I wanted to do a sewing project and post the step by step process, but it's been so nice and sunny here, that I haven't had a chance to make anything new. I'll copy a journal post I did for another site and you can follow the first thing I ever made. I've actually gotten a little better, watched some more tutorials and had some practice, but here's my rookie project.
I decided to teach myself to sew because my son has a long torso and short legs. This means that pants that fit in the waist are like 4-6 inches too long...so it's ridiculous to roll them up. In November 2010 I ordered sewing machine off Overstock. I wanted something very basic and easy to use, so I chose the Janome 3/4 size Hello Kitty version.
Wow....sewing with this is super easy! I think that the reason I didn't take to sewing before is that when I was a child, I was using temperamental machines and I didn't really know how to operate them. I read the manual and watched a number of clips on youtube and then I was off. I started by repairing all of our pillowcases that had holes in the corners (pillow covers have zippers that cause wear over time, particularly on high thread count sheets) and moved to closing the pockets in my dress pants, then on to my son's hems. All super easy!
In my research, I saw that there were some pretty cool things that looked pretty easy. Other than youtube, allfreesewing.com is my best resource. This bag, however, I didn't find an pattern for.
I used the bag in the background as a general guide--I'm cutting out:
-body of bag--17x13, 2 linings and 2 dot fabric
-bottom of bag--17x5, 1 lining and 1 dot fabric
-sides of bag--13x5, 2 linings and 2 dot fabrics
-straps--30x4, 2 of dot babric, 2 blue ribbon
-Ribbon to finish the top
Here is my fabulous Hello Kitty sewing machine....mid stitch in sewing a strap!
And here it is....my first real sewing project. It turned out ok if you don't look TOO close. My sewing isn't 100% straight and I made a classic rookie mistake. When I sewed my bag to my lining, I initially had it right, but I second guessed myself and sewed it together wrong....and since I used a zig-zag stitch so it wouldn't unravel, I think it would have ruined the bag if I tried to pull it out. I was planning on finishing the top with the blue grosgrain ribbon, but I was going to use one inside and outside. Instead, I had to fold one in half. It looks ok. I gave this to my SIL, Kim for her birthday and she seemed pretty pleased with it.
I'm pretty happy with my first attempt to make something and can't wait to move on to other projects. I encourage you all to take up sewing...it really is less complicated than you might think and youtube has a bounty of information!