Thursday, March 12, 2009

Little Suzie Homemaker

At the risk of turning this into an "All About Sewing" blog, I'd like to share a couple of my more recent sewing projects. I've mentioned my great teacher before. Her plan for my lessons has been really wonderful, because I've come home after each session with a completed project. Last week, she wanted me to learn some "precision" cutting and sewing. I made a 4-in-1 place mat, which is basically a cloth book with four pages and no spine, so it can lay flat. Each time you turn a "page" of the place mat, it represents a different holiday/season. You'll have to see the pictures below to understand what I mean. There was no pattern for the project. She had seen someone sell something similar at a craft fair and came up with her own design. I made the place mat out of some nice looking cotton fabric I found in a holiday fabric clearance sale at Hobby Lobby. I learned a lot from this lesson, especially about how I need lots of practice in the cutting and sewing straight departments! My seams aren't always the greatest, but they just remind me that I'm still learning. I'm also learning about patience and about how nobody's perfect. Basically, I'm learning to forgive myself my imperfections and to live with my flaws (in my projects and myself)! How freeing that lesson can be! I was only able to make one complete place mat during last week's session, but I have a second one pinned and ready to sew whenever my sewing machine is available (I've been leaving it at my teacher's home, so I don't have to lug it back and forth every week). My teacher told me it usually takes her seven or eight times before she gets a project down perfectly, so I felt good knowing that even with all her experience, she still needs to practice. My lesson for this week was sewing in "tunnels", or, basically, hems. I made a pair of VERY baggy pajama pants out of an awesome camo fleece I found on sale at Hancock Fabrics. I went ahead and made them size medium instead of small because I never know if I'll shrink something too much in the washing machine. Plus, pajama pants are supposed to be comfy and baggy! Again, I learned I need more practice with cutting straight and sewing straight. My hems are quite wonky, but really, I can only tell if I look really closely at them. The main thing is the pants came together just fine, and I can wear them around the house with pride! My teacher used a pattern for beginners, but unfortunately, I didn't get the name of it to share with you. Next week, my teacher wants me to make a raglan top from another pattern she owns to go with the pants. I have lots of the camo fleece left for the sleeves, so I just need a contrast fleece for the bodice part of the top. I can't wait to get to the fabric store to see what I can find! I think sewing has become my new obsession! And, just as an aside, I've noticed so many young, modern women getting into the "textile arts" recently. I read on a friend's blog that she's taken up knitting along with some of her other mommy friends. Also, my moms' group has scheduled several different crafty events this month. Some of the moms got together to learn how to crochet last week, and in a couple of weeks, we'll be having two different sewing meet-ups. I'm really looking forward to working with (and possibly helping) the other moms.

The following pictures show the four "sides" of my place mat. I can use it for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter/Springtime.

And, here are the back and front of my lounge pants. The camo fleece has a surprise within the pattern: butterflies! It's so much fun!

Hope I've inspired you to create something new!

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