I’m a Newbie

I am a newbie.  I am a newbie to blogging and I am a newbie to sewing, the reason I decided to start this blog.  Since this is my first post ever it will likely be longer than most as I share some back ground information to let you know how I got to where I am today.

How did I get into sewing?  I guess it started when I switched to cloth diapering my kids.  Well really it was shortly after  my second was born so about 3.5 months ago.   I thought if I am going to use cloth diapers then I should use cloth wipes.  I decided to take some old receiving blankets and go over to my sister in laws to use her sewing machine and make up some cloth wipes.  How hard could it be?  It wasn’t hard at all so I  started to think of all the things I could make if I had a sewing machine.  Mothers day was coming up and a machine would make the perfect gift.  The thing is though that aside from the cloth wipes, I have never ever sewn a day in my life and have never used a sewing machine.  I was off to research a good beginners machine.  I wanted a decent machine but didn’t want to go over board on price in case the sewing didn’t work out.  After all, a sewing machine is not as good a clothes hanger as a treadmill.  I went to a few sewing stores and researched on the net and in the end I went with a Kenmore from Sears.  Here is my machine and my newly converted sewing area.


My first project was a car seat cover that I made following this tutorial.  This project was really easy to do for a beginner and I was pretty proud of how this turned out.


As with any thing you make though you find things that you would tweak just a little and you get better and better at making things .  I made a new one for myself and have made one for a friend who had a baby recently.  My new ones have snaps on the handles instead of velcro and they also have snaps on the sides to help stop the wind from blowing them open.  I am currently picking out fabric to make another one for another friend who is about to have a baby.  That will be a new post though.

IMG_0011IMG_0012fixedFor Teri (2)For Teri (5)For Teri (3)

My next project was baby bibs.  I did find a few tutorials but didn’t actually use any of them.  Instead I just traced my favorite bib and threw them together.  I think this way is the most simple.  Stitch around the bib right sides facing in (the corners around the neck are tricky for a newbie but after doing so many I am getting pretty good at them.  Practice, practice, practice!) leaving an opening to turn the bib right side out.  Fold the edges of the opening in, press and top stitch closed.  Add snaps at the neck and voila!  As I got better I started lining the inside of the bib with a water proof material.  My next project with bibs will be working with bias tape.  I have yet to teach myself this but posts will follow when I get there.

bibsfront bibsbibs1

What would I sew next? A summer tank dress?  Sure no problem!  If I can make car seat covers and bibs, why not a dress right?  Looks easy enough.  Find the tutorial I used here.  This dress has pockets.  POCKETS!  The pockets were so easy to make too.  I did have a few major errors on this dress that required me ripping the seams out of the finished product twice!  The first tank I used was a jersey material, which is fine, except I cut the top too short and therefore the dress was too high in the waist for me.  So I ripped the seams all out and used a new ribbed tank.  This tank I did not cut but I also did not pay attention when I was sewing the top to the skirt and it came out inside out, doh!  Ripped the seams out for the second time and sewed it again.  I got a lot of practice with this dress and as a lady in a sewing class I took put it, I won’t make that mistake again.  That is how we learn though right?  Through our mistakes.  In the end I had to make a belt for it since I didn’t already own a belt and have still not gone out and bought one.  As with the car seat covers and the bibs, I learned things I would do differently for this as well.  My pictures of this project are neither flattering or good quality (phone pics) but I will share them anyways.

tank dress with pocketstank dress

So I have learned quite a bit from the wonderful world wide web but I do like to take actual classes.  To date I have only taken 2 classes.  A know your sewing machine class – this class was great and if you are a newbie like me I highly recommend you go to your local sewing shop and sign up for one of these classes.It was very helpful in explaining all the different stitches on the machine as well as the different feet and what they are used for.  The other was a class where we made a placemat with mitered corners – very easy and now I know how to make some Christmas placemats.  This one I just used SpongeBob fabric and made for my son.


The next class I am signed up for is starting in September. In this class I will learn to quilt.  We will be making a bed topper quilt and I am so excited to get this started.  I have never quilted before and have no idea what to do but I am a part of a quilting bee (I go last) and through this Craftsy class I made the first blocks for the quilting bee.  I thought they turned out pretty good.

QB wonkyQB blockQB block1

Getting started in these quilting projects also go me interested in another Craftsy class –Free motion machine quilting.  I have not started this class yet but am excited to get into it and see what wonderful things I can make.  I am also signed up for a zippers class (which I hear zippers can be tricky) and have my eye on a Christmas wall hanging class but am not sure if that class is too advanced for me.  I think I will give it a go.

Well I suppose I have gone on long enough for my first entry.  I think this gives a little bit of information about me and my new hobby which I am coming to love.  The most overwhelming part of all this, I would say, is picking out fabrics.  There are SO MANY!  My local stores do not have the largest selection and when I look online I am overwhelmed at the selection.  With so many great fabrics how do you narrow it down?  I have not ordered any fabric on line to date but I am sure it is just a matter of time Smile

14 Responses to “I’m a Newbie”
  1. Erin says:

    Love it Jenn!! I just started a new quilting blog, too!

  2. jennsews says:

    Thanks Erin! I am off to check out your blog. I think this will be just as addicting as the sewing 🙂

  3. Fatima Medeiros says:

    I need some arrangement on a curtain I bought yesterday 4 my kitchen slide door, because they are longer need cut and hem, I have no time, and tier! You learn fast,you smart, I would love to do by your side, one day I buy fabrics to do with you. Lu

  4. Aristea says:

    Love the Blog Jenn!!!! 🙂 you are such a busy lady with two babies & still find the time & joy to Sew, that’s amazing.
    I found your blog fun to read & I will be sure to follow it.
    I have always complained about having to go & hem my pants at the cleaners were they give you their nasty staff bathroom to change into, or the places at the malls that you stand in front of an audience of people while they are pining you up & you are supposed to stand there & act all non sol ant about it.
    Were I am going with this you might add right? If you ever became interested in hamming pants I would much rather pay you then ever go to a mall or dry cleaners again. Think about it, the other day I got charged $20 + tax for 2 pairs of pants for 1h service.

    • Oh thanks Aristea! I have not hemmed pants yet but I am looking at taking a hemming class. I can probably do it just from watching you tube though and I just bought needles for denim. I just need to practice to get my confidence up first but after that I would hem for you, sure 🙂

      • Aristea says:

        Hey Jenn 🙂 Practice makes perfect that’s for sure!!! I do have a few pairs you can practice on that I no longer use 🙂 let me know.

  5. Sure Aristea, that would be great. We will see you on Friday if you can remember 🙂

  6. Love your blog and your header! I had five children in five years and sewing was a great creative outlet for me! I am doing free motion quilting tutorials-so bop over to http://www.theinboxjaunt.com and see what’s happening!
    You go, girl!

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