The best purchase I’ve made this year is a sewing machine, though I’m not sure that I can credit the lockdown as a motivating factor since sewing skills have been one of my #LifeGoals for the longest time (and I attended a few brilliant workshops before everywhere closed down), so buying the machine was always on the cards. 😉 Personally, I believe sewing is an ability everyone should have anyway, particularly in today’s environmentally-conscious world of upcycling and reusing. 👍
I’ve always got some project on the go, craft-related or otherwise, but not having many places to visit during the pandemic means I’ve definitely got more time on my hands…time I’d normally be tempted to spend elsewhere than working on something at home. Not that I haven’t been outdoors at all…I mean, last night (or should I say this morning) our whole family went comet-hunting, and even got some ace shots of new discovery #NEOWISE, plus a few other celestial objects! ✨ I’ve also gone for a few walks along the seafront, though it is tricky trying to keep my distance when it’s busy, and we do live near a holiday resort. 🌊🏖️
Most of the time, being out in nature keeps me calm, but not when there are loads of people about, so on days when I prefer to stay indoors (or if the weather is miserable), I unwind by playing a meditation game I recently downloaded. 🧘🏻♀️ Playne is perfect for those who are new to meditation, and though it is only FREE for NHS workers, the full price is still very low. So far, I’d say it’s been effective in helping me de-stress, though it does take some effort to build a habit as Netflix is often more tempting when I am sat before my PC! 🙈
We’re now in the second half of 2020, and with most of the year lost to the COVID-19 pandemic, I count myself as one of the fortunate ones because the lockdown has enriched me in some way, though I wish I could say the same for others. I guess there’s not really much point in dwelling on sad events going on around the world, so I try to keep my spirits up by staying busy and making beautiful things…which brings me back to these easy sewing projects I thought I’d share. 🧵🦋
These ideas below (in order of difficulty) have been tried and tested by yours truly, and I can vouch for them as great starting points for beginners. If you haven’t yet made the brave attempt to purchase your own machine, let me recommend the Brother LS14s which is the same one I’ve got. Due to its popularity as a first machine for many, you’ll be able to find many tutorials online on how to use it. Here are two YouTube channels with videos I found useful in learning how to thread it — Hobbycraft and Abi’s Den.
Once you’ve got all the necessary supplies required, such as chalk, thread, ribbons/elastic, measuring tape, scissors, pins and pin cushion etc, you’ll need to think about fabric. As shops have been shut, I had to order some from a local haberdashery, though I also already had some fat quarters from Aldi, and tore up an old bedsheet. Of course it’s even better if you can re-purpose material/garments you already have!
MINI DRAWSTRING BAG
This is quite a basic drawstring pouch, and to simplify things even more, it isn’t lined, so the steps are easy to follow. I used this video as a tutorial, though there may be others out there which are more in-depth.
Not gonna lie, I did have to unpick halfway through because I accidentally sewed the opening shut, but as an “unguided” maiden voyage, I thought I came out of it swimmingly! 😅
This teeny tiny bag would be ideal for jewellery you want to give away as presents. However, it is is too pretty for me to want to part with, so it’s holding a few bits and bobs that came with the Brother LS14s, and fits very nicely into the machine’s little front compartment.
Not yet been anywhere that would require these as yet, but now that more shops and other venues are opening up, I thought I’d better be prepared, just in case. 😷
These were a lot easier to make than I expected, though a bit fiddly. Once you’ve cut the fabric, it won’t take long at all. You’ve just got to make sure you get the measurements right. The videos that I felt had the best instructions are — How To Make A Fabric Face Mask At Home Easy and DIY Face Mask with Elastic in 10 Minutes.
I’m not really sure why people complain about wearing masks…There are actually only a few places where it is necessary to wear one, and the worst that can happen is you’re slightly inconvenienced. #BetterSafeThanSorry 🤷🏻♀️
Although these are not medical-grade masks, there is plenty of evidence that they are beneficial (with three layers advisable to be on the safe side), and do not cause difficulty breathing. You will of course need to thoroughly wash them after each use.
REVERSIBLE MINI TOTE BAG
I am particularly proud of this creation, though it did take me a few hours. After having to re-thread the machine’s needle a few times and unpicking twice because I messed up (also again distracted by Netflix 🤦🏻♀️), I finally got it done! I didn’t have any fabric interface, only deco ones and thought that would work ok…unfortunately, I was mistaken, so only the proper stuff from now on!!!
This bag is small, but most essentials will fit in it, including a paperback/e-reader. Not sure about the new generation Kindles, but I managed to get one of our old ones in it, though it was a snug fit. Or I guess it could be used as a gift bag? Even with the deco interface it does hold its shape well. 👌
Yes, the bag is reversible (as can also be seen in the featured image right at the top of this post), though I personally prefer it with the motif on the outside. That might partly be because the stitching is more visible on the plain side, and mine still needs quite a bit of work. 😅 #PracticeMakesPerfect
The video I’d like to credit for getting me to this level is How to Make a Small Tote Bag. I am sure you will find it just as helpful.
Below are a few other suggestions, but as I have yet to properly delve into them, I can’t say for certain how complex they would be. However, for any that I try, I will post an update with pics of my efforts. A few of these online tutorials are by a lady who holds the workshops I sometimes go to — Lucy from The Vintage Sewing Bunny — so I know they will be excellent!
Why not have a go at some of them, and see if you’re up for the challenge? And don’t forget to share your inspirational pics in the comments if you do!
#StayStrong ❤️ #StaySafe ❤️ #StayPositive ❤️