top 5 sewing tutorials for beginners

Hey guys! While I am in between projects (aka on vacation!) I thought I would share a post with some links that were helpful for me as I started learning to sew.

I am going to share with you the top 5 blog posts that were helpful for me as a beginner sewer and that I think everyone should check out when they are first starting.

1. First, I'm sharing Dana Willard's post "How to Sew". This is one of the first videos I watched and it was very helpful. I knew some of the information before, but if you're a total beginner, you need to watch this video! After you watch it, be sure to check out her other videos. Once you get familiar with your machine, you're going to want to sew everything she shows you!

2. Next, I think you should just sew something! The best way to get the hang of it and gain confidence is to make something. I would recommend going to Melanie Ham's blog and going through her tutorial for an infinity scarf. It's super simple, requires minimal fabric and it's something you can always use! 

3. If you started sewing because you have some really practical things you need to do, like make your clothes fit better, check out Melly Sews. Something I think we can all agree on is that we'd like our clothes to fit us! I recently read through her tutorial on hemming jeans and it helped me with my recent project to make all my jeans fit the way I wanted. Check out this post to find out how to keep your hem looking like the original!

4. If you're wanting to sew for your new baby, hop on over to Sew Much Ado and check out her tutorial for a Peplum top. It's really cute and it doesn't involve zippers or buttons or anything so it's a great beginner project. Plus, it's in a knit fabric which makes it great for getting it on and off easily. She has a free pattern available in 12-18 month size! 

5. Lastly, for those of you who want to sew for your home in order to get the exact look your going for, try this tutorial for an envelope pillow cover from Delia Creates. I love making these because you can easily make "seasonal" pillow covers by getting the fabric you want and slipping these on and off all of your throw pillows throughout the year!

There you have it! 5 beginner tutorials for whatever kind of sewing you want to do! Be sure to browse all of these sites for more great tutorials. These are definitely ones that I visit over and over when I need help with something! 


moda mini charm series: part three

For this next post in my mini-charm series I went back to the idea of making a fun toy for Addison or a gift for someone who's having a baby. 

Recently, I came across a ton of cute little handmade stuffed animals on Pinterest. I thought back to when I was pregnant with Addison and remembered how much I loved a handmade bear I was given by a lovely friend from church at my baby shower. I thought it would be so wonderful to be able to make something like that to give as gifts. 

So, I decided to take that idea and try to work it into this series by making a patchwork animal. I decided on this cute elephant because I found a pattern that worked with the amount of materials that I had. 

The pattern is this free pattern from Birch Fabrics. You can find the pattern and step by step instructions there! 

After I picked out the pattern, I went back to my stash of mini-charms and found two more collections that I thought were perfect for a baby project. I chose:

I love the way these two collections look together. 

Each charm pack has 42 squares. I used a total of 54 squares to make my fabric piece that I cut my pattern from. I chose colors from each collection that coordinated together.

I laid out all my pieces in 6 squares that each had 9 mini charms. 

I sewed each small square together &then I sewed them all into one rectangle. 

At this point, I almost scrapped the elephant idea to make this into a mini quilt because I love this! I think these colors and prints are gorgeous! You can bet I'll be ordering more of these to make the quilt!

Next, I folded the fabric in half and traced the pattern pieces in order to get a front and a back at the same time. For me, this ensures the most accuracy and helps to make sure the front and the back match.

When I was sewing it up, I did make a mistake on the tail and had to take it apart and redo it, but once I finished it and got it stuffed, I just loved how it turned out. 

I had so much fun with this project! I really want to try and create more patterns of my own for different animals and maybe even some larger versions! You could easily re-create this using other sized pre-cut fabrics or by cutting your own. There are so many fun options. I already have another fabric collection in mind to make some more!

If you were sewing or choosing a stuffie for your kids, what animal would you choose? 


moda mini charm series: part two

I hope ya'll enjoyed reading about making the baby blocks out of the first Moda mini charm pack! I am already planning out a few more sets of those! 

The idea for the second project came as I had been scrolling through Instagram and started seeing a lot of cute quilted zipper bags. Looking at them, I knew they would be perfect for the charm pack project. I think zipper bags are one of the easiest "beginner" projects I have tried so far, I love having tons of them on hand, and they make great gifts too. 

If you've been following along on Instagram or read my other posts, you already know that I am not a quilter. I have never made a quilt and am really intimidated by it. There are several women in my family who are amazing at it, and right now I rely on them to make me quilts! ( I got one for Christmas this year and love it!)

For this zipper pouch I used the Moda mini charm pack "Silver Linings" by Laundry Basket Quilts., I used pieces of the mini charm pack as well as some 2.5x4.5" scrap cuts from the peach fabric that I used to make the drawstrings in my drawstring travel bags. I pieced them together and ended up with a large rectangle. 

At this point, I noticed that because of my poor cutting (really need that rotary cutter!) there were a few spots where my pieces didn't connect well. I had sewn with a 1/4 inch seam allowance and in some places there wasn't enough room for that. 

So, I decided to cut out an 8x8 square from my large rectangle where all the good pieces were and use that as the front of my pouch. 

I cut the square, then cut a piece of batting and lining and pinned them all together with safety pins. I then started quilting. Since I had never done it and I didn't have any kind of marking pen, I decided to just do straight lines, each 1/2 inch apart. After doing that, my respect for quilters who do free-motion quilting multiplied by like a gillion! 

Once it was quilted, I cut off the bulk batting and tried to make sure that my quilt top and back for my pouch were the same size and then I proceeded to follow my favorite zipper pouch tutorial by Dana Willard at Made Everyday. Her videos really are the best "tutorial" videos I have seen. 

Now, since it was quilted, the layers were much thicker than my previous zipper pouches, and as I was finishing this up, I definitely broke my needle on the zipper! Yikes! Thankfully it was at the very end and didn't mess me up too much. 

And there you have it! A fun, quilted zipper pouch using mini charms! 

If you look closely at all my pictures you can tell that I am a super novice quilter! It's okay, seeing this only makes me want to improve even more! 

Can there ever be too many zipper pouches? I think not!

Part two of the Moda mini charm series is in the books! If you want to be notified about part three, make sure you are subscribed and/or follow me on Instagram!