I couldn’t wait until my birthday to open up the sewing machine and get starting trying to make stuff. I had visions in my head (and pinterest!) of all the wonderful projects I would now be able to complete with ease because I owned a sewing machine.
I’ll admit it was a steeper learning curve than I expected. The machine came with an instruction video for threading the bobbin and the machine and I had to stop and start the video at least 10 times and still the first 3 attempts looked terrible. Using some scrap fabric I attempted my first few lines of stitching and made so many mistakes; knotted piles of thread because I kept forgetting to put the foot down, a line of stitches fell out because the bobbin emptied and I didn’t realise, curvy lines because straight lines are really hard to do! I also can’t cut fabric straight either…..
But rather than obsess over making things perfect I figured that the best thing to do was to just make something, anything at all but to just start. So I bought some fabric quarters and decided to make napkins. I couldn’t really find a tutorial online for how to make the ones I had in my head (even pinterest let me down) so I decided to just wing it since the whole idea was just to get practice in.
So what I was trying to make were a set of double-sided 12x12 inch napkins. I cut 2 different pieces of fabric as roughly 13x13 (roughly because I’m not very good at cutting), and then placed them together with the wrong side of the fabric facing outwards and sewed them all around leaving a 2 inch gap at one corner.
[In the later napkins I realised that it’s better to cut the 2 pieces of fabric together so the edges match up better and also to leave the gap in the middle of the edge rather than at the corner as it makes the corner smoother]
I ironed the seams back so that when I turned the fabric around the seams would lie flat and then I pulled the fabric through the hole, poked out the corners and ironed it flat again. Then the tricky part – I ran 2 lines of almost straight stiches along the outside of the napkin, one close to the edge which sealed up the gap and the other about a half inch inside of that.
Voila my first ever sewing project completed!
I was so excited at how the first one turned out that I ploughed on and made a second and a third. When I went to make a fourth I realised that my fabric wouldn’t stretch that far……so I decided to really challenge myself and I sew a little patchwork napkin – I cut squares and sewed them together and then low and behold the squares were too small, so I sewed on strips of fabric along each length and then stared at it for about 15 mins trying to figure out how to do a diagonal join at the corners. I managed it by folding the fabric diagonally – which seems so obvious now of course.
I love them, especially the slightly imperfect patchwork one because it showed me that all I need is practice, lots of it, but it’s made me hopeful that I’ll soon be able to make a patchwork quilt…..except for now I’m out of fabric until next payday!
Check out my second sewing project handmade pillowcases