Sunday, October 4, 2009

sewdown at the ol' cottage



That's right sewing machine. It's you and me.

Gulp.

Almost two years ago, my sweet husband (who also made this showdown image possible) surprised me with this Janome sewing machine:



I was thrilled! After all, I love fabric and had been making things with fusible tape (aka Stitch Witchery) for years. But after looking at patterns, I FROZE. Past fears of math and seemingly complicated instructions clouded my vision and have deterred me from making anything. My only attempt resulted in a row of holes.

I signed up for Natasha's It's All About Me blog party. I like that it provided me with a deadline: October 22. There were many things I thought about making and then thought: I will sew something!



I have some pretty fabric {goodies below from the talented and adorable Lizzie} . . .



And I just bought this little kit . . .


Now all I need is a simple project and some confidence. I think I might need a pep talk. Any advice?

xo

61 comments:

Sandy Shirley said...

Absolutely! I think starting with a basic pillow is a good idea. That's how I taught my daughter and daughter-in-law to sew. Nothing fancy the first time. Just a large square. When you see how cute that is, next time you can add a ruffle or make it a different shape. Good luck and if you need any help - just ask!

Karen said...

You and me both Girl! Oh my!
PILLOWS! With no fancy stuff, like cording, around the edges because I just learned that is the hard part of making pillows!
I bought myself a new sewing machine last Nov and I've made approximately . . . 6 things. Ugh. I keep trying to do things that are out of my league.
HANG IN THERE GIRL! You can do it and we are all cheering you on! :)

Bunny Rose Cottage said...

This is just the cutest post!!! I cannot wait to see what you make Elyse! Natasha's party is the perfect time to do this! I know exactly how you feel!! Three years or so ago, I got a sewing machine, it has been out of the box ONCE! I am terrified of the darn thing, lol! I dont know why but I am. I know whatever you do, it will be perfect!
Love and hugs,
Amy

Pansy Cottage Girl said...

SWOOON!! That fabric is to die for! Oh, now dont worry Tinker its not as complicated as it looks. If you get in a pinch call me and I'll walk you through it. I cant wait to see what you make.

Vintage Lizzie said...

WAHOO!!!...YOU CAN DO IT!!!...I'm right here if you need to phone a friend!...HA!!...Elyse!...It's not like defusing a bomb...or...donating a kidney or anything...OR being a MOM!!!!...Just STOP...I repeat...STOP!!!....staring at that fabric...and dive in!!!...HAVE FUN!!...That's what it's all about...Contrary to popular belief...there are NO Sewing Police to come and get you..if you make a mistake..(and actually there are NO mistakes)...you just calmly tell yourself..I MEANT to do that!!!....Have fun, Sweetie!...There's plenty more fabric where that came from!!!...Hugs!...Lizzie

LiLi M. said...

I would say a pillow too or a large bag for groceries, no fancy model. Don't you have a friend living nearby who loves to teach you, you will have fun the both of you! A bunting is great for starters too! The fabric (which is gorgeous) does the trick actually! You go girl!

Julie Harward said...

You sound like me last Christmas when my daughters gave me a digital camera...I opened it and thought..I have to learn this?! Then they said, "Mom, it's time for you to learn the computer and how to blog, you're missing out on too much of our lives!" I didn't think I could do it...but I am, and I'm loving it all. YOU CAN DO IT, I KNOW YOU CAN! (What a sweet husband too ) Come say hi :D

Lori said...

hee hee:) love the tinkered movie poster...you are too cute...i think a pillow or two would be cute...or maybe a pretty stocking, christmas is right around the corner after all...i have made a few [years ago], and they are easy...

Anonymous said...

As a teacher who sponsors the sewing club at school and has been teaching young students (boys and girls!) how to sew, I am telling you, "YOU CAN DO IT!". Looking at all of the crafty things you make, I can tell you have figured out how to make things fit, and sewing is the same. DON'T try a pattern first, they are confusing. Do what others suggest, make a pillow or a simple tote. Just take one you already have at home and copy it by measuring and looking how it's put together. Also you may want to consider taking a short lesson on basics. They should be offered where your husband bought the machine or are offered at all JoAnn's. Threading properly and getting the bobbin in right are where most people have difficulty, so if you have that down you have won most of the battle!
Good luck!---you CAN do it!
Laurel

Elyse said...

dear laurel,

thank you so much for your comment. as soon as i read "DON'T try a pattern first" i felt a sigh of relief.

thank you for taking the time!!! i am inspired!

xo

Ursula said...

It's about time!1 I can find lots of projects for you!!

cari said...

I too am quite intimidated by my sewing maching. But, the one of two times I wrangled that sucker I made something simple like a tote.
Just three straigt lines, and then embellish like crazy.
Good Luck, show us what you come up with please!!
Cari B

Country Dreaming said...

I agree with everyone--a pillow would be your best bet. Simple straight lines to begin with.
You can do it! We know you can.
Let us see what you end up making.
Oh, you could also mke a 6x6 quilt
block with two different prints.
Rectangles would be easy to sew too.
Good Luck!

Melinda

Theresa said...

Sounds like a pillow is a good idea:) I bought a throw from Lizzie in the same pattern as your fabric:) I also recently bought an embroidery machine that I have yet to even plug in. Perhaps I need a deadline too! Have a blessed day and I can't wait to see what my pillow looks like... uhh I mean your pillow!

Mary Ellen (megardengal) said...

Aprons were the very first thing I learned to sew when I was in 7th grade! and they are so in fashion now!!

My advice is - HAVE FUN! There is something about sewing that is so very satisfying. If you mess up- no big deal- use the fabric for something else that is a smaller project- use another coordinating piece to fix the oops- many times that's the way new techniques and looks that you end up loving are made!

Also- a very good pair of scissors is in order- nothing worse then chewing your material to bits with yucky dull scissors!

can't wait to see your sewing treasures- I know you are going to just love sewing and will kick yourself for not starting sooner with that fabulous machine of yours!

blessings
mary

Mary Ellen (megardengal) said...

Oops forgot to tell you that I would love to help if you need questions answered or get in a twit with a project though I bet you have tons of friends right there too who will help.

Rose Brier Studio said...

You can do it!
Pillows are great. You sew straight seams, you don't have to put in a zipper or button holes (velcro is magic)and you can embellish to your heart's content!

The best thing about sewing cotton (I have some of Lizzie's fabric too), is how forgiving it is. If you make a mistake, you can always take it out (save velvet for later!). Ask if you need any help. I've been sewing a long time.
~Marilee

stefanie said...

ooooo, let the fun begin, i would go smaller than a pillow...sachets, still square, but little,,, good luck , can't wait to see what you make

❦TattingChic said...

Very cute! A "Sewdown"! Love it! ☺ Can't wait to see what you come up with!

Claudia said...

Just go for it! I agree with all the pillow suggestions - easy, especially if you don't do piping. Or you could sew a tote bag...if you're really hesitant, get an easy to follow pattern with lots of photos and try - you'll learn as you go.

Can't wait to see how it goes!

xo
Claudia

debi said...

You GO girl!! You can do it...I know you can!
You've got everything you need, a beautiful sewing machine, your nifty sewing kit, and that amazingly gorgeous Vintage Lizzie fabric. How could you go wrong?
Start with something easy like a pillow or a simple tote/book bag.
I can't wait to see what you make!
Hugs, Debi

p.s. it's almost here! tehehe!

aimee said...

whatever you make go in with confidence. own the sewing machine. don't let it own you and you are sure to win the sewdown! go in with needles blazing! grrrr. can't wait to see what you make :)
blessings,
aimee

Jill said...

A pillow is a great project to learn on-- just go for it! What's the worst that can happen? :) I love the fabric. Have fun!
Hugs,
Jill

Beach Vintage said...

Well, I am about to receive a Janome for my birthday next week and I am scared too. Maybe start with a very basic project? Let us know how you go...

fairiemoon said...

My advice...Pick an easy pattern and just take it one step at a time! I took a sewing class in 8th grade, but when I was newly married, I taught myself to sew and it was the best thing for me and my patience. I am not a direction reader, but I learned to follow a pattern and my best advice is...read all of the directions ahead of time, but just complete one task at a time and put your focus in to that one step of the directions.

Erin :)

Char5 said...

I just subscribed to follow your blog. I found you at Cottage Cozy's blog. I have a machine that my hubby bought me 5 (yes 5) years ago that is still in the box-- :-{
I was so used to my old 1973 Singer Jeanie that I just can't bring myself to learn how to use the new one. The Jeanie is kaput-tension is way off among other age related problems. We live next door to a business called Mr. Sewing Machine and they have tried to fix it, but it just won't stay fixed-(sigh). Anyway, that is where he bought my new machine, too. Well, enough about me, hope that you create many beautiful projects in the future with your new machine. Stop by and visit me at my blog sometime.

Hugs from WV,
Charlotte

Sandi said...

Hi Elyse,
You will have so much fun sewing that you won't want to stop! lol It really is fun and rewarding. Love that fabric!!
Blessings~

KarenHarveyCox said...

Such a cute post. Advice, me? I failed bobbins, and I have a nice sewing machine that has never been used. Silly really, I adore fabric. I will go into fabric shops and go down each aisle and be in fabric heaven, yet I have no confidence about sewing. So, I did the next best thing, I am designing fabrics for other people to use to create my dream. I know that you will have success in whatever you decide to sew.

Happy creating, I joined Natasha's party too.

Karen

Annie@A View On Design said...

your work is just divine, as for me and the sewing machine,,, not for a few years I'm afraid.. but I'm happy to watch you and your followers go for it!

Stephenie said...

Listen girlfriend, if i can bust out a sewing machine and whip up an apron for a swap, You surely can(hehe).. I think a pillow would be really easy, unlike an apron.. Can't wait to see what you whip up.. By the way, I love your sewing machine.. How sweet of you hubby..
STephenie

Michele-thisgoodday said...

Hi Elyse...happy to meet you! Good luck on your sewing project! Sewing is a blast when the machine works and everything comes together.

Just popped by - am inspired by your blog, by the way - to say congrats! You've won my giveaway for the Lollishops Design Team giveaway. Thanks so much for the kind comments. I'll be back to read more about your sewing escapades!

kind regards,
michele :)

Torie Jayne said...

Great post! Can't wait to see what you make, Have a sweet day! x

tales from an oc cottage said...

Just be calm...don't let it sense your fear...don't do anything to set HAL off... ;}

m ^..^

(I can't sew to save my life! Even if the machine could do it all for me...I'd still mess it up!)

aleisethefunny said...

Lol! I feel the same way about patterns, and my sewing machine! Pillow cases are easy to start with.

The imPerfect Housewife said...

I think you can...I think you can... I clicked Lizzie's blog - you two are kindred spirits aren't you?? How adorable! You could start with a little pillow and make them into little sachets or something. I don't know how much fabric you have, but a valance is really easy to make - you just need to sew a straight line. How about a chair cushion? Wait - how about a couple easy placemats!!?? Or something along those lines. Can't wait to see the finished project!! You go girl!

Cindy@Cutepinkstuff said...

Pretty rose fabric! Looking forward to my tinkered soup can and goodies! No hurry, I know you're busy. Hope the mouse pad is perfect for your needs, Elyse!

The imPerfect Housewife said...

Elyse - Have you ever seen the website: http://www.pinkbuttercreme.com I saw it for the first time today and thought of you. Have fun ~

Amy C said...

oh how totally fun, I can't wait to see what your creative genius comes up with.
How about a tote or a cushion.

Fete et Fleur said...

Go for it! You can do it, and I know you will create something beautiful.

Nancy

Twyla and Lindsey said...

Elyse, I have a fancy sewing machine and stacks of pretty fabric. I have a mental block about actually sewing though! We need to give each other a pep talk. Loved the 'sew down', he he. Hope you are enjoying your day! Twyla

LaurieStar said...

Hi Elyse! Thank you for stopping by and helping me out of my funk. I see we were both winners this week too! That's good news! I appreciate all your kind words you always give - thanks. :)

Maryjane - The Beehive Cottage said...

I know you can do it sweet Elyse! You have so many hidden talents in you just ready to pop out! After you make a couple things, you will be hooked! I sew very simple things like pillowcases, ummm, pillowcases, ummmm, think that's it! LOL! Each of my Grandchildren get a new pillowcase each Christmas! It's so fun! Your fairyblogmother has faith in you sweetie!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY this month Elyse! And many more!

Love,
Maryjane
xox

Natasha Burns said...

Elyse, you CAN do it! Patterns suck big time. This might make you feel better - I have a degree in fashion design & merchandising, and I hated pattern design class, it was awful. I nearly failed it in first year, hahaha! I NEVER follow clothing patterns and I always found them totally confusing and I have a degree in something very related to it, so please don't despair! You could even make yourself a little rectangle shaped sachet that you fill with stuffing and (if you like it) lavender, and hang it on a door.... and use some glue for the trims, lol! :)

Rebecca @ Belle Blog said...

Hi Elyse!! I have some cliches that must work or they wouldn't have ever been repeated...
♥ 1. Just do it!!
♥ 2. Practice makes perfect
♥ 3. If at first you don't succeed...
well you get the idea. Just play around with it and have fun!!
♥ Rebecca

Ana said...

Hi Elyse,
I know that whatever you decide to make will be absolutely perfect. I know you can do it! I know you can, I know you can, I know you can. Toot toot! :-D Just have fun with it. Can't wait to see. Have a wonderful evening.

Hugs,
♥Ana

Lynda said...

Hi Elyse
Wow..that is a great gift. Yes, i agree with all, pillow is a gd start, even simple tissue holder is great too. Well, i'm sure u will do great & nice stuff!! Enjoy!

shabbydreaming said...

Cannot wait to see what you make for yourself!! Natasha came up with a great idea there!! We always seem to forget ourselves dont we!! Hope youve had a great week!!
mandii

Brenda said...

I was stymied by patterns when I started quilting in the nineties. So, I just made up my own! Worked for me!
Brenda

Little Pink Studio said...

You can do it!
I agree, a pillow is a great way to start!
Cerri xoxo

Vicki said...

Hi, Elyse,
I can so identify with you. My mom was an excellent seamstress and made everything my sister and I wore. Her skill unfortunately did not carry over for me!! I, too, am petrified when I see a pattern. However, I know how creative you are and with that beautiful rose covered print, you will come up with something fabulous! I can't wait to see what you make! Thank you so much for stopping by for a visit and blessings to you! Have fun with your new creation!! Vicki

koralee said...

If I can do it you can do it...your fabric is so sweet! Have fun creating! xoxoxo

Jen Kershner said...

I know you can do it. I'd start with home sewing and avoid clothes. Also I took a sewing class to build my confidence at Joann's several years ago.

ROSE VINE COTTAGE said...

I have total faith in you that you will create something beautiful and I can't wait to see what you come up with!! Congrats on being featured on facebook how fun is that!! I wish I would have taken before pics of my house when I moved in here but at the time I never thought about it, my house used to be where my Dad had his business so you can only imagine what it looked like!
Hugs~Kelly

Bellamere Cottage said...

Oh YES! Go for it.... :-) Fire up your little Janome and hit the road!....I did take sewing in Jr. High, but that was about 40 gazillion years ago....everything else I learned by doing. You'll be amazed. Each project will get a bit better than the last and you'll figure out what works best for you. I just did a slipcover tutorial...what you're ready for that step, come on over!

Blessings,
Spencer

Glitter and Bliss said...

You can do it!!! You go girl!!! I can't wait to see your finished product. :)

sinnlighet said...

Yes yes yes, this blog is just soooo nice, dreamy & cool, and..... me like like like!

Regards from Sweden & Agneta

Eileen@Star'sFault said...

I LOVE my Janome Memory Craft 6600sewing machine! I have several pillow tutorials on my blog that are really easy and turn out beautiful. If you make one of them and post photos, let me know. Would love to link back and show off your project.

Blessings ~ Eileen @ Star's Fault

Lisa said...

Hum. I'm crap with a sewing machine. But the patterns and putting toegther are really not hard you can do it. It is something that will come so easy for you!
Good luck and I cannot wait to see what you do!
Hugs, Lisa

The imPerfect Housewife said...

Hi Elyse - I got my stuff in the mail today - whooooo hooooo!!! You are too much, girl. THANK YOU x 100!!! ♥

shabbyscraps said...

you crack me up! Love the "showdown" so who is winning?
xoxo, Tiffany

Sonia ~ Vintage Rose Designs said...

LOL, this post and the poster are so funny. A show down!! I had mine about 7 years ago and (wink) guess who won. Elyse, sewing is so much fun and just imagine all the stuff you can do with your pretty fabric. There is a begining for everything you know so dont give up and keep on trying. Most of all have fun. Let me know if I can help with your sewing.
Hugs!
Sonia