Friday, October 2, 2009

Adventures in Sewing

Yesterday I decided to tackle a sewing project I hadn't tried before: a drawstring bag (no, I haven't sewn much, so it's easy to think of new things for me to try in sewing, hehe). Specifically, I wanted to make a drawstring bag to use as a knitting or crochet project bag. If the first one wasn't horrible to make, I wanted to make several as I have a few knitting and crochet projects in mind to try (although I'm currently only working on one) and, knowing me, I'll probably be working on at least 2-3 at a time.

The first one, as expected, was definitely a learning experience. But in that good way. ;) Here's a picture of the bag:

I do my sewing at my parents' house so my mom can help me. I'd forgotten to bring my thread assortment and didn't want to ask her (again) to provide me with thread, so I just used what I did bring. It was a very pale pink/purple, but on this darker purple fabric, it looks white. I decided it wasn't a big deal because this was a "practice" bag and it was going to be mine anyway. Using thread that stands out like that really shows you where you could have done better, which I actually think is good for learning. So, yeah, I used the pale thread to help me make this more of a learning experience, that's it, hehe.

There are a couple of things I'll do differently next time. For one, I'm not going to use two lengths of cord, so I don't need openings on both sides (the other side isn't pictured, but is there, and looks sloppier than the one pictured, if you can believe that). Also, when I stitch up the side, I'm going to then stitch backwards down the seam a bit as the stitches started to loosen at the top when I was rolling down the top to make the area for the drawstring. Also, next time I'll use a thread that more closely matches the fabric. ;) I'm considering lining the next one too, but I haven't decided yet. It would certainly help make the inside look "finished", but since that's the inside, I'm not sure how much it matters whether or not it's lined. I guess when I start using the bag, I'll find out.

Something else I made a month or two ago that I'm really happy with is a knitting needle roll, also made in a purple fabric. Here are two pictures of it (excuse the scratched up TV tray, I tried to edit out all the scratches in the picture but gave up because there's only so much editing I'm willing to do, haha):

This knitting needle roll was made using the same fabric that I used to make this tissue holder. I still need to sew a ribbon on it so it can be tied shut, and I think because most of my needles are longer that I probably should have made the roll a little longer so there would be more at the top to fold over, but overall I'm really happy with it. It has certainly made it easier to find my knitting needles when I start something new (I will write about what else I've knitted recently in a future post). I want to make a second, smaller, one for my crochet hooks too. This one was fun and surprisingly simple to make. I thought for sure it'd be difficult, but it wasn't. It is time-consuming because of how much sewing is involved, but it was not hard to do.

Eventually, I will be confident enough to sew at home without feeling like I need help close by. I can already do that with tissue holders, and I think I could with another drawstring bag or needle roll (though I'd still prefer her help on the second). But, one of the things I also like about sewing (or scrapbooking, or crocheting or knitting or....) at her house is that we can sit and "talk shop" while crafting (or talk about anything else too). I don't necessarily get as much done as if I were working alone, but it is certainly more fun.


  1. That is so cute. Love the fabric!

  2. Great job! I sewed while holding my Mom's hand for years, I have only let go in the past year, but I still call her to brag about my projects! (I just made my first set of curtains!) I like matching my thread, but if it's too close, you can't see it and you will go blind. Also, don't do too tight of a stitch, it will make redoing alot easier on you when you have to rip a seam! (LONG stitch length is your friend!) I know lots of people who only use black, white, or grey thread on everything and never buy another color! GREAT JOB, you should be very proud!

  3. Justine, thanks!

    StarsandRobots, thank you! I have had to rip out more than one seam, but it didn't occur to me that using a longer stitch would make that easier. ;) I use the "middle" length stitch on my machine, maybe I should switch to the longest length.

    I did buy black, white and grey for that purpose, but then my mom found an assortment of thread in a purple carrying case and got that for me so 1) I'd stop borrowing her thread and 2) purple is my favorite color, hehe. :)


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