Sewing is one craft/skill that I've stayed away from for most of my life. Sure, I took some sewing and embroidery lessons in Home Economics class while I was in gradeschool. I indulged in cross stitching as a hobby as a teen/young adult. And, I do hem, mend clothes and sew buttons by hand occasionally. I even sew things in to some of my mixed media art work.
But, I've never owned a proper sewing machine before. Well, not unless you count the el cheapo tiny machine I bought for $30 while I was living in Singapore that I never really used because I couldn't quite figure it out.
So, I really never fancied the idea of learning how to sew. As in, really sewing. At least, not until about a couple of years ago.
You see, I'm a maker. I like making things. I'd probably end up trying most craft in my lifetime (provided I get the chance to grow old and grey ;-))...
And now, I figured it's time to try something new.
After much uhm-ing and ahm-ing, I decided to buy my very first real sewing machine a few days ago. Even if I had no idea what exactly I was looking for and all that. I just went ahead and got one. I had a dud to start with, but ended up finding a really good buy from Spotlight (one of our local art/craft chain stores). But, that's a different story to tell another day.
For now, let me just share with you my first four sewing projects that I finished this weekend:
1) Basic Tote Bag (w/ handmade felt heart applique) - Everyone told me to start with something really simple. So, I went for the basic tote bag. This one wasn't great, but I was excited to finish something so quickly. I even decided to try sewing a handmade felt heart applique on the plain blue bag. My first attempt at sewing appliques! And, my first ever attempt at making a bag too.
2) Super Hero Cape (w/ handmade 'C' applique) - This one's even simpler than the tote. Just measured and hemmed a plain blue rectangular fabric. Then, added patterned ribbons to tie the cape. I also created a felt letter 'C' to use as an applique on the cape. Was happy to see my boy's reaction to having his very own personalised superhero cape.
3) Monster Soft Toy (designed by my 4.5 year old boy) - When I asked my boy to draw something for me to make, he got really excited. So, he drew me this 'monster' (drawing in picture)... and I just made it in to a soft toy. The boy had a good giggle when I finished the toy. Even played with it for a while. Just used: fabric, felt, hobby fill, 2 colours of thread (red/white).
4) Little Girl's Dress - This is probably the most difficult project of the lot, even though it was the only one that didn't involve embroidery or appliques. I think it's because it was the only one that needed to have proper measurements and fitting to get it right. And, it's *not* easy measuring a moving subject! Anyway, I ended up having to do this over a couple of times. But, it was so sweet when I heard my girl's "Oooooohhhhh!" when I put it on her the first time around. And, she happily modeled her new dress for me.
So, there you go. My first attempts at learning how to sew. I still have a long, long way to go to come up with anything really amazing. But, I'm happy I got started. Almost makes me wonder why I waited so long to try. A real reminder to me that sometimes, when you want to try something, you just have to give it a go.
Shai has been managing and blogging here at ShaiCoggins.com for 17 years. Here, she writes about creativity, productivity, and how to recharge for a better, happier lifestyle. She is the author of Today: Life Journal, Colour Bliss: Kaleidoscopes, and a little known children’s book.
A serial entrepreneur, Shai also currently runs Vervely.com, a boutique digital media agency offering online content, community, and conversion marketing services. Her blogging experience and digital work have been featured in various media, including being listed in Fast Company’s “Most Influential Women in Technology” list.
Originally from Manila, Shai lived in Singapore and the USA before moving to Australia with her British husband. They have two children, a pet bunny, and a rambunctious rescue Labrador.