A first sewing project

On June 27th I got to open this beautiful gift from my loving husband.


My loving husband who has heard me whine and beg and plead for a sewing machine for months. And lucky me, he took all my subtle hints and got me one.


The only problem is sewing scares me to death. Well not really, but close to it. It’s an art I knew very very little about. I never had an interest in sewing growing up and no one around me sewed either. My grandmother told me the first time she used a sewing machine in an elementary school classroom, the needle went through her finger. That was the end of her sewing machine days. My mom can certainly sew a mean button and patch up a few holes in our clothes but she was never in to sewing machines either. In my family we crochet. My grandmother crocheted and she taught my mom how to crochet and my mom taught me how to crochet. But I can’t exactly crochet napkins or curtains or pillow covers (well kind of but it takes forever) so I realized I had to grow up and face my fear.

As much as I’ve been wanting to make napkins, table cloths, table runners, pillow covers and curtains, I’ve been so hesitant to actually pull the sewing machine out of its box. So last week I decided I would take a class at Joann’s.  I was excited. It was going to be a 3 hour class for beginners. I had a 50% off coupon so the cost would only be $17. The class was scheduled for Saturday August 17 and I waltz in the night before with a big smile on my face and say “I’d like to sign up for the beginning sewing class tomorrow!” only to hear “sorry it’s full”.  Oops.

Since I had that time set aside on Saturday I decided I was still going to use my machine. So I bought some necessities: fabric, thread, cutting board, rotary cutter, ruler and pin cushion.


I took my time reading through the manual learning how to set up my machine and becoming familiar with all the components.

IMG_0796 IMG_0795

I wound the bobbin, threaded the top thread, picked up the bobbin thread…I was on a roll. Fortunately for me my co-worker and good friend Jane had given me a mini lesson on her antique machine the week before just to show me the very basics (I didn’t even know what a bobbin was). She also explained to me how I would make a napkin. So I took that information and ran with it. After I got my machine set up, I got my iron out, made my creases, placed my pins and completed my first project.

first sewing project

napkin big

napkin in ring

I  may have written in the picture that it’s an “easy” first project but actually if you ask Dan it wasn’t so easy for me. There were several times where I wanted to take my machine and throw it across the room. The top thread kept breaking off and I could not figure out why. I was even determined that it was “the machine itself, I’m doing everything right!” Only to find out hours later after re reading the manual that there were several things I wasn’t doing right.

Ahhh the joys of learning something new. I did successfully complete 6 napkins. The first one may have taken me 2 hours but I’m glad I got through it and worked through my mistakes. It was definitely a humbling experience and that’s only the beginning. I am excited though to continue with sewing and learn new skills. Do you remember your first time using a sewing machine? Any advice?

13 thoughts on “A first sewing project

  1. Congratulations! I am so happy you have started sewing :). I have been sewing forever and love it! (althought I still only do simple things and fail quite a lot). I created a maxi dress tutorial a few months ago, maybe you would like to check it out: http://creativepinkbutterfly.com/2013/06/07/simple-red-maxi-dress-tutorial/

    My advice would be to just never give up, keep going because sewing is fun 🙂 Even if you fail a lot and things dont turn out the way you imagine. If all else fails you now know how to make napkins out of failed project fabrics 🙂

  2. You did a great job! The fabric is gorgeous, too! The Fashion Mate sewing machine by Singer is one of their best so I am sure you will be sewing up many projects with ease in no time.

    For sewing and crafts classes that will never be “full” visit Craftsy.com. Diana Rupp’s class on Basic Sewing will teach you skills to make anything you want and her companion book, Sew Everything Workshop, has many kinds of patterns. The book is one stop shopping in itself and available on Amazon.com.

    Best wishes to you in all that you do.

  3. That is awesome Elena, I love the color fabric that you chose for your napkins. I started sewing when my girlies were small, made them hats with matching dresses, I have to say my sister did a lot of sewing and that’s how I got started by watching her. trust me it wasn’t easy for me. But I’m sure your going to get great at it. Happy sewing Elena.

  4. I first took a home economics course in sewing, I did sew a top and a skirt the top was ok but the skirt, the waist band was twisted so my grade was a C. But I loved the fabric I chose so I wore the skirt to my high school graduation. Sewing just wasn’t for me. I did sewing by hand and I loved embroidery. Hang in there Elena you will make your own skirt then there will be no stopping you!

  5. Congrats and happy sewing. It can be so frustrating, exactly like when you want to throw the machine out onto the driveway, but then you just take the stitching apart, find out what went wrong, and voila–you’ve made something useful and pretty. Don’t be dissuaded, the more you try, the better you get. Buy a skirt or dress pattern (prob Simplicity—not Vogue! ) and give it a whirl!!

  6. Pingback: Wrapped up in sewing projects | The Silberez Life

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