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#1 of 165 Old 12-30-2007, 12:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I thought I would start this since it seems like there are a lot of us who are just beginning on this sewing journey. Maybe this can be a place where we can come for encouragement or talk about good beginning projects? We can also share little tips we learn along the way. Oh, and if anyone has good beginner sewing resources this could be a good place to share.

Right now I think my biggest challenge is going to be finding time to practice, but I'm sure I'm not alone in that.
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#2 of 165 Old 12-30-2007, 12:05 PM
 
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Lisa: Homeschooling Mum of ds, 8 and dd, 6
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#3 of 165 Old 12-30-2007, 12:35 PM
 
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Yeah, I am worried about the time thing too. I spent more than I wanted to on my machine (im always like this. terrible habit. Why i cannot just start with something cheap is beyond me. I need to be smacked! lol) But anyways, yeah...when i got home with it I was really trying to think how in the heck am I ever going to JUSTIFY this 350 dollar purchase with such a busy day/life.
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#4 of 165 Old 12-30-2007, 01:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Anyone taking sewing lessons or are you just going to try to figure it out on your own? I've requested some books from the library, so hopefully they will be helpful. There's a little arts school in my neighborhood that offers classes for $130. I think you get 8 sessions. DH wants me to take them, but I don't know if I want to spend the money yet.
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#5 of 165 Old 12-30-2007, 11:53 PM
 
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Anyone taking sewing lessons or are you just going to try to figure it out on your own? I've requested some books from the library, so hopefully they will be helpful. There's a little arts school in my neighborhood that offers classes for $130. I think you get 8 sessions. DH wants me to take them, but I don't know if I want to spend the money yet.
I think you should try a bit on your own. I've been scanning some books at the bookstore and I noticed that alot of creative types just teach themsleves. . Like the lady Wendy ? who has the book Sew U and owns Built by Wendy, she was self taught and apparently still has and uses the machine she got as a highschool grad present. I did take lessons eventually when I wanted to learn some more advanced techniques, but originally I just forged ahead and made alot of stuff.

Sabrina , mom to 4 fab kids!

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#6 of 165 Old 01-01-2008, 10:57 PM
 
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Grr! I just closed the tab that had my reply.

I'm in! I also am a bit nervous about finding time. Right now is my calm before the storm, as on Monday, classes start again and I am defending my PhD in May and teaching summer school this summer and have to do crazy prep for that (mandatory).

I found this on about.com

I need to get to the fabric store because I'm going to make a pillow cover as my first project! I thought we had a bunch of mending that needed to be done, which was going to be my first project after just practicing on a fabric scrap, but I guess my dh hand sewed everything (I have NO patience for that).

If anyone wants to do the about.com sewing lessons with me, let me know!

I'm also going to start working on making a quilt out of old t-shirts (I've been saving the t-shirts forever, so I have no excuses now!).

Also, my friend is pg and I would LOVE to make her a baby blanket. That seems really easy and like such an awesome gift. Any links for instructions for that (I am SO not a freehand kind of gal!)?
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#7 of 165 Old 01-02-2008, 12:43 AM
 
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baby blanket was my first project The way I did it was SUPER easy and turned out really cute (if you ignore the..er..imperfections) I picked out a cute fabric, then a coordinating solid fleece. I placed them together face to face, stitched 3 sides, plus most of the 4th sides, flipped it inside out, topstitched the rest of the 4th side. Then, at this point the two layers move independently of eachother which can be annoying, so you can tie it with yarn in places on the fabricthat repeat (on mine, it was the center of every yellow flower)

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#8 of 165 Old 01-02-2008, 11:01 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Grr! I just closed the tab that had my reply.

I'm in! I also am a bit nervous about finding time. Right now is my calm before the storm, as on Monday, classes start again and I am defending my PhD in May and teaching summer school this summer and have to do crazy prep for that (mandatory).

I found this on about.com

I need to get to the fabric store because I'm going to make a pillow cover as my first project! I thought we had a bunch of mending that needed to be done, which was going to be my first project after just practicing on a fabric scrap, but I guess my dh hand sewed everything (I have NO patience for that).

If anyone wants to do the about.com sewing lessons with me, let me know!

I'm also going to start working on making a quilt out of old t-shirts (I've been saving the t-shirts forever, so I have no excuses now!).

Also, my friend is pg and I would LOVE to make her a baby blanket. That seems really easy and like such an awesome gift. Any links for instructions for that (I am SO not a freehand kind of gal!)?
Are those online lessons free? Sorry, I only browsed the site a bit. If you make a baby blanket, make sure to post pics!
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#9 of 165 Old 01-02-2008, 11:07 AM
 
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HI! I am Jamie and am very excited to be here. I took up sewing a couple of years ago, (essentially self taught), then the first project I made burnt me out and I didn't touch my machine for another two years. Literally. I had almost given up and then I felt the urge to sew again. I learned my lesson on taking it alittle slower and really got some great things done. I've since had 4 basic lessons that mostly helped me get to know my machine. Which was really good.
Well the kiddos need me, so I have to run. But I'll try to be more active on this board as I am really enjoying sewing. I'm actually about to start quilting as my next project. I'm very intimidated by it though, so I will start small like with a baby blanket or something.

Jamie

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#10 of 165 Old 01-02-2008, 06:24 PM
 
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I am also hoping to learn. On another thread they recommended the reader's digest book to learn to sew. I want to learn how to make those head/neck wraps for this winter and an apron for me and my daughter. I remember one that was made by my great grandmother and I used to wear it as a small child. Isn't funny how those little things bring back so many wonderful memories.
Christi

wife, SAH, LDS momma. I have a 14yr ds & 16yr ds ,3yr dd & 4 mo. dd (6/09) and 16yr dsd, 14yr dss.
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#11 of 165 Old 01-02-2008, 06:51 PM
 
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I seem to be picking it up really fast, but deffinately still learning.
I have an embroidery machine as well I am learning on...

So much fun

Cant wait to learn and help teach, get ideas and sew on and sew forth

Wife, Mama , Daughter, Best Friend, Manicurist.
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#12 of 165 Old 01-02-2008, 10:42 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LiLStar View Post
baby blanket was my first project The way I did it was SUPER easy and turned out really cute (if you ignore the..er..imperfections) I picked out a cute fabric, then a coordinating solid fleece. I placed them together face to face, stitched 3 sides, plus most of the 4th sides, flipped it inside out, topstitched the rest of the 4th side. Then, at this point the two layers move independently of eachother which can be annoying, so you can tie it with yarn in places on the fabricthat repeat (on mine, it was the center of every yellow flower)
Ooh! That's an interesting idea. Plus, I like the idea of fleece on one side and a cotton or something on the other. She's in central CA, so it doesn't get super duper cold, and I think she's due late summer?

How much fabric? I saw this really cute idea (I'll see if I can find it and post the link) where you get 3 yds. of fabric and then you do one fabric in the middle; 4 sq. of the second fabric on the corners, and strips of the 3rd on the sides. If that makes ANY sense. You get three quilts out of this. Here's the link So, for those quilts you essentially need a yd of fabric per quilt. Do you think it would be the same for yours?

Your idea would probably be easier, huh?

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Are those online lessons free? Sorry, I only browsed the site a bit. If you make a baby blanket, make sure to post pics!
They are 100% free!!

I got fabric today for the pillow (it's blue with stars, because I'm going to put it in ds' room and he has a stars nursery theme....light blue walls with sponged stars as the border). I have washed it and need to press it. I also need to draw out the pattern. I'm scared and excited, which is so silly!

I will definitely post pics of anything I make! You betcha!!
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#13 of 165 Old 01-03-2008, 01:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by gabby_mom_74 View Post
I am also hoping to learn. On another thread they recommended the reader's digest book to learn to sew. I want to learn how to make those head/neck wraps for this winter and an apron for me and my daughter. I remember one that was made by my great grandmother and I used to wear it as a small child. Isn't funny how those little things bring back so many wonderful memories.
Christi
I know what you mean about the memories. I started wanting to sew when DD was born b/c I was getting all nostalgic over the things my mom and grandma used to make for me. How I never learned it from them is a mystery to me!
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#14 of 165 Old 01-03-2008, 01:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm scared and excited, which is so silly!
Me too! I think I'm a little intimidated and overwhelmed, which keeps me from wanting to just jump right in on a project.
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#15 of 165 Old 01-04-2008, 01:18 AM
 
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I did it! I did it! I did it, did it, did it! :



I made the pillow! Check it out here!

It was pretty easy (aside from the fact that I had trouble with a RECTANGLE pattern....sheesh. What's gonna happen when I try to make a shirt or something? ). It was funny though, 'cause towards the end I totally thought I had messed up since the fabric was inside out and I was sewing the seams. I finally realized that there really WAS a way to turn the darn thing right side out!
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#16 of 165 Old 01-04-2008, 03:34 AM
 
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Ooh ooh. I want to join. I've just started sewing. I borrowed a machine from my mother in law. My first project was a poncho/hat set for my three nieces for Christmas. I'm also working on cloth diaper wipes, but without a pattern they're not all that square. Oh well - they're functional. I have so many things that I want to make. I've found that sewing actually relaxes me - once I get past the frustrating parts that is. I am such a beginner though. I don't know the basics at all. I still have to look at the manual just to thread the bobbin and basic stuff like that. I'd like to make some pajama pants and a onesie next I think. I also like the idea of quilting, but I'm intimidated by making all those squares, especially after I saw what a terrible cutting job I did with my diaper wipes. Ok - I'll quit gabbing - I was just sooo excited to see this thread.

My Christmas projects (the ponchos and hats) are posted on my blog. http://swimming-duck.blogspot.com/ It's on the "Here We Are" post in December 2007.

Anyways, I'm excited to have a group to learn with.

Oh, also, does anyone know of any good books that teach the basics or have fun projects for beginners?
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#17 of 165 Old 01-04-2008, 07:10 AM
 
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Oh boy, I'm in! I haven't done anything yet, honestly I find it intimidating and am procrastinating... anyway I'm going to read through this thread later and post a bit more then!
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#18 of 165 Old 01-04-2008, 11:23 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Peter'smamma, your pillow looks great! Congratulations on completing your first project!

I just ordered the Sew Fast, Sew Easy book. It got good reviews on Amazon and it comes w/ 3 patterns. I can't wait!
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#19 of 165 Old 01-04-2008, 01:20 PM
 
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Oooh ooh! pick me! Pick me! I am soooo new to this whole sewing thing. We found a free sewing machine on the side of the road last year some time when I was pregnant. I cleaned it up. It works ok I guess? I cant really tell the difference. The last time I used it was new years eve 2006 Where I rang in 2007 sewing cloth diapers and some baby wipes (so much different than past new years, but so fun too!). I was so motivated and crafty those last few months The diapers turned out. . . well. . . okay for a first attempt The wipes on the other had turned out great to use as fancy wash cloths to thick for good cloth wipes.

I am thinking of pulling it back out of the garage and trying again. maybe during his naps.

Anyone have an Idea about how much learning to sew costs. I cant really spend much on new fun projects. I am hoping it can be done on a minimal (read as "No") budget.

Petersmamma: Have you started those classes yet? I might wanna take em with you.
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#20 of 165 Old 01-04-2008, 03:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oooh ooh! pick me! Pick me! I am soooo new to this whole sewing thing. We found a free sewing machine on the side of the road last year some time when I was pregnant. I cleaned it up. It works ok I guess? I cant really tell the difference. The last time I used it was new years eve 2006 Where I rang in 2007 sewing cloth diapers and some baby wipes (so much different than past new years, but so fun too!). I was so motivated and crafty those last few months The diapers turned out. . . well. . . okay for a first attempt The wipes on the other had turned out great to use as fancy wash cloths to thick for good cloth wipes.

I am thinking of pulling it back out of the garage and trying again. maybe during his naps.

Anyone have an Idea about how much learning to sew costs. I cant really spend much on new fun projects. I am hoping it can be done on a minimal (read as "No") budget.

Petersmamma: Have you started those classes yet? I might wanna take em with you.
Check your library for books. My local library had a lot. I've got two on reserve that I'm picking up tomorrow!
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#21 of 165 Old 01-04-2008, 04:00 PM
 
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Oh boy, I'm in! I haven't done anything yet, honestly I find it intimidating and am procrastinating... anyway I'm going to read through this thread later and post a bit more then!
I get initimadated by my machine too. Sometimes I just having it sitting out staring at me, taunting me! And then finally I get up the nerve and just start sewing and it's great. I've been porcrastinating as of late b/c I couldn't figure out what I wanted to do next. I have so many projects in my head that it's overwhelming. But I've finally decided. I'm going with babylegs and flannel cozy pants for my two sons (2 years and 3 months) Both small enough projects to finish and get some instant gratification. If the pants turn out well I have enough flannel to make some for myself!

I really want to start a quilt, but am super intimidated by that, so I will prob. keep procrasinating that one for awhile until one day I just get up the nerve to start.

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#22 of 165 Old 01-04-2008, 04:08 PM
 
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Petersmama-Great job on the pillow!
Finished projects are so rewarding.

I was curious about those that are writing on this thread..what projects have you already done? Since starting I've done Advent calendars, cloth diapers and wipes, mama pads, breast milk leakage pads, cloth chux pads for the birth of my last son, a fleece shawl to cover me and my babe when he's in the moby wrap and some mending. Nothing really too difficult.

And I would also like to know what projects you are just dying to do?
I am really wanting to sew a grocery cart cover, babylegs, flannel pants and start quilting. I also really want to get into a couple of things for donations like blankets for injured soldiers in Iraq and teddy bears that are given to small children involved in accidents like car accidents. I have heard that you can make teddy bears and donate them to police stations and they carry them in their cars for such occasions.

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#23 of 165 Old 01-04-2008, 04:10 PM
 
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Oh yeah, and I want to make soft soled shoes!

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#24 of 165 Old 01-04-2008, 04:19 PM
 
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Can I lurk? I used to be competent, but that was over a decade ago with my mother close at hand to help fix any booboos. : I'm on my own now.
At the moment I'm immersed in knitting, but I really want to sew some tops for the new baby to go with his longies, and some other bits beside- summer dresses for DD, skirts for me, that kind of stuff. I'm having a lot of difficulty finding stuff that I want to wear, and I keep finding myself looking at etsy... that's nuts. I don't need to pay someone else to sew for me, I just need a 36 hour day.

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#25 of 165 Old 01-04-2008, 04:36 PM
 
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I've done a simple baby blanket, microwave corn bags for christmas gifts, and 3 pairs of jammies for dd: first one was "practice" made from old receiving blankets, neither of which were big enough so the pants, each leg is from a different blanket, and the shirt.. the front and one sleeve is one print, the back and the other sleeve another print.

The next I used a cute flannel print that I bought for this, and.. well, I tried to alter the pattern a bit to make it fit better, and i sorta made it too small in the butt I can barely squeeze them over her big cd butt!

The next jammies, I decided to stick to the pattern and deal with it being too big, she'll grow (oh, does she grow and she totally swims in em!! lol. But they turned out right!!! They're pink fleece with duckies. The only alteration I made was a higher rise, to make room for her big CD booty! Especially at night, when I triple stuff a pocket.

Oh, and another reason the 3rd jammies were finally...successful. When you cut out a pant leg, you then fold it in half face to face to stitch up the inseam, before attaching it to the other leg. Well after I'd fold it in half, I'd notice that the top didn't match up. I figured I was just really sloppy in tracing/cutting the pattern, and I snipped off the excess!! LOL!!! I finally figured out that its supposed to be like that, to allow more room in the back than the front. Doh!! Oh and also the fleece was nicer to work with than the flannel, because the seams don't fray.

Anyway, I'm EAGER to start making CDs. I ordered my supplies on Monday. I'm hoping they arrive tomorrow if they shipped fast. I have a bad habit of ordering things right before a holiday so that shipping is slowed down. I've been studying every tutorial I can find like crazy to be sure I understand, so I think I'm ready to jump in!

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#26 of 165 Old 01-04-2008, 04:38 PM
 
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So y'all know, I adore multiquoting!

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Originally Posted by brandnewmommy View Post
Ooh ooh. I want to join. I've just started sewing. I borrowed a machine from my mother in law. My first project was a poncho/hat set for my three nieces for Christmas. I'm also working on cloth diaper wipes, but without a pattern they're not all that square. Oh well - they're functional. I have so many things that I want to make. I've found that sewing actually relaxes me - once I get past the frustrating parts that is. I am such a beginner though. I don't know the basics at all. I still have to look at the manual just to thread the bobbin and basic stuff like that. I'd like to make some pajama pants and a onesie next I think. I also like the idea of quilting, but I'm intimidated by making all those squares, especially after I saw what a terrible cutting job I did with my diaper wipes. Ok - I'll quit gabbing - I was just sooo excited to see this thread.

My Christmas projects (the ponchos and hats) are posted on my blog. http://swimming-duck.blogspot.com/ It's on the "Here We Are" post in December 2007.

Anyways, I'm excited to have a group to learn with.

Oh, also, does anyone know of any good books that teach the basics or have fun projects for beginners?
I have to look at my manual, too. I figure as long as it all gets done correctly, who cares, right?

Love the ponchos! Adorable!!

I've heard the Reader's Digest books are good. I have a couple books on reserve at the library. As I start to go through them, I'll let you guys know how I like them.

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Peter'smamma, your pillow looks great! Congratulations on completing your first project!

I just ordered the Sew Fast, Sew Easy book. It got good reviews on Amazon and it comes w/ 3 patterns. I can't wait!
Thank you! And ds just loves it! He actually took his other pillows off his bed and is like, "THIS is my pillow!"

He's starting a new school on Monday, and he's going to take that pillow so he always has a piece of mommy with him.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mamamirranda View Post

Anyone have an Idea about how much learning to sew costs. I cant really spend much on new fun projects. I am hoping it can be done on a minimal (read as "No") budget.

Petersmamma: Have you started those classes yet? I might wanna take em with you.
I did! Check above for the link to my pillow! Those classes (through about.com....type sewing in the search bar then go to sewing 101 and you can sign up for lessons.) are 100% free.

I think sewing can cost as much or as little as you want. I saw here at MDC that some super crafty mama made her dd a couple of dresses sans pattern with a sheet and they are CUTE!!!!!

I was able to get my pillow form for 50% off (it actually wasn't supposed to be on sale, apparently, but there was a sign, so...) and the fabric was $1 off per yard. For the pillow, you only need 1/2 yard. The total cost (I got expensive thread) was $11. Cheaper than you can buy a pillow at a dept store (not on sale, anyway! )

Also, I'm planning on making a quilt out of old t-shirts (you know, the ones you adore but are no longer wearable). So that should be relatively inexpensive. I will need batting and a backing fabric, but at least I already have the front part. And I'm just going to do squares, to keep it simple.

Oh, and I will wait to do my second pillow (the second project through about.com) till you do your first, if you want! I've got a BUNCH of stuff in the works, so I don't mind waiting a bit. But don't take too long!

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Originally Posted by takebirthback View Post
Petersmama-Great job on the pillow!
Finished projects are so rewarding.

I was curious about those that are writing on this thread..what projects have you already done? Since starting I've done Advent calendars, cloth diapers and wipes, mama pads, breast milk leakage pads, cloth chux pads for the birth of my last son, a fleece shawl to cover me and my babe when he's in the moby wrap and some mending. Nothing really too difficult.

And I would also like to know what projects you are just dying to do?
I am really wanting to sew a grocery cart cover, babylegs, flannel pants and start quilting. I also really want to get into a couple of things for donations like blankets for injured soldiers in Iraq and teddy bears that are given to small children involved in accidents like car accidents. I have heard that you can make teddy bears and donate them to police stations and they carry them in their cars for such occasions.
Thanks!

I'm a total newbie. That pillow was my very first thing. Oh, wait! I mended a hole in the pocket of my robe. Not too tough.

You sound like you are doing pretty well! You have made a lot of stuff. Love the idea of the advent calendar. We bought one this year (I really wanted one), but once we have a second child, I should make one ('cause I just can't see the kiddos sharing the chocolates/goodies from one!).

Projects I want to do: my t-shirt quilt. Matching pj's for the whole fam (or at least dh and ds.). How cute would THAT be?? Let's see. Cute things for me A baby blanket for my friend. Gifts for friends and family.



Quote:
Originally Posted by flapjack View Post
Can I lurk? I used to be competent, but that was over a decade ago with my mother close at hand to help fix any booboos. : I'm on my own now.
At the moment I'm immersed in knitting, but I really want to sew some tops for the new baby to go with his longies, and some other bits beside- summer dresses for DD, skirts for me, that kind of stuff. I'm having a lot of difficulty finding stuff that I want to wear, and I keep finding myself looking at etsy... that's nuts. I don't need to pay someone else to sew for me, I just need a 36 hour day.
Welcome! You can lurk!
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#27 of 165 Old 01-05-2008, 11:35 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Petersmama-Great job on the pillow!
Finished projects are so rewarding.

I was curious about those that are writing on this thread..what projects have you already done? Since starting I've done Advent calendars, cloth diapers and wipes, mama pads, breast milk leakage pads, cloth chux pads for the birth of my last son, a fleece shawl to cover me and my babe when he's in the moby wrap and some mending. Nothing really too difficult.

And I would also like to know what projects you are just dying to do?
I am really wanting to sew a grocery cart cover, babylegs, flannel pants and start quilting. I also really want to get into a couple of things for donations like blankets for injured soldiers in Iraq and teddy bears that are given to small children involved in accidents like car accidents. I have heard that you can make teddy bears and donate them to police stations and they carry them in their cars for such occasions.
Well, this weekend I am going to make a cushion for this antique child's rocking chair. (It was my grandpa's when he was a boy. I remember sitting in it to watch Sesame Street. DD fits in it now. ) I hope it turns out OK. My list of what I'd like to make is long! Mostly, I want to make clothes and PJs for DD. I'm tempted to give diapers a try, but I figure by the time I learn to make a decent one, she'll be out of them. Realistically speaking, I'll probably just stick to things like napkins, baby wipes, etc. until I feel like I've really got the hang of it. I'm really intimidated by the idea of following a pattern. It's kind of dumb, I know.
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#28 of 165 Old 01-05-2008, 03:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Just wanted to let y'all know I just got the Reader's Digest Complete Guide to Sewing book from the library. It's not the most recent edition, but it looks like it's going to be quite helpful. There are lots and lots of pictures, which is great for me. I also checked out 101 Ways to Use Your First Sewing Machine. It looks less helpful, but there seems to be at least some useful stuff in there.
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#29 of 165 Old 01-05-2008, 07:21 PM
 
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Just finished my first CD!! newborn sized fitted. Now I just need to find a newborn to test it on.
pics:
http://www.comwired.com/rach/diaper/

dd (7) ds (5), ds (2) &3rdtri.gif hbac.gif and the furbabies cat.gifZeus, Dobby, Luna, & Ravenclaw
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#30 of 165 Old 01-05-2008, 09:42 PM
 
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I would love to join your tribe... I am a complete beginner to machine sewing. I can hand stitch and quilt like a wild woman, but the machine has always kicked my booty! I admit I even failed the sewing part of Home Ec in high school, I made a 100 in child care and cooking though . Anywho, I inherited a machine from a friend of my Mom's (awesome seamstress), and I have actually learned to sew a straight line!!! I have started my first project, breast pads. My DH works at the Women's hospital in the linen dept and they throw away unused flannel receiving blankets, so that is my starter material.
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