When you first take up sewing, you start dreaming about all the wonderful things you are going to create.
You can make your own versions of the latest designer fashions, but at a fraction of the cost. Or an intricate quilt like the one you saw on display at the art fair. Or Halloween costumes for your kids that will put expensive, store-bought costumes to shame.
But hold on a minute. Taking on a big, overwhelming project too soon can put a damper on your enthusiasm for sewing. It’s a better idea to start with small, simple projects that are fast and easy to make. The chances of these projects frustrating you enough to want to quit sewing are slim. And they’ll help you develop the skills you need to tackle those bigger, more ambitious projects.
So, without further ado, here are 3 easy projects any beginning sewer can handle.
One of the great things about sewing is that you can use your skills to beautify your home. And making some simple valances is a quick and easy way to add some extra style to your kitchen.
Valances are curtains that hang down one to three feet from the top of a window. And they are easy to make. If you can sew a simple seam, you can make a valance.
Start with a square of fabric that’s about a foot wider than your kitchen window.
1. Fold the fabric in half.
2. Sew a seam along the top, bottom, and both sides.
3. Flip the piece around so that the bottom (where the open ends have been sewn together) is now the top.
4. Fold the new top down to make a casing big enough to slip in a curtain rod.
5. Sew across the bottom of the casing.
And, just like that, you have made a valance.
Once you master the art of valance-making, you can make valances for every occasion, from Halloween, to Christmas, to Valentine’s Day. Valances are also an easy way to give your kitchen a quick makeover any time of year. Add some matching accessories, like kitchen towels and oven mitts, and your kitchen will have a whole new look.
Throw Pillow Cases
How about those throw pillows you have scattered across your bed or living room sofa? Starting to look a little drab, huh? Or maybe you’ve just had them for a long time, and are ready for something new.
You can always throw away those old throw pillows and buy brand new ones. But why do that when you can give your throw pillows a new look with some simple pillow cases?
1. Start with two squares of fabric that are about an inch wider than the pillow you want to cover.
2. Lay the two pieces of fabric on top of each other. If one side of the fabric is more attractive than the other, you want the less appealing side to be facing out.
3. Use a simple seem to sew the pieces of fabric together on three of the four sides, staying as close to the edge as possible. Now, you have a case with one open side.
4. Turn the case inside out.
5. Stuff your throw pillow into its new case.
6. Sew a seam along the edge of the open end. To give this edge a more finished look, fold it down a few times, and then sew along the folds.
The great thing about these simple throw pillow cases is that you can change them whenever the mood strikes you. If you want to makeover an entire room, you don’t have to toss out your throw pillows. You can just give them a makeover too.
How great would it be to have a drawstring bag to match every outfit? Of course, trying to buy a bag to match every outfit in your wardrobe would get pretty pricey. So you’ll just have to make the bags yourself. Luckily, that’s pretty easy.
To make a simple drawstring bag, all you have to do is take a square of fabric, and fold it in half so that the “wrong side” (or the side that’s least appealing) is facing out.
Sew a seam along three of the four edges, and then turn your bag inside out. A hem sewn along the top creates the channel you’ll slide a string or strap through.
The drawstring bags you make don’t have to be big. You can create small, mini drawstring bags to use as gift bags, or even potpourri sachets.
When you first get serious about sewing, you’ll probably have some big project you want to jump into feet first. But why not start small? Successfully completing a few small, simple projects can be just as much fun. And it will give you the confidence and know-how you’ll need to tackle the much bigger projects you’ve been dreaming of.