Main Navigation

 photo HiSugarplum-MainNav-Home.png photo HiSugarplum-Projects.png photo HiSugarplum-Organize.png photo HiSugarplum-Holiday.png photo HiSugarplum-Fashion.png photo HiSugarplum-MainNav-travel.png

Ad - Header Leaderboard

Monday, November 5, 2012

I Sew Did!

Hey, hey, hey! Somehow another Monday is upon us. I hope you guys had a great weekend, and aren't too tweaked because of the time change. I had a productive, yet insanely frustrating, weekend. I decided it was high-time to conquer the beast that had been sitting idle since buying it three months ago on this field trip!

tote bag

I know it doesn't look like much, but that sewing machine has been scaring the crap out of me. (I can't even sew a button!) You may remember I showed you the mood boards for the Dining Room plan, and they included the drapery fabric I bought last year. I thought about no-sewing them (like these and this), but knew that wasn't a good long-term plan for such a visible room. Then I looked into a seamstress, but that only gave me serious sticker shock. For that price, I could buy my own sewing machine...so I did. And it sat.

Just like the drapery fabric, rolled up in the corner of the Dining Room, taunting me every day.

tote bag

I finally decided this weekend I would no longer be controlled by my fear of a little machine. I followed the instructions step-by-step. I watched You Tube videos. I started a Sew It board on Pinterest.

But still, it had me in tears of frustration, and the kids running for cover.

I thought by matching the machine, we'd get along better. Not really.
But finally the heavens opened and it all started to click. I practiced lines and lines of stitches, then figured I should actually make something.

Ta-Da!

Untitled

The good news is, you can totally tell what it's supposed to be (a bag, duh!). But the bad news is it's very odd proportions (oh yeah, and the uneven sides, birds-nests of stitches, and wonky seams).

Untitled
This is her interpretation of my Outfit poses.

I passed it off as a purse made especially for Babygirl. Suckers Everyone bought it! But then she requested I make a real-sized bag, out of her choice of fabrics. Second time was closer to a charm.

tote bag

You don't even want to know my steps, but I mostly followed this tutorial. They call it a 20-Minute Tote, but they're totally lying. It's more like 3-Hours-20-Minute Tote. I kid, normal humans could likely make it faster than me.

And granted I don't know what I'm talking about, but I am really pleased and surprised by my little Ikea sewing machine! It comes with all kinds of little gadgets, threads easily, is self-feeding, and has 13 different stitches. The basic needle had no problem plowing through four layers of fabric and a thick strap.

Untitled
You're supposed to be looking at the needle, not my wonky stitches!
My client was really happy with her new bag, and even tried to stage a fashion show. However, someone kept photo-bombing!!

tote bag

tote bag

I'm not quite confident enough to tackle my drapes yet, but hopefully soon. Until then, oddly-proportioned bags for everyone! It's beginning to look like a homemade Christmas! (Contain your excitement, mom!)

tote bag

Do you sew?! Is it really supposed to be this hard and frustrating?! What is the first thing you made? Please tell me it brings out the worst in you, too!

54 comments:

  1. Cassie, I was just like you not all that long ago! The biggest piece of advice I can give you is just to practice. That's really the only way to learn and to get better. I'm still no expert, but I've learned a few things in my couple months of sewing (and even recently tackled a 31 Days of Shut Up and Sew challenge on my blog!). If I can do it, you can too! Oh, and Google is your friend. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. You'll end up loving that sewing machine and the LOADS of money you'll save yourself making pillows and drapes yourself. Promise. And, look at the happy face on your first customer - totally delighted! I used to play around with my mom's machine as a little girl "sewing" Barbie clothes. I'm sure I gave her a heart attack every time I messed with it :D

    ReplyDelete
  3. My machine has been in my attic for 10 years now. I got so frustrated trying to thread the dang thing that I just gave up. Maybe I'll give YouTube a try, too. It's ridiculous that I can't sew a pillow or curtain panel.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Girlfriend, I feel your pain. The pillows I sewed for my sofa look like trapezoids instead of squares. I couldn't bare to screw up $100 worth of fabric for my office curtains so I went with fusible tape instead. It's time to break the beast out again to sew pillow covers for my son's bed and I'm having mild panic attacks just thinking about it.

    ReplyDelete
  5. "Oddly proportioned bags for everyone!" Well, if that doesn't get people excited about the season, I don't know what will!
    Sheaffer :)
    p.s. Good for you for conquering that sewing machine. Your # had me cracking up this weekend!

    ReplyDelete
  6. You will get the hang of it soon! In invest in a good seam ripper :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. What great timing... I was actually just helping a friend conquer the sewing machine a few days ago. I was fortunate enough to be in 4-H sewing for 5+ years as a child. Those skills are never wasted! And like another commenter said, you'll save a lot of money down the road. My advice is to take deep breaths, slow down (my friend actually had a speed changer on hers... what a life saver!) and think about your next steps as you sew. It will get easier, I promise! :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. It's adorable, and I love your client's fabric choices! Making that bag is probably harder than your drapes will be! The trickiest part about them is the bulk of fabric you'll be working with. Your big dining room table will be your best friend! I need to make drapes for my bedroom, too. Wanna race? :) Kidding, you'd totally get them done faster than me.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I started in exactly the same place you are now. And it even got to the point where I put my sewing machine away for a couple of years and just glared at it in disgust every time I saw it hiding in the corner of my room. But this year I decided to bring it out again to make the bedding for my daughter's new room and suddenly it all makes sense. I've even made my own pattern to sew. (Don't worry they were all just rectangles of various sizes that turned into a nappy stacker at the end) But once you do get the hang of it, it can be the most addictive hobby in the world. And I still have my first ever creation, a terribly wonky and fraying blanket made out of satin, brocade and polar fleece.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I do sew. I love it, but admit I have to be in the mood. I started sewing when I was about 7 or 8. In high school I used to make clothes. As an adult, I've made clothes, curtains, dog coats, paper (yes, paper for art projects!), you name it.

    The trick is to go slow. If you rush, you'll get weird stitch lines and either have to live with them or pull them out and start over. Let the machine feed the fabric for you. Don't force it. Just steer the fabric in the right direction.

    The curtains should be super easy - no zippers, button, etc. Only straight lines and a pocket on top for the rod (unless you are going to use drapery clips). The part that takes the longest is pinning the edges so they are the same. Once that's done, you could sew those puppies in about an hour, if that. If you don't already have one, you can buy a little sewing ruler that has a gauge on it. This will help you ensure that all hems are the same.

    Now hop to it!

    ReplyDelete
  11. YAY! Great job, Cassie. I too am terrified of sewing. A sewing machine is on my Christmas list this year... we will see what happens :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Love this! I just bought some fabric for a Christmas project - gonna try and get the nerve up to start on that today - thanks for the inspiration! Thankfully this project is going to be given to my niece so even if it is a hot mess, I won't have to look at it everyday!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Congrats! Sewing is not easy. I learned early this year and it continues to be a learning process. So far all I make are pillow covers and drapes lol. You're definitely not alone in the frustration department. Rod pocket curtains are the easiest, especially if they're not lined. I have a tutorial for them on my blog and I remember seeing one on Centsational girl a while back. Don't give up, it is sooooo worth it.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Sewing is my happy place. Oddly enough. I am not awesome but it is so satisfying to sew something yourself. Super proud of you and it gets so much easier. Get yourself a guide foot. It should attach into a little hole near the needle and your fabric glides along it to keep it straight. Little girl has picked up some serious modeling techniques from her beautiful mama.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Love your models! :) You've got it! Once you see how easy drapes and pillows are I'm betting on a weekly 'Look What I Made' series!:)

    ReplyDelete
  16. When I got my sewing machine I stayed up until 3 in the morning, crying because I couldn't figure it out. I spent the next day on the phone with my sister & bff, begging for help. Once I finally got it, I was set! You did a great job!

    ReplyDelete
  17. I quit sewing every time I get into the middle of it. Drapes, however, are a different story. They are my favorite. I have sewn 15 panels for my house so far. Once all your prep work is done, it's just a straight line. Put a rubber band on your machine where your seam line is. It helps keep you on track when that needles gets going! I have a tutorial on pleated drapes. Not sure if that's what you're doing, but it's basically the same as normal drapes except with 1 extra step.

    http://www.willscasa.com/2012/03/how-to-sew-lined-pleated-drapes/

    ReplyDelete
  18. Nice work!! Sewing machines can be overwhelming. I'm not much of a seamstress either (I like to stick to straight lines. And I don't wear what I make for fear that my stitches won't hold up and we'll have a wardrobe malfunction!)

    Anyway, here is the link to a fun and super easy purse/bag made out of placemats. All you need to sew is 4 straight lines! Check it out!! It's really fun and I make them for gifts all the time!!

    http://athomeinthenorthwestblog.com/2012/05/placemat-purse-tutorial.html

    Jen
    athomeinthenorthwestblog.com

    ReplyDelete
  19. I totally cannot sew, but my daughter has a sewing machine, so I finally signed up for a real live class this fall, but whaddaya know, it got cancelled because I was the only one to sign up. Maybe it's destiny - I'm not meant to sew? Your bags though - they are very cute! And how hard could drapes be? ----That's what I want to do too. You can totally do it after making TWO bags!!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Sewing can be very frustrating in the beginning! Just keep at it...my first projects were placemats and a table runner...then I graduated to pillows, then a round table skirt, drapes, etc.
    Don't give up! Its so rewarding!

    ReplyDelete
  21. New follower here! You are hilarious and I am green with envy of what you were able to accomplish. I wish I had the nerve. Oh...and you are doing drapes? You are my idol. Look forward to getting to know you!

    ReplyDelete
  22. I was cracking up when I saw your Instagram picture. I just imagined that would be me if I tried to sew. I am just not brave enough to tackle it, yet almost every. single. day of my life I think to myself, "if only I knew how to sew this project would be so much easier and cheaper!" Maybe I will jump on the sewing train after the first of the year...

    ReplyDelete
  23. i've used my machine twice in 2 years. i had such great aspirations when i bought it. the 2nd project was euro shams for our bed. they actually turned out really well! (no zippers.... envelope flap only for this girl.) it took me longer to remember how to thread the machine than it did to sew the shams. keep plugging along... it'll get easier.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I've had many a frustrating minute with my sewing machine... it's tough! It's definitely a good time if you like cussing up a storm, at least at my house! ; ) Needless to say, your bag looks great! You can totally handle the drapes. Just think- it's all straight lines!

    ReplyDelete
  25. That is just like when I sew (that one time!) It took me an entire day to sew a pillow cover for my couch's throw pillows. To this day, I have one nice burgundy pillow and the others are sitting in storage until I get the nerve to finish the project. Ugh.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Take a class! That's what I did in Austin, TX! It was SO helpful, held at the cutest local fabric shop! We made a jewelry bag the first class, a pillow case the second class and a skirt the final class! I didn't even know how to thread my machine when I started and now I feel confident in my abilities. Obviously, I still need lots of practice, but still. They also provided all stages of classes and specific classes, too, like "drape making" or "dress making" etc, etc! I loved it. It was super affordable, helpful and fun!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Oh my sewing machine stresses me out too! I have made a few things before and evidentially thought I was a master seamstress because I {foolishly} decided to DIY all of the fabric items in my son's nursery. So my pregnant, swollen, very sick self fought and cried and finally won. And I haven't sewed since. That was 1.5 years ago. I need to. But I haven't mustered the courage. I have hope though because I have already been looking at fabric for his big boy room.

    ReplyDelete
  28. I made 12 pairs of Christmas pajama pants for my family last year. Every.single.person. Needless to say my Dad's pants were like 4 different fabrics because I ran out of fabric. he wore them anyways. By the end of Christmas morning, everyone's crotch had ripped open. No one wanted to admit that they busted the seat of their pants so no one said anything until my sisters started laughing at my Dad's tighty whities handing out of his butt crack...literally.

    I didn't stop sewing but I'm setting realistic goals these days.

    ReplyDelete
  29. I've had run-ins with my sewing machine, too, but it's always worth it in the end!

    ReplyDelete
  30. Hilarious photos of your daughter and husband!!

    My first bout with my sewing machine was a tear-filled disaster...just trying to thread the machine. Like everyone else has said, practice will make you better. I'm still far, far from awesome, but can sew straight lines now which lets me make pillows and cushion covers and drapes and all the important stuff :) You'll get there! And kudos for swallowing the nerves and jumping on the horse!

    ReplyDelete
  31. Congrats! Love the bag!
    I've been sewing since I was a kid - started with doll clothes for me and my friends, then curtains for my bedroom, pillows, prom dresses and my wedding dress. I guess you could say I've been at it for a while :)

    ReplyDelete
  32. Great job on the bags! Sewing is one of those things that just takes awhile to get into, once you get the hang of it you'll be a sewing maniac! ;)

    ReplyDelete
  33. I'm actually totally terrified of my sewing machine, too...there are about a billion projects that I would love to tackle, but as soon as it even *LOOKS* like I might have to sew, it's OUT. (c; I'm totally impressed with the sewing SKILLZ...and hubby's photo bombing. Nailed it. (c;

    ReplyDelete
  34. I'm with you girl! A friend is teaching me how to use a sewing machine (I can't even sew a button!) and I feel so bad for her. I just don't get it. Even if I can manage to get the machine all set up, my seams are everywhere. It is so frustrating. It seems like they make those machines complicated on purpose. Otherwise the pillow and drapery businesses would dry up! Going to have to look into that guide foot contraption some commenters mentioned.

    ReplyDelete
  35. I have definitely had my fair share of tears over the sewing machine but it does get easier! I think your projects look great! You will be whipping out drapes and maybe even some Christmas presents in no time!

    ReplyDelete
  36. those photo bombs are beyond hilarious!! Also, LiketheWrap's comment had me laughing for a good 5 minutes. I can always count on your blog for a good mood boost!

    I started sewing when I was in my early teens. It wasn't too hard as I had my genious mom right there beside me to help...and do the hard things...but I got the hang of it! I'm not using my new machine too much but I have read the guide book a ton! Seen as IKEA stuff doesn't always have instructions (I think the little people they have "building" the items would be pretty funny to see trying to show you how to sew!), I think you are on the right track by practicing! Perhaps you can try a few patterns to help you feel a little more confident. You could always use new Thanksgiving/Christmas aprons or table runners? Good luck!!

    ReplyDelete
  37. A good way to practice is to remove the thread (so you're stitching with just a bare needle), and use a piece of lined notebook paper as a practice piece. Practice stitching right on the lines of the paper. This teaches you how to stitch straight, and how to move the paper to correct any "misdirection" you might be having.

    ReplyDelete
  38. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Love this post! A sewing machine is on my xmas list! There are just too many great things that could be made if only I could sew, so I totally get this. But just think how good you will be after a few projects... I think the outfit matching was awesome! Anyway, inspired and funny!

    ReplyDelete
  40. I'm just now sitting down to read today's post and I'M SO IMPRESSED I CAN'T STAND IT! Really - I've been terrified of any kind of sewing since I made an F - yes, an F - in sewing in 8th grade home ec - I put a zipper in upside down and DIDN'T NOTICE. I am so impressed w anyone who just sticks to it and conquers something - I know you...you'll end up great at this, too. XOX and cutest models ever!!!

    ReplyDelete
  41. I've been sewing for years but it can still make me cry out in fits of rage. You did awesome!!

    ReplyDelete
  42. Always remember there is such a thing as a quick unpick, every new sewing machiners friend!! I don't have a solid/pretty sewing history but I must say, sewing drapes will be 100% easier than sewing a bag!!

    ReplyDelete
  43. Of course you tamed the beast! Love the bags and I'm only guessing that you will be making draperies, pillows and all sorts of things next!

    ReplyDelete
  44. Oh, dear Cassie, I wish I were there! I sew EVERYTHNG and love teaching newbies! Do save my email and use me as a resource! Love your blog, sense of humor, and your family! Keep it up, and you'll probably never be Vera Wang, but then, who wants to be famous anyway!LOL

    ReplyDelete
  45. Sewing makes me crazy. I have three windows in my living room, six panels in all and every single panel is a different length, all made by me of course.

    My sewing machine broke and it went out with the garbage. I wave the white flag of surrender and stick to no-sew projects.

    Your bags are super cute.
    ~FringeGirl

    ReplyDelete
  46. You did a GREAT job for your first efforts! Don't give up. It will get easier as you begin to feel comfortable with the machine and the fabric. Use the guidelines on the bobbin plate when sewing a straight line, that will help to keep your seams straight (the metal plate just to the right of where your bobbin is placed should have lines with a number above and/or below it, this is for seam allowance width). My grandmother taught me to sew when I was a kid, the I quit after college and just recently took it up again. I promise, it will get easier.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Cassie, I am a seamstress and had (have) my sewing business for over 25 years! I do custom window treatments and have sewed for MANY designers and large furniture stores. Sewing gets better with more practice! Your bags are perfect (from my house) and you MADE IT YOURSELF...how fun is that!? Keep practicing and you will be surpised at your hidden talents...you have so many already!
    BTW, I can't sew a button on either and I actually PAY someone to do clothing and alterations for me.
    To practice those straight lines, get a piece of paper and draw lines on it (straight or curved) and remove the thread from your machine, then "sew" on the paper trying to stay on the lines...Sewing 101 :)
    ~ Darlene
    www.darlenenudy.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  48. I just loved these comments! H.I.L.A.R.I.O.U.S!I first learned to sew while in 8th grade. It seemed simple with my Home Economics teacher RIGHT there. I went home and wanted to sew new curtains, new pillow cases and new EVERYTHING. Ha!Curtains check, pillow cases check, everything NOT CHECK. It was much harder at home. Sure I had my mom there but it wasn't the same. She eventually got tired of seeing my WONKY stitches and said that if I wanted my things to KEEP it's shape and purpose...that I'd better practice stitching. That I did. I took blank pieces of paper and drew random lines...with my bare needle I poke little holes of happiness as straight (or curved) as I could. I don't sew as much as I'd like. I'm a mother of 4 children ages 5 and under and I work full time AND I keep books for my husband's landscaping business. If I had free time I doubt I'd spend it sewing ANYWAY! Ha!!! I'd dive into a book or indulge in a hot tub, wine sippin, girlfriend chatting type of thing! Ya dig!?! Do simple things like table runners and pillow cases first... I think they're much easier than bags. Although, for a first timer...they turned out great! The model and photobomber are precious!

    ReplyDelete
  49. Congratulations! The first project is always the most difficult. As others have said, it gets easier and more addictive. My mother was a Home Economics teacher, and I grew up sewing. I also owned a fabric store, until a year ago. Sewing is meant to be fun and, for many of us, therapeutic. The suggestions to go more slowly are very wise. Also, needles and thread do make a difference. Thread nests can often be a sign of a bobbin placed in backwards or not wound well. Skipped stitches can sometimes mean your needle size and thread are not compatible with each other, or the fabric. The sewing world is filled with kind and generous souls. We are always eager to welcome and guide new stitchers! Cannot wait to see your drapes, completed and hanging!

    ReplyDelete
  50. Oh my goodness, I am so proud of you Cassie! I could totally feel your frustration the other day on insta. Have so been there! You know, oddly proportioned bags sounds pretty good to me. Can't wait to see what you create next.

    ReplyDelete
  51. Damn he is hilarious!!!!!!!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  52. This is why I love you! I am on the floor laughing from the photo bombing! And seriously, you and I could be long lost sisters. I am fearful of my sewing machine, but so impressed with what you have already done with yours! Kudos! And your little lady is so sweet and darling!

    P.S. Your new profile picture is smokin' hot! Love it! <3

    xo,
    Jen

    ReplyDelete
  53. I have a sewing machine, and I can do the sewing part not too badly..but I can't thread the machine to save my life, despite watching hours of tutorials on Youtube. I can only use the machine if my mom (who lives 3000 miles away) is here to thread it for me. It has hampered my sewing efforts, that's for sure.

    ReplyDelete
  54. I am in the no-sew club still and every time I discover some cutesy crafty idea I sigh and think, "ohhh if only I could sew!" I've seriously considered getting a simple sewing machine, but I have that same phobia you had and the poor thing would probably just sit there begging to be loved and put to good use! Your post helps encourage me to maybe try it!! maybe. It's on my bucket list anyway. :)) So proud of your accomplishment and love the bag!!! The photos are hilarious!

    ReplyDelete

Your comments are like crack, or popcorn with milk duds, I just can't quit them. And unfortunately, because of insane amounts of spam, I've had to disable Anonymous comments for awhile. I just didn't need any more information on penis enlargements! But you can always email me! xoxo, cass

Google Analytics

Link Within

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

rS tracking code

 

design + development by fabulous k