How many of you feel like this about sewing? It's okay to be honest.
I used to be just like you. But secretly, I wished that I felt like this.
I love the DIY world because it gives me the opportunity to attempt Pottery Barn or Pier One rip offs. But it's just that I have been seeing so many J Crew and Anthropologie rip offs, and my closet has started getting jealous of all of the attention that I am giving to my walls and my furniture.
When I made these Tie Appliques for my son a few months ago, I practiced with several different types of backing and fabrics to find the one that I liked the best. But I was left with several tie t-shirts with adhesive that wasn't going to last long, and I wanted those shirts. So the next time that I saw my mom, I took a bundle of shirts with me, sat down at the sewing machine, and had her show me what to do. I discovered something that I feel like the sewers have been keeping from us non-sewing DIYers.
A little something called...short term gratification.
I'm not kidding. Not only is sewing not difficult, sometimes it's kind of easy! No really, it is!!!
I wish I could go back in time, listen to all of the excuses about why I didn't want to sew, and tell myself, "Just quit your whining and try it already!!" So instead, I'm offering that to you, my dear non-sewing readers. We can do it!! It's not that bad! Just come with me and we'll do it together, okay? Okay.
Twice a month, I'm going to do a feature called Shut Up and Sew. (Perhaps a little aggressive, but gets the point across well enough, right?) I'll be following along with an online tutorial and giving you my step-by-step from a "learners perspective."
New Sewers: Please follow along and let's see what we can pull off together!! We can crack into the secret world of sewing and take it by storm!!
Seasoned Sewers: Help us newbies out and let us know what we're missing. Have a tip to add? Please let us know in the comments! Then we can all learn together.
There's also a GIVEAWAY! Read on for more details.
Today's Project is an easy and sweet set of burp cloths.
Before we get started, here are a few First Time Sewer Tips.
1. Thread the sewing machine so that the thread goes in the front of the needle and out the back. This matters.
2. Don't push or pull your fabric as you are sewing. You can lightly guide it so that it doesn't get crooked, but the machine will pull the fabric through itself.
3. When you reach a corner, leave the needle in the fabric, lift the presser foot, rotate your fabric, drop the presser foot and then continue your sewing. This will let you sew 1 continuous line down all 4 sides of the burp cloth.
Ready? We can do it!!
Materials needed: 3 cloth diapers, 3 coordinating fabrics, sewing machine, pins, scissors, iron. (Moda's Fat Quarters or JoAnn Fabric's fabric bundles are perfect for this.)
I used the burp cloth tutorial from the Moda Bake Shop here.
I started off by ironing the diaper and decorative fabric. I started with 6" by 22," but it was a bit crooked, and when I tried to correct it (a few times), I cut off a little too much fabric, so that it just barely fit. Oops.
I flipped the orange fabric over and ironed the raw edges down about 1/2 inch. I lined the fabric up over the center of the diaper and pinned it in place. I then got started on my stitching. I set my machine to a straight stitch, stitch length of 12, and tension of 5.
So far so good. But be aware of this happening.
See that? The presser foot slid right underneath the loosely woven threads of the diaper! If i had sewn much further it would have either pulled those threads out of the diaper, or messed up my stitching. I stopped, left my needle down in the thread to keep my place, lifted up the presser foot just slightly and got it disentangled from the threads. To correct this from now on, I adjusted my needle position (you can do left, center, or right) so that the decorative fabric was underneath the whole presser foot as opposed to just half of it as before, and it was smooth sailing.
I did have an "Aww, maaaan" moment with this burp rag though. Remember how I said I had cut the fabric length slightly too short? I didn't have enough material on the length to tuck the raw edge under and sew them down. So I improvised.
I sewed a straight stitch across to seal the opening, and ran a thin layer of fray check across the raw edge to keep the fraying in check.
This one went a lot better than the first. I sewed all the way around the whole diaper! My sewing was a little bit jagged on the long stretches, but overall I was feeling so proud of myself!
However, #2 was not perfect. Apparently I hadn't been smoothing out my fabric as I went because I ended up with a little pucker in the 4th and final corner, darn it! And it still was just a little bit short on the end. But overall, it was better. All 4 sides were more finished looking, and I didn't snag any of the diaper fabric as I was sewing.
My best burp cloth yet. My lines were straight and there was no puckering.
The ends of the burp cloth looked pretty good too. One was perfect (left), the other was not perfect, but it was pretty darn close.
Now here is the best part. I made all of these in an hour. ONE HOUR!! It turns out that ironing, measuring, cutting and machine sewing don't actually take that long. Coming from someone who is always waiting for stain to soak in, paint to dry, glue to dry, sealant to dry, etc, having project that went from start to finish in an hour was a joy!! If I did it, you can do it!!
And aren't they cute?! I have to be honest, when I walked out of my craft room holding these, part of me expected to see cheering crowds. Okay, not really. (But kind of.) It was like the first night that my son slept through the night when he was a newborn, part of me expected someone to make an announcement about it at church the next day or something. :)
Okay, let's review. These are adorable, fun, easily customizable for a new mom or mom to be, inexpensive to make, not time consuming, and if you make any little mistakes they actually add to the handmade charm!!
Would you like to win a fabric bundle like the one I used in this project? Leave a comment answering one of the questions below for a chance to win.
For the new sewers,what do you think, would you give this a try? What other types of tutorials would you like to see from a learner's perspective?
For the seasoned sewers among you, what did I leave out? What was your first sewing project and how did it go?
I'll be linking this to these parties. Have a great week!!