The Little Red Owl

DIY ideas for home, health, & life

I have started sewing-well TRYING to sew. 

I got a clearance Singer sewing machine at Target a few years back. It is nicer than I need but it was such a fabulous price I could not resist. (Similar one here)

Mostly what I have made using my sewing machine is: napkins, dish towels, curtains, shower curtain-so simply stuff. And, of course hemming and mending clothing items.

While I do believe even these small projects are better executed with my sewing machine, I also know I am not using my sewing machine to the fullest.

I have plans for bigger projects but always seem to end up making excuses not to do them-need more bobbins, need thread, not enough material, don’t have the time-the usual.  I need some motivation!

So…Here are a few projects I have found online that I want to try:

I also found these great basic instructional tutorials online-check ‘em out:

Make it & Love it for shirring/smocking with elastic thread

MADE for gathering fabric

Sew4Home for how to sew a mitered (corner) hem

Sew4Home for a whole mess of tutorials at summer school

Shrimp Salad Circus for getting to know the basics of your machine


What’s your favorite sewing tip or trick? Know any shortcuts?


3 thoughts on “novice sewing

  1. Grandma says:

    You might have a foot that helps with hemming, that is really quicker than by hand. Also a button hole maker, I even have a foot that holds a button in place while you sew it on your machine, very quick. Something I remember sewing a lot of was kitchen curtains. And I have four windows. Even though it is just straight seam it does take time.

    1. Amy says:

      thanks for the tips, i cannot believe you taught yourself to sew-that is truly an inspiration!

  2. Grandma says:

    Hi Amy, I had children to sew for so that was my motivation. As they grew, I sewed play clothes and school clothes. The pattern was my guide, I didn’t have tutorials to follow. I was on my own. I laid the pattern out according to directions and learned how to pin them onto the fabric. I bought the amount of fabric that I read on the back of the envelope. Bought the notions and zippers or whatever. It was so simple. I learned everything through doing. And there were things to see at the fabric that gave ideas too. And little leaflets that showed a dress made with eye catching fabric that I wouldn’t have seen any place else, like Debra’s piano key fabric dress. If there is a need then you get motivated. Debra did make the t-shirt dress that turned out cute and low priced. Always the economical way which is not as easy now as it was when I was sewing. I remember when I first started sewing play clothes, I didnt want to make button holes and buttons so I found a pattern that went over the head, and that was quicker.But the more you sew the easier it gets. If there was a little fabric left over, I would find a pattern maybe for a short top even though it had a collar and buttoned, but it was sleeveless. I have a picture of Jenny in that and she was about three or four.

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