Simply Sewing

Well I mentioned that I am taking a sewing class this semester at Co-Op. One of the moms was kind
enough to volunteer her talents to us and teach a basic sewing class. So, I needed to find a sewing machine.
So I looked and googled and looked, but couldn't make up my mind. I saw the Singer Pixie which looked great on HSN. But of course I am one of those people that reads reviews and keeps searching for more reviews etc. What changed my mind...Well way more bad reviews than good ones.
Then I saw the Janome Sew Mini. (Only 6 pounds.) Top loading bobbin. Can be used for quilting.
OK so I read reviews and saw some youtube tutorials on it. The only drawback was that I could not get
it locally. (Ugh.) I just hate having to buy online, if there is a problem, then I am dealing with a company far away etc. I found the machine for sale at I asked around to my buddies that have purchased from Overstock and most had a positive experience. So I decided to give them a try.

I was able to get a refurbished machine, pay $6.99 extra for a 2 year replacement warranty.
So the whole thing shipped to my door was $43.99. Which I think was a good price. The only problem I have had so far is that the needle keeps coming un-threaded. My instructor mentioned to check the tension, so I am really hoping that will fix the issue.Other than that is sews really well, and will be all I need for my purposes which will be mending, light sewing, some quilting, and mostly paper crafting items like cards and scrapbooking.

This semester at our Homeschool Co-Op, one of the moms volunteered her
time to teach a basic sewing class. This purse was my first project. It is quilted squares.
I used the Mary Englebright material with a red star pattern to compliment the red colors.

You cut out the material in 5 inch squares and put a 4" square of batting in between.
Then you sew a criss cross. The purse is also reversible. This is the smooth side of the purse.

Another closer view of the smooth side.

This is the frayed side look. You clip the edges of each square to give a rag quilt look.
I haven't decided how I am going to close it yet. I may put in a snap or
just leave it open. It does not have pockets, so I have to have smaller zipper
type bags inside to store personal items like chapstick, gum etc.

Another view of the frayed edge side.

All in all I am very happy with my first sewing project. It actually took about 8 hours
from start to finish. Cutting the material took a couple hours.
Then pinning and sewing each square. Then you sew the squares together and then
make the straps.If I had to do it again, I would use a little thicker batting because it really does not
look as quilted as I would like for it to look.But I think that I will be inspired to make a small quilt someday.
And maybe some more purses for gifts in the future.

An Apron I made
Another Vintage (Elvis) Apron I made.

I found this beautiful Elvis material the other day! And I just had to get it. My MIL is crazy about Elvis.
So I thought she might like a purse or apron made out of it. (I must admit apron's are much faster to make.)
If you forget the ruffle that is. The last ruffle, well let's just say it is fine for something to wear around the house, but not to give as a gift, at least not until I get much better at my sewing. I just used the shape from the last apron and cut around it with pinking shears. I like the ties longer so you can tie in the front or on the side, I think it looks cuter that way. I also added the pockets. (I liked the polka dots, and they seemed to fit in with the material. ) Anyway I think she will like it. I plan to send it to her for Mother's Day.

Texas Tie Purse

I made this purse the other day at our Hobby Hall craft time.
Here is the link to the purse and pattern.
I think it is really cute, I just wish I had made it about 3 x that size.


I made this stuffed bear a couple weeks ago. It was a gift for my stepdaughter, Jessica, she is due in late January. It was my first attempt at a stuffed animal. We named him Bearvo. (After the mascot-Beevo.) LOL I also put a rattle in it. So it rattles when you shake it. (November 2011)

Here she is at the shower receiving it.


Spring Dress and Bandana

I made a dress, a bandanna and and two matching purses for Lexi this was from a pattern. I only used a pattern one other time in my life and that was in Home Economics in HS. There was an adorable ruffle at the bottom of the dress that is no longer there after the first washing. It is called flounce. It just raveled and came apart. Next time I will think about finding clearance material.

Elvis Lives Again
Well I had scrap material left over from the Elvis apron. I only purchased 1 yard of the Elvis fabric, and 1/2 yard of the polka dot fabric. (They were on sale, so I only paid $6.00 for the material. )
So now 2 aprons have only cost me $3.00 each.
I gotta shop for some pretty sale fabrics and keep them on hand for projects like these.
Anyway here is dd's apron. (Now I wish I had enough material to make me an Elvis one too.)
She's not a fan. When I showed it to her she said "Mom, Is Michael Jackson even alive?"
I had to explain that this was Elvis, Not Michael Jackson, and no both are now gone.

I went ahead and added a small ruffle to the bottom.
But I really need to learn how to do them better. I'll keep practicing.
So this makes Sewing project #4.

A Pillow

I saw this tutorial a while back. (She has other tutorial videos and if you are learning to sew this is a great place to watch and learn. I literally had my computer beside in my craft room and paused the video as I worked step by step with it. So anyway I decided I should try to make Lexi a pillowcase cover for her bench seat in her room.

After Lexi talked me into this velour type stretchy fabric, I emailed Vanessa (the girl that made the video) for some advice. I just have a little Janome Sew Mini so I was concerned if my machine could handle such a stretchy fabric.

She advised me to get a needle made for that type of fabric and test it on a scrap piece. Long story short. It did work. (However I doubt I would ever attempt to sew on that type of material again. (I think the biggest problem was the material itself moved alot under the foot and did not line up. ) Anyhow the cover is a little lose. (I left more seam allowance than I should of because I was afraid I might need more. But I am pleased with how it turned out. (Much better than the old blanket we just had draped over it.) Someday I am going to paint that bench. It has been on my list for the last 3 summers. (Maybe next summer!)

I made these matching aprons for Lexi and her doll. It actually came in a kit. All I had to do was cut out the pieces and sew. Pretty neat.

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