Several years ago, when we only had two children, Dustin bought me a sewing machine for my birthday. I really wanted to learn to sew and I had all these visions and dreams of me sewing all of our clothes and cute crafts. Well I made one pillowcase and two Easter dresses and that was it. I putting everything away and haven’t used it since.
My youngest daughters 3rd birthday was a few weeks ago and she loves taking care of her baby dolls and using her play kitchen, so, I decided as part of her present I would make her an apron.
It sounded simple enough. I know I had seen lots of “how to” posts about projects like this, but I went to the store to pick out my fabric and a pattern. I felt lost at the store and even more lost when I got home.
I spend an entire afternoon and evening finishing the apron and I am pleased with how it turned out and I learned a lot in the process. Here are recommendation that I have from my limited experience sewing:
- Know how to work your machine and what all the parts are called. As I said before I had only used my sewing machine a few times and it was several years ago. I could have used a Threading the Needle for Dummies manual, it took forever!! I spent at least 30 minutes just getting to the part where I could start looking at the pattern and fabric. I do want to continue sewing so I am planning on spending some time soon looking everything over (I’m pretty sure my machine came with an instructional dvd).
- The details are important. I almost messed up the whole project by not putting the templates on the fold correctly. You really need to pay attention to what you are doing (at least when you are a beginner like me). Each step is important.
- Know the terminology. Basting? Was I cooking a turkey? What in the world were the instructions telling me to do. How was a piece of fabric that could easily wrap around my waste going to turn into something that would nicely fit just around my 3 year-old’s waist? Just when I was going to start manually scrunching material together and sewing it that way the idea struck me to go online. Thank you Google, I was able to find a video of this process. But there were quite a few other terms that made me think I was reading a foreign language.
- Sometimes you have to ignore the direction. This might seem contrary to #2 in some ways, but give me a chance to explain. As a beginner I was reading the directions and looking at the pictures like crazy, but there came a point where my understanding of what I was supposed to do only went so far. I reached a point where I could either get frustrated and put everything away and call it quits or I could venture out on my own from the directions. Sometimes it’s important to stop and think through how the material needs to be put together to function correctly and then sew it that way, even the directions say something different or something you don’t understand.
- It’s important to try new things. This can apply to more than just sewing. At the end of the project I was happy with it. Is the apron perfect? No. Are the Mickey Mouse circles perfect circles? No. Are some of you crafters out there probably noticing a million little things wrong with the apron? Probably. Do I care? No, because of this….
My sweet little girl was happy and she had an apron she knew was Mickey Mouse and she can put it on and take it off by herself.
Trying new things, whether it is a craft, recipe, vacation or hobby is important in life. It helps you learn new skills and helps you be able to connect with others. It helps keep life fresh and exciting in a healthy way. Will you always like the new thing you try? No, but sometimes you will and the only way to find out is by trying.
I really enjoyed sewing. It was fun to see something come together out of a piece of material and thread. I will keep trying and learning and get better as I go.
I know that many of you out there are amazingly crafty people. I would really appreciate any tips or recommendations that you have. Please leave a comment with your favorite tip or what helped you when you were starting out? If you have a blog post that you wrote on a topic like this feel free to include it.