Thursday, March 13, 2014

His: Sewing up a Storm

A quilt that was on display at last year's State Fair.
One of the highlights of the year for Amanda's family and I is to attend the State Fair of Virginia each fall. One of my favourite parts of the fair is the arts and crafts exhibition hall and viewing all of the photographs, paintings and other crafts that are on display. One of the things that caught my eye on our first trip in 2011 was the quilts and just how much work went into some of these designs. I thought it would be something fun to do myself but would be way too difficult.

My Christmas present from Amanda.
I saw the quilts on display again last year and got really interested and did some serious research on how they were made. After watching several YouTube videos on how to operate a sewing machine (it had been a long time since 8th home economics class) I found an video showing how to make a simple quilt. It looked like it would be something I could handle. I talked to Amanda about it but I never did get around to buying a sewing machine or the other equipment needed for the project. Amanda heard me talk about it enough times so she decided to be sneaky and buy me a sewing machine for Christmas as she knew I would probably never get around to buying one for myself (she knows me way too well). I went out the next day and bought the fabric and other equipment I would need to create my first quilt.

Sewing the squares together on a quilt for my niece.
Since I hadn't touched a sewing machine in over 20 years I was very nervous at first and I was very cautious and slow. I made a number of mistakes, jammed up the machine and all of the other things that new sewers do. Thankfully modern machines are much more user friendly then the ones that we had back in the early 1990's in home economics class. I learned from each of my mistakes and this has made me a better sewer.

A pillowcase dress that I sewed for my niece.
About a week after Christmas, Amanda and I traveled down to SC to visit her sister and her family. Amanda's sister suggested that I sew other things in addition to quilts. I had not given this much thought as I had intended the sewing machine to be for quilting only but I was open to the suggestion. She thought I could make items such as pacifer/dummy clips, pillowcase dress and other items like that. This sounded like something that I could pull off so we ended up buying some material to make my niece some dresses. She also had several scarves that she wanted to turn into infinity scarves so I took them home to sew together as well. Once I returned home to VA I went to work on the scarves and then attempted to make the dress. It took me a while to follow the pattern as I had never done this before but after several hours I successfully made my first dress!

A drawstring project bag and gym bag that I sewed.
A few weeks ago Amanda showed me a pattern for a knitting project bag and asked if I could make her something like this than the $40+ that they cost online. I took a quick look at the pattern and figured I could give it a shot. It took a few hours but the end result looked really good. Amanda posted a picture of it on Facebook and one of Amanda's co-workers like it so much so she asked me to make a bigger version for her to use as a gym bag. We found some more material that Amanda fell in love with so I made her a second project bag. This weekend I got two more orders for the drawstring project bags for Amanda's friends (one is finished and the other will be done soon). 

    I am having a lot of fun being creative with my sewing project. I still consider myself a beginner but I am learning with every project and trying to try new things. Below is a few more pictures of the projects I have completed or I am currently working on.

One of the scarves getting ready to be transformed into an infinity scarf.
The infinity scarves ready to be shipped to SC.

The 3 project bags I have sewn. The one on the left and right are Amanda's. The one in the middle was for one of her knitting friends.

An inside view of one of the project bags.

One of my old t shirts that I am going to turn into a cushion. Still a work in progress.

One of the things I have loved about sewing so far is making items for other people. If you are interested, I would be happy to take your order. I hope to get an Etsy store up and running sometime in the future but until that happens please contact me directly to discuss details, fabric colours, and pricing.

1 comment:

  1. Love this post! That is so awesome of you to learn sewing! And you did a great job!


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