5 Beginning sewing tips

Standard

20140103-235342.jpg

I have been loving every second of my learning to sew journey. I try to watch as many videos and read as many blogs and articles I can. After all, the learning and research can be just as enjoyable. After some failed projects and poorly sewn items, I can share a few basic tips.

Iron, Iron, Iron
This can be the difference between a finished product looking poor or quality. A simple iron can ensure that your final product has a professional finish.

Cut straight
Investing in a rotary cutter was one of the smartest things I did. The cut is superb and clean. It is easier to cut straight. Sounds so simple but having straight crisp edges also give products that professional finish.

Trace your patterns
I have created a folder with patterns traced and ready to go at a moments notice. I use baking paper as it is easy to store and trace. Having a pre cut pattern means it is easier to cut a piece if you make a mistake. It also means less time is put into measuring pieces.

Cutting mat
Not only does a rubber cutting mat work sensationally with a rotary cutter but it allows you to cut and measure items quickly and accurately. I find it a time saver being able to cut and measure fabric and patterns pieces together and on the spot.

Snip those loose threads
A small thread snipping tools also saves me time while sewing. It means that I have less threads to cut at the end. Cutting those threads helps create a more polished look.

Hope this tips help someone like me who is learning to sew!

Advertisements

Tote bag recipe

Standard

So the new year brings resolutions. The best thing that I read was the concept of “taking up” rather than giving up. As soon as people think that they will miss out, they seek it. So I am changing my mindset and “becoming”. Last year I became a non smoker. This year my goal is to become a more confident sewer. I have just taken up the challenge to learn to sew and one thing that I have discovered is that the style of tote bags that I like share a “layout”. It’s just resized on some blogs. Basically you have:
1. Two side panels that are the same height as your bag
2. One front panel
3. One back panel
4. A bottom panel
5. Two handles

One you understand how to sew the two side panels to the front and back panels the formula is simple. You can simply change the fabric and the size. I have created many bags to practise. I just resized and experiment with interfacing. Loving the results!!

20140103-201046.jpg

20140103-201508.jpg

20140103-201718.jpg

Keeping those threads organised

Standard

20131227-202242.jpg

Organisation is super important when learning to sew. It ensures that you use your time more effectively and can focus on developing high standard projects. Loose threads drive me crazy. I was wrapped when I came across this thread container on sale at Spotlight. For ten dollars, this was a steal!

Gift bags

Standard

Continuing on from my previous post, the Mini tote can be used as a storage to hand out presents and cards. Place them on a table & they look fantastic. Quick and easy way to get into the Christmas spirit.

20131219-232644.jpg

20131219-232918.jpg

20131219-232932.jpg

20131219-232905.jpg

Mini patten book

Standard

20131219-231331.jpg

One thing that I find frustrating when learning to sew is keeping track of patterns and guides. It is often frustrating tracking tutorials on computer screens so I found a website called Print Friendly.
http://www.printfriendly.com/
Every time I find a decent pattern I paste the link, remove the unwanted features and save it as a .pdf file. Then when I need it, I print it and place it in a folder.

To speed along the pattern process, I simply draw the pattern dimensions on tracing paper and file this. Placing a tab on the side helps me to quickly locate patterns. I wonder what else I can trace patterns onto.

20131219-232329.jpg

20131219-232224.jpg

20131219-232510.jpg

Christmas Gift design: Carley’s Gift Tote bar

Standard

20131221-195920.jpg

Ok, what a busy time Christmas time is. As a teacher, the end of year is so busy that I don’t have time to breathe. I wanted to kill two birds with one stone so to speak. Continue to learn to sew as well as gift Christmas gifts. So I thought what do most people love. My first thought was relaxing. So “Carley’s Gift Tote bar” was born. Firstly I learnt to sew a mini book tote. I used the tutorial listed below. Except I placed gifts in it.

http://www.u-createcrafts.com/2013/06/mini-book-tote-tutorial-by-crazy-little.html

Then I sewed and sewed until I had about fifteen designs. Next I learnt to sew a sunglasses case. The tutorial that I used was amazing. Here’s the link: http://www.createcraftlove.com/2012/05/stitched-sunglasses-case.html

I am finding it easier to learn to sew by doing one project over and over. This way I am learning from my mistakes!

Then, what do most people like to use when relaxing: hot & cold packs. This one was trick as there were so any tutorials out there. So I simply traced a pattern shape, drew a 1 cm border and stitched it around three sides. After flipping it, ironing it and filling it with rice I added two drops of essential lavender oil.

Lastly I repeated the same process for the heat packs. I simply added labels & ribbon and behold….Carley’s Gift Tote Bar!!

20131219-180026.jpg

20131219-184658.jpg

20131219-184758.jpg

20131219-184810.jpg

20131219-184834.jpg

Then I lined all of the bags, heat packs & sunnies cases up. People had a ball picking which designs they wanted to include in their gift pack.

20131219-185827.jpg