Crafting · New Hobbies

Sewing For Newbies (Or Why You Should Just Suck It Up And Take A Class)

So you guys. The reason why I have yet again broken my “post once per week” rule (can it really be a rule if you’ve never once followed it?), is because I wanted to wait and tell you about a new adventure after I’m starting. I’m taking a sewing class!

In the past, I have typically shied away from taking formal classes for new hobbies. For one thing they cost money, which could be better served buy pretty yarns and fabrics I don’t need for projects I won’t finish. For another, there’s a certain amount of anxiety that comes with signing up for an adult learning class all by yourself, especially for those of us with social anxiety. (I also really don’t like not knowing things because I’m competitive. I’d much rather sign up for a beginner class once I already know everything and then I can show all those little old ladies that I am the best!) Also, since my previous job required so much travel, signing up for a class simply wasn’t possible for logistical purposes. Just didn’t seem worth it to pay $80 for a 4 week class just to miss 2 of the weeks. So when I saw this School of Sewing class was being offered at my favorite local fabric shop, I signed up immediately. (No really. I signed up for this class 3 months ago.)

In case you’re wondering, Iowa City has the best local sewing/knitting shop in the world. Home Ec Workshop for the win.

Sewing (and by proxy, quilting) has always intrigued me. I’d love to be able to hem pants and fix broken zippers and make things for the sake of making things. (It also gives you the opportunity to buy tons of kickass fabrics. Whoever came up with the idea of making teacup prints deserves a medal. They’re so cute!) Anywho, I had a teeny tiny smidgen of experience using my mothers sewing machine when I was a kid (and by that I mean I probably used it 3 times over the course of 18 years) but it was always with parental supervision and I had copious amounts of help threading the machine and winding the bobbin and all those intimidating aspects of using such a terrifying-looking machine.

Seriously though, have you guys seen the inside of a sewing machine? The hell is all this?

For the last few years I’ve had every intention of teaching myself to sew. So much so that when a friend decided to upgrade her sewing machine last summer, I jumped at the chance to purchase her old one. If you’re paying attention, yes – this means I’ve had a sewing machine for almost a year and literally haven’t touched it once. I’ve thought about teaching myself multiple times! After all, I’m a self-taught knitter and crocheter and I (kind of) manage with that just fine.

The thing is, I probably could’ve spared myself years of frustration and unanswered questions if I had just taken even one class on knitting. And the same goes for the flute and photography and pretty much any other hobby I’ve ever tried. (Ok so technically I’ve taken classes in both those areas but they didn’t really stick all that well, so whatever. Get out of here with all your technicalities.) Ultimately I decided that a 4 week class teaching the basics of not only how to use your sewing machine, but also what kind of fabric to choose and other little tips and tricks would save me several more years of frustration. Because, let’s face it, for someone who has trouble sustaining hobbies, I’m much more likely to keep at it if I’m not constantly struggling with basic skill and mistakes I don’t know how to fix.

Plus look at all the pretty colorful things you can buy!

Which brings us to:

My First Finished Sewing Project

I made a thing! So we had to buy this fabulous book for class that contains a ton of really simple information for the beginning seamstress, as well as several easy-to-follow projects. For our first project, we made a pillowcase.

Step 1: Pick out your fabrics. If you’re like me, this could easily take hours.

Step 1b: Assemble other necessary supplies. (Adorable fox-shaped sewing kit not mandatory, but extremely encouraged.)

Step 2: Convince the girl at the store to not only help you with your purchase but to also supervise you as you cut it down to the right size because cutting fabric is intimidating. (Who knew all those years of elementary school math were actually supposed to teach you something? Stupid division.)

Step 3: Go to class. Be awesome… Do I really need to go into detail on this? I mean, we made a pillowcase. It’s literally a square of fabric (that somehow took 2 hours to make) so I’ll leave the details of this saga to your imagination.

I love this photo. It makes it look like I actually know what I’m doing.

Step 4: Show off your pillowcase to everyone when you get home! So basically, my cats. They were unimpressed.

The best thing to come from this project is that is forced me to actually make the bed in order to get this photo.

17 thoughts on “Sewing For Newbies (Or Why You Should Just Suck It Up And Take A Class)

  1. LOL My grandmother was an excellent seamstress and she had high expectations. I got a sewing machine when I was 2 months old! Really. Who does that? But being a people pleaser, I was using it to make doll dresses by the age of 5 (years not months). I love your pillow case. Sewing is a lot of fun. Can’t wait to see your next completed project.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I laughed so hard at this “I’d much rather sign up for a beginner class once I already know everything and then I can show all those little old ladies that I am the best!” Yeah ummmm I would NEVER do anything like that!!! LOLOL Too funny – glad I’m not the only one like that!! 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Your pillowcase came out really nice! I want to learn how to sew very soon! It’s a lot cheaper to make your own clothes, pillowcases, blankets, etc than buying them! =)

    Keep up the good work! I look forward to seeing more of your creations!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. First of all, I feel like we would be great craft class buddies. Second of all, sewing machines are my nemesis, so well done on making that badass pillow case that I at first thought was covered in bananas but now realise has little birds! Third of all, I loved this post so thanks for a laugh!

    Liked by 1 person

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