Tuesday, March 3, 2009

My First Sewing Project

I started taking sewing lessons over two weeks ago, and I've been having a blast with it. My teacher is just amazing, and we were able to finish my very first sewing project during my second lesson. It helped that we had gone over the pattern during my first lesson, and that I had laid it out and cut out the pieces at home before the second lesson. I was surprised at how everything from high school Home Ec class and 4-H came back to me, though it still took me about four hours to lay out everything and cut the fabric pieces. I was a little nervous doing it on my own at home without my teacher there to answer any questions, but I managed okay. Once I got to my lesson, we looked over the instructions, and while I pinned and sewed pieces together, she helped iron seams and pull some pieces inside out. We managed to get the project completely sewn when we realized that the pillow part of the project had been sewn onto the blanket backwards! I'm such a perfectionist sometimes, and I worried that I would have to leave it that way, forgetting that there are ways to fix such things. Luckily, my teacher's pretty laid back, and she asked if I wanted to stay late, so we could rip out the seams together, pin the pillow onto the blanket the correct way, and sew it again. I'm so happy I did stick around because in the end, I was so proud of the finished product and of myself for actually finishing what I had started--something I haven't done in a while! Below are some pictures of the "quillow", as my teacher calls it. It's a fleece blanket that folds up and tucks into an attached "pillowcase", so it looks like an over-sized pillow when it's all put together. For those interested, we used Simplicity Pattern #4745--Fleece Blankets and More. Though the pattern and instructions were a little confusing to us (and it's called a "Sewing for Dummies" project, for goodness sakes!), I still think the whole thing turned out great! I made Blanket D from the pattern.

The front of the pillow. There's a big surprise hidden inside!

The back of the pillow, which is actually the back side of the blanket.

V helps me demonstrate how to pull the folded blanket out of the pillow.

If you turn the blanket over, look what's on the other side...

Kitties! Lots and lots of kitties! And, yes, the blanket covers the entire front of our recliner!

Here's a closeup of this awesome fleece fabric. Some of the cats are vicious!

My teacher and I have discussed a plan for my upcoming lessons. I'm going to work on my sewing skills by making such items as place mats, lounge pants, and other "easy" projects. Hopefully, by the time summer rolls around, I'll have enough experience to tackle something like a "Lord of the Rings"-type costume (an Elven cloak and dress) for Gen Con Indy. My teacher makes capes, cloaks, and costumes and sells them on eBay, so with her help, I think I'll actually be able to do it!


Momma Bear said...

that's frickin awesome Amanda!! I've been wanting to take a sewing class b/c there's some things I don't understand or know and now you are super inspiring me. i need to jump on it!

love it!

Amanda C. said...

Thanks! I think the private lessons I'm taking are really helpful because the teacher can focus on what I'm doing, and she's so helpful, doing some of the more mundane things (like ironing, though she makes me do that, too!), so I can work on my sewing. Plus, she's a blast to chat with during my lessons! My MIL got her info for me through our local JoAnn's store, so you may be able to find a teacher/classes through your local store.

Aliceson said...

WhenI was a child, my mom made a quillow similar to yours. I could never figure out how to fold the darn thing up... Great job!