As many of you know, once the Pickle arrived on the scene I suddenly had a built-in reason for being crafty again. When she was in my womb, I found myself sewing coordinating ribbon onto a mosquito net to hang over her crib. I threaded old jewelry pieces and hung them from a bangle over her changing table. And I even watched as my husband’s cousin sewed a custom crib skirt to match her curtains.
So it was no surprise that after she was here and I had lots of time on my hands (in between feedings, going to the park, napping, and keeping up with the house) I wandered back into sewing. I had never really been into it, but had tried my hand at a few projects over the years. That Christmas after the kiddo was born, my parents bought me my first sewing machine. And I was hooked.
Since then I have learned a LOT. Most of it had to be self-taught, but if I can tout the benefits of the internet for a moment, there is no better time in the history of mankind to learn a new skill in the comfort of your own home than… right now. To prove this point, my husband just changed the break pads on his car, put in a new stereo, and changed out both of his headlights… all from watching videos on YouTube! The possibilities are endless
So while some of my projects have been a complete flop, others have been exhilarating. Looking back over my past two years of owning a sewing machine, I wanted to share some of my favorite (read: most successful) projects and I want to encourage you… if you’ve been waiting to try and learn a new skill, there is no better time to start than right now. A New Year. A thousand new blogs and tutorials posted every day. There is no reason not to!
I dig the pouf. I would like a dozen of these in my home. In assorted colors and sizes. It’s a fun project. Challenges your pinning skills. Teaches how to do piping. Only takes a yard of fabric. It’s practical. Fun. What better project is there? http://www.pinterest.com/pin/78320480991987587/
I fell in love with the bubble dress the first time I saw it. So I made one out of a vintage sheet my mom had given me from my own childhood. At first I thought it would be a special occasion top, but paired with some tights, it soon became an everyday favorite that was perfect for playtime and parties! This one pictured is our second… because she needs about five! http://www.pinterest.com/pin/78320480991762137/
This was a fun project that stretched my abilities. I didn’t use a pattern, I just looked at the pictures online and figured it out on my own. So it doesn’t fit perfectly, but it was just adorable on my kiddo! If you see something you like and can’t find (or can’t afford) a pattern, give it a whirl! It can’t hurt… and you’ll learn a lot on along the way! If it’s clothing, you can use a similar item already in the closet as a template to help you get started. http://www.pinterest.com/pin/78320480992004539/
I’m all about practicality, and this project was one of my first practical sewing accomplishments. I loved teaching my girl to sit in a big chair while feeling that she was also safe and contained. It was super easy. Plus, with the two different patterns, the cuteness possibilities are endless! https://www.etsy.com/listing/155699283/tie-me-up-toddler-chair-tutorial-pattern?ref=shop_home_active
Last Spring I had the crazy goal of making all of the Pickle’s summer playclothes. And while that didn’t necessarily happen, I definitely loved the way some of the projects turned out. These two in particular. For the beginning clothing seamstress, let me assure you, there is nothing simpler than upcycling a t-shirt into a simple, adorable t-shirt dress! These two were the most successful and we will wear them until they just don’t fit anymore! The Kadena AFB shirt was cut into two pieces. The straps and neckline were made with tiny bias tape. And I added a ruffle. Boom. The other was simply cut out and made into an A-line sleeveless dress by sewing down the sides and at the shoulders. I added some pockets, didn’t bother finishing any edges, added a knit cardigan, some tights, a pair of blue shoes, and wa-la: We love this outfit. http://www.pinterest.com/pin/78320480990976845/
So those are my favorites! Every time I sit down at my sewing machine I think of my grandma, my aunts, my mom. I think about the ladies who have gone before me and made sewing an everyday part of their lives. I look for ways I can incorporate sewing into my wardrobe, my home, and my shop. But most of all, I am amazed at how far I have come and how much I have learned in just two years.
And I can’t wait to see what I learn in 2014!
I’m going to start by joining a monthly sewing challenge hosted by Crazy Little Projects. Then I’m going to whip up some of these awesome craft utility aprons (for girls only!) And of course I’ll be making some more clothes for my little doll.
What new skill are you going to master this year?
For more inspiration, follow my Pinterest board “Sew Easy” where I’m constantly daydreaming and getting inspired! Or follow my attempts and accomplishments on the “I Did It!” board… and start one of your own!