Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Four Super Simple Sewing Projects

I know I used to talk about sewing a lot on my blog, but it has been so long most of you probably do not remember. My sewing machine broke, and I had to save for a little while to replace it. I am happy to report that it was my goal by September to be back in business with my sewing machine.
remember this one? 

I have a small but reliable repertoire for sewing, and another goal besides #actuallysewing was to improve my small and limited, but definitely reliable, abilities when it comes to sewing.
another old couple of projects- pillow cover, drawstring bag, and burp cloth
you can see the sewing I did for our boy nursery here... I made the quilt, the baby blanket, and the pillow covers shown in the pictures

I think I always thought I would sew curtains or a huge, professional quilt in order to truly call myself a seamstress. But you know what? You don't have to mend clothes, hem skirts, or sew huge blankets in order to be a real seamstress. All you need are a few simple skills, and then you just repeat those skills over and over again, and improve the same projects as you do!

That's what it has taken me thirty-three years to learn. ;)

So today, I bring you four super simple sewing tutorials. This is mainly to release some of my brain space (to make room for more entry points, of course!), but if it helps or inspires you in the sewing department, well, then great!! I hope I can continue these four simple projects through the years in order to bless other people with gifts! ;) Sewing is versatile and helpful- and believe me, it can be simple and pure fun. It doesn't have to be that frustrating sister-in-law in your life.

Leeeeeeeeet's Sew!!!!! :-O

One note before we begin: always pre-wash, dry, and iron your fabric; then you can snip the strings on your raw sides. This prevents shrinkage in future washings of your projects- very important.

(1) Minky Baby Blanket

I must just say this is just about my favorite sewing project to make. You can make it in one day. I looked at the one I made for Anders, and that was about all the reminding I needed to remember how to make this.
Simple directions:
dimensions... sigh... so good at math 
--thats Width by (then) Length--

1. For the front (pictured), cut out 3 rectangles: 31x7, 31x16, and 5x23 - all out of differing (bows, polka-dot, and floral, in my case), but cute patterns.
2. For the back, cut out 1 rectangle (minky pink fabric) total is 1 yd (36in) x23in. (The picture says 38, but just ignore that.... although some extra give can't hurt... you can always trim later).
in process

3. Assemble front pieces (right sides together) and sew together as shown, then iron.
4. For the front piece and back piece, put right sides together-pin-  and sew.
5. Turn right side out, leaving a small space to push out your corners.
6. Topstitch remaining hole, and you are done.
The bonus for a little baby lovie like this is that you do not have to worry about binding. It saves so much time, and it would be a perfect project for a beginner, for this reason.

Lavender  Sachet
Mint + Tea Tree/Eucalyptus Sachet

(2) Lavender, or Mint + Tea Tree/Eucalyptus Essential Oils Sachet^

The last time I made these, I used a blue minky fabric leftover from a baby blanket I made for Anders.  I made a square bag (5x5), and filled it with scraps of fabric and cotton balls doused with  peppermint essential oils. It smelled so good! I suppose you could also fill these bags with rice and heat them for aches and pains! The leftover ballet fabric made a cute door-hanging sachet for the girls' room! And-mmm!! This says, oh so subtly: "Don't forget ballet today! And smell me - I smell like lavender."

I uploaded a video on Youtube just so that you can see that this is a project you can whip up in minutes. Perfect for beginners, too! Which I am, sort of, basically!

1. Cut 2 pieces of 5x5 in. fabric squares
2. Put right sides together
3. Sew all the way around all 4 sides, leaving an inch-wide space
4. Turn right side out, stuff, poking out corners (can use a chopstick for this)
5. Tuck ribbon in space, top stitch it into place



(3) Pillow cover^
So as you can see above, I needed to "girl-ize" the nursery a bit. First thing, sewing a cover for this pretty blue pillow which resides in that room.
Tutorial* (see below)

(4) Tote bag/Ballet bag^~ I told you these would be super simple, and this one definitely is!

1. Fabric 18 1/2 x 13 1/2 (folded on the bottom, total length is 37 in.)
2. Hem the top pieces of your bag 3/4 of an inch (iron down first)
3. Pin and sew the ribbon on, as shown, inside the bag on each side- about 2 inches down, inside
4. Put right sides together and sew the sides
5. You will not have to sew the bottom, because you are using a folded piece of fabric
6. Turn right side out and you are done!

I've loved making drawstring bags for loose socks and traveling miscellany, but I think tote bags are so cute, and wanted to learn how to make them. I found a couple of tutorials online, and I'm so glad I tried my hand at this, because this is definitely a project that is cute + easy.
Just a quick note on this: I  followed a sewing tutorial that I found online for a bag sort of a lot like this one.  I shortened the straps for my version, and obviously made it a little smaller. <3

See? I told you these would be super simple. Next stop: Annabel's baby quilt and a baby book for her! (Will probably be just pictures... we shall see what memories I can conjur!;)

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Also, P.S.

My favorite sewing blogs:

Flossie Teacakes

Anna Maria Horner

Cluck Cluck Sew

My favorite sewing Youtube channels: (I feel like Youtube is a rabbit hole with *so many* poorly done channels! When it comes to sewing?) I keep looking for someone who makes simple, clear tutorials with good directions and so far I only have one~ fortunately she is good- I love her!;).

---->Melanie Ham~ I heart stitching
*She has an excellent tutorial for a pillow cover that I won't try to reproduce here! ;)

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