As I mentioned in my last post, this is not going to be a very exciting week to blog about, but bear with me. Next week, I will have a sewing machine: I am a poor student who begged my mom to let me use hers so I will finally get a hold of it next week. That means this week is all about preparation.
How do I use a sewing machine?
That is my biggest question as of now. I used one back in grade 10 I think so it has been a while. In order to learn how a sewing machine works, I researched by watching many videos - click link 1 and link 2 for the ones I used most. I also used this blog called Crazy Little Projects which had lots of useful tips for people who are just learning to sew. I never knew that there were so many things to consider when buying and looking at a sewing machine - a little relived I get to use my mom's because not only are they pricey, but the differences between them are so hard to see for beginners so this makes my life easier.
My next step was to decide on my final project - a blanket. I still have not decided on whether it will be a fleece blanket, a quilt or a jean quilt (My grandma makes jean quilts and they are beautiful so very tempted to try that - story and pictures at the bottom). I decided to research all three and I will keep you posted on what I decided to do. I will most likely decide once I actually get my hands on a sewing machine and see how easy or difficult it is to use. Either way, I'm excited that at the end, I will have a nice blanket to cuddle up with.
My next question was what materials am I going to need to make a blanket:
-Sewing Machine = Still Need
-Thread = Yes
-Fabric Scissors = Still Need
-Pins = Yes
-Fabric = Still Need
-Measuring Tape = Yes
And I think that it is! So there are just a few things on my list that I still need to grab which shouldn't be too difficult. I am weirdly excited to go to the fabric store. Although I have never had to go there, I am very excited to look around and get to choose my material, colours and patterns.
My grandma (or as I call her, Memere - I come from a French family) is a sewing genius in my personal and totally unbiased opinion. She has sixteen grandchildren, including me and as a graduation from High School gift, she makes each one of her grandchildren a jean quilt. She uses old jeans and cuts them up into squares and carefully picks out patterns for the inside of each grandchild's blanket that she feels they will like.
These blankets take months to make and as she gets older, they take her more time to do, but she continues making them. Her dedication and patience is amazing to me and I think she is such a talented person. This blanket, that she crafted for me four years ago is one of my most special possessions - it was made by one of my favourite people, she put so much thought and effort into it and it is the warmest blanket I own. So this is a picture of the blanket she made for me and possibly what I may attempt though if I do choose to do something like this it will be smaller and the squares will be bigger. Anyway that is the end of my story, I thought I would share who my sewing inspiration is and show you how amazing her work is!
That is all I have to report for today's blog! Hopefully I will have some pictures of the beginning of my blanket in the coming weeks!
So this week was a little less exciting. I decided to focus on how to sew add-ons like buttons, patches and zippers. I will not be using any of these things in my final project which is why I wasn't sure whether I should bother, but I decided that it would be a useful skill to be able to resew on buttons or fix a zipper. I started with buttons - I bought a package of purple buttons and I had no idea what to use them for as I had nothing that was in need of buttons! I decided to simply sew them into a random piece of fabric for practice anyway. I used Wiki How and followed the instructions provided. It was very helpful because the site gave me options and instructions for sewing on a two-hole button or a four-hole button. I also tried a few different things so the picture at the bottom only shows two out of my many attempts. I decided to sew on one of each and voila: two nicely sewn on buttons on random fabric!
As a student, I am on a budget which is a big problem so instead of buying patches and zippers, I made do with what I had. I watched a video on how to sew on a patch and practised with a random piece of fabric on another. Although it is much different without a patch, I think I mostly go the gist of it. I started watching some videos on how to sew on a zipper, but quickly realised that it was super difficult without a sewing machine. As I mentioned before, I am a poor student so my mother said I could borrow her machine, but I will not get that until next week so unfortunately I was unable to try a zipper.
This week was pretty tame, but as the weeks go on, I will be putting much more time and effort as I begin to make a blanket! It never hurts to pick up some other random skills along the way!!
This was my first week starting my sewing learning project. This week was all about completing little hand sewing jobs so I could work on my basic sewing skills. The first thing I did was gather all of my materials for the week which included thread, needles, clothes pins, tape measure and pins.
I worked on sewing a few holes in shirts, pants and socks. This sewing has been pretty simple, I mainly used prior knowledge of how to do basic sewing and then watched a few YouTube videos to refresh my memory. The other day, I put on a blouse and as I was about to leave the house, I discovered there was a big hole in the armpit section. So I am already seeing how this is such a useful skill to have as I was then able to sew it up and wear it out! After that, I searched the house for anything with holes in it and now everything I could find has been sewed up. It is a little trickier than I thought it would be though. When I sewed up the hole on the blouse, I did not correctly fold it in and ended up with the fringe of the fabric sticking outwards. I then learned how to unstitch the thread and I attempted it again and did much better - still not perfect, but not a bad first sewing project. Here's a picture of my progress on that blouse:
I am excited for the upcoming weeks as every week I challenge myself a little more. Next week, I will be focusing on add-ons to articles of clothing. I will learn to sew on buttons, patches and zippers so stay tuned for next week's blog.
For my learning project, I chose sewing! There were many reasons I decided sewing was a good option, but the main one is that it is a practical and useful life skill. I have very little experience: I've sewn up a few holes in socks or pyjama pants before, but that is about it. I thought this is the perfect time to finally learn how to perfect the little skills I have and broaden these skills by actually creating something. I am very excited as I think it will be fun and also a calming skill to do at the end of the day. The part I am worried about is that I am TERRIBLE at cutting or seeing straight lines which is unfortunate as sewing takes a lot of symmetry. Looks like I might be learning another skill on top of sewing! Either way, I will give it my best shot and we'll see how it goes at the end.
Week 1: Buy supplies, read up on how they are all used and do a refresher course on sewing (research).
Week 2: Find some articles of clothing around the house that have holes in them - practice hand sewing on them.
Week 3: Get a little more creative - try sewing on buttons, patches and zippers.
Week 4: Research the sewing machine - how does it work and what do I do.
Week 5: Practice on some smaller pieces of fabric (nothing too elaborate, just simple items).
Week 6: Buy fabric and begin my final project (this may waiver, but as of now, this will be a large blanket).
Week 7 - the end of the semester: Working on and completing my final project (hopefully it turns out well!)
This schedule may change as I may discover new things I want to try out along the way or certain steps may take longer than expected, but this is my goal for now! I am excited to get started - wish me luck!