveit.com/2011/02/knit-receiving-blanketknit-baby-hats_08.html


Here are some cute newborn pants: http://www.handmadebabyclothes.org/handmade-baby-clothes/handmade-baby-clothes-neutral-series-neutral-newborn-knit-pants-tutorial and, even better, the tutorial is all based on having just a sewing machine :)


Here's a newborn pants pattern with wovens: http://www.made-by-rae.com/2010/10/free-raes-basic-newborn-pant-sewing-pattern/


For material to practice with, if you don't want to go out and buy stuff, you can use these:
Knits: old stretch receiving blankets, t-shirts, jersey sheets.

Wovens: Standard sheets, old pants (like khakis), old flannel sheets or flannel receiving blankets...


Just a few ideas I had at the moment!


Good luck to you!  I truly adore sewing and taught myself!  I read, read, and read constantly online... I joined some online sewing communities too to get ideas and pick the brains of those who had been sewing far longer than I.  I'd love to help if I'm able too!

post #3 of 12

If you have a Jo-Ann fabric near you, they have a cloth diapering dedicated section, with instructional books with color photos... and paper patterns in them.  My friend has been doing this, I picked up some fabric to try my hand at it.. sewing my own diapers will be SO much cheaper than buying them new OR used.

post #4 of 12

A pullover wool sleep sack from used sweaters would be a great practical thing to try.  Wool is wonderful for temperature regulation and a wool sleep sack can be used as a diaper cover or an extra wet-protection layer for disposables or any cloth diaper system.  It's a great thing to make yourself because they're expensive to buy.  Here's an example of something simple: http://www.etsy.com/listing/90009588/100-wool-sleepsack-newborn-size?ref=sr_list_2&sref=&ga_search_submit=&ga_langid_override=-1&ga_search_query=wool+sleep+sack&ga_view_type=list&ga_ship_to=US&ga_search_type=handmade&ga_facet=handmade  I sometimes find it easier to use an existing piece of clothing as a rough guide and just free-hand it than to use patterns.  But that's sort of a personality thing.  

post #5 of 12

TWICE!  Twice now!  I have somehow managed to lose my novel of ideas to you two times over the past hour!!!  Sheesh!  Now I will try to recapture the heart of those two posts before heading off to bed.  Hopefully this will work!  orngbiggrin.gif


Beginning projects (at least in my experience) are projects with few pieces using non-stretchy fabrics...cotton, cotton/poly blends, flannel.  Fabrics with mild stretch are not too hard but it'd probably be better to get a little experience (just a few projects) under your belt before moving onto anything with stretch.  Once you do move onto stretchy material (there are sooo many cute baby things using knits and other stretchy materials), my only advice is to be liberal with the pins when pinning fabric pieces together! winky.gif I am an experienced sewer and still have an AWFUL time with the very stretchy 4-way knits, so I'd stay away from that stuff for a while.  It's really a nightmare!


But, since you asked for beginner projects, here is my list of ideas for you!  First, you could start by making a set of pajama pants for that little man of yours!  PJ pants are sooo easy to make and take hardly any time at all!  Babywise, if you google any of these ideas + "free pattern" or "tutorial," I am sure you will find something online with directions to help guide you: bib made from dish towel, bib with sleeves, burp cloths, flannel receiving blankets, taggie blanket, carseat swaddle blanket, carseat cover (sometimes called baby greeter deterrent lol.gif), diaper bag, diaper changing kit (unfolds into diaper changing pad and has a pocket to fit pkg of wipes and diaper), crib mobile (made with something called yoyos...This would combine hand sewing and machine sewing), sleep sack, hmmmm....


If I come up with any other ideas, I'll let you know.

post #6 of 12

Yay! I am totally addicted to sewing and i LOVE LOVE LOVE it! Knits are definitely more difficult, but it really is the main thing kids wear. Don't be scared though. It has a different learning curve than woven, but even on a simple sewing machine with a longer stitch length it should be fine!


If you want to start with super simple, do a simple patchwork quilt. Straightlines. Super simple. 


Made-by-rae.com is coming out with a new t-shirt pattern that is SUPER SUPER simple. I got to test it. I felt so special. 


If you cloth diaper, i also love her Big Butt Baby Pants (though i do find the legs are a tad wide for my taste) http://www.made-by-rae.com/2010/08/big-butt-baby-pants-sewing-pattern/


Also, Delia had great simple tutorial on baby skirts today if you are having a girl (i know you can't know... but i am still kinda secretly hoping myself) http://deliacreates.blogspot.com/2012/02/nesting-easy-baby-skirts.html



A pillowcase http://www.danamadeit.com/2008/07/tutorial-conkerr-cancer-pillowcases.html --nice straight lines make it easy

leggings (only two pieces) http://www.makeit-loveit.com/2011/09/super-simple-leggings-only-2-fabric-pieces.html-- just like pajama pants


I recommend starting small. Making something for your ds would be a great place to start and see how you like fit... then you have a model. Then trying out some patterns. When you are just starting to sew i really do recommend full fledged patterns. As you get better you can modify and change but i have a few patterns i LOVE that i just modify to make everything! (Rae's new pattern is my go to shirt pattern! I'm in love!)


I love stalking blogs and have listed the tutorial part of my favorite blogs. Don't get overwhelmed! I think it's nice to get inspiration and see if i practice that i can get better and better but if it stresses you out don't look. Just start small. 









http://www.lilblueboo.com/2009/03/lettered-beanbags-wagon-cover-eclectic.html (and if you have never read little blue boo read it... she is so inspiring)


AND most of all... DON'T GIVE UP! Just go for it. When i look at the stuff i started sewing compared to what i can make now (and how long it took me) i am stunned. Keep your seam ripper close (one of my most necessary supplies...) And please post as you make stuff! Then we can celebrate the accomplishment with you!!! YAY! GOOD LUCK!


Any questions?

post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by jodieanneanton View Post

TWICE!  Twice now!  I have somehow managed to lose my novel of ideas to you two times over the past hour!!!  Sheesh!  Now I will try to recapture the heart of those two posts before heading off to bed.  Hopefully this will work!  orngbiggrin.gif


Thanks for your dedication!


I did a doubletake when you said Babywise. I wondered if someone had a very misleading username and I'd missed it or if you were being insulting (IMO). Then I figured it out. lol

post #8 of 12
Originally Posted by Yeeska View Post

Thanks for your dedication!


I did a doubletake when you said Babywise. I wondered if someone had a very misleading username and I'd missed it or if you were being insulting (IMO). Then I figured it out. lol

I almost edited it to say baby project-wise.  Maybe I should have!!!  hahahaha!


Other projects that came to me... pillowcase dress, rag quilt (<-- so easy you don't have to hide any seams!)


And to comment on something that Kelantan said... I LOVE http://www.danamadeit.com/tutorials, too! 

post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 

I did it! I finished my first project! In the scrap section I found this Dinosaur Train cape and hat with directions and pieces to cut out. It was just a couple bucks, but it pretty much had everything on there. Just a bottom corner of the cape was missing. So, my seams are sort of all over the place and I suspect much of it is pretty sloppy looking, but I made it! Now the oldest wants a "for real" Batman cape. sigh  Please forgive the Valentine making mess in the background...



post #10 of 12

That's great! Congratulations on your first project!  Sewing curves is a challenge.  Looks like you did great! :) And made one boy super happy!

post #11 of 12

Yay! Congratulations! It looks great! Way to go!

post #12 of 12

That is super cool!  

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