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Sewing For Beginners or If I Sewed This You Can Too

Updated on April 25, 2011

My First Pillow Case Dress

Although you can use regular fabric, this dress was made from an actual pillow case.  These are very easy and can be completed in just a few hours.
Although you can use regular fabric, this dress was made from an actual pillow case. These are very easy and can be completed in just a few hours.

My Grandmother loved to sew. She passed many years ago, but I still have wonderful childhood memories of her sitting at her old Singer "Treadle" sewing machine...pumping away, while she made all of her own clothing, and most of my dresses. As a girl, I was completely fascinated with the whole process and would sit beside her, watching intently, as she created her projects. I can still recall the smell of the machine oil and I remember the whirr and humming sounds the machine made when she sewed.

As I grew older, I lost interest in sewing and mostly felt I didn't have the patience for it anyway. But as luck would have it, I was recently given an older model, top of the line, Sears Kenmore sewing machine, with all the goodies and gadgets included. Lo and behold, my interest revived and I decided I would learn to sew something ....even if it was just a simple, two-seamed cafe curtain.

Expecting many, many mistakes as I learned, I decided not to invest in new fabric and instead visited local thrift stores for bed sheets and larger pieces of material that I could practice on. And with a few searches on Google, I came across several great video tutorials for easy beginning sewing projects.

The first thing I attempted was an adorable "pillow case" dress for little girls. These are so simple and can actually be made from pillow cases. With the great video tutorials that Vanessa of "The Crafty Gemini" has posted on YouTube, I've made several pillow case dresses, actually created little boys shorts and pants from old t-shirts, and learned to make french seams...something I had never even heard of until recently.

How To Make A Pillow Case Dress

How to Make Baby Pants from T-shirt

One of My First Rag Quilts

I can make one this size in about 6-8 hours.
I can make one this size in about 6-8 hours.

Simple Rag Quilts

I also love quilts but I don't have the time to learn traditional quilting so I searched for easy quilt tutorials done on the machine with no hand sewing required. One of the easiest quilting projects I've found are making small "rag quilts" for baby blankets, lap blankets and throws. These are sewn completely on the machine and the hardest part is clipping all the seams at 1/4" to 1/2" spaces. If you decide to make one, I highly recommend investing in a good pair of scissors.

There are many great videos posted describing exactly how to make these quilts. Below is one I used.

Rag Quilt Project | Beverly's How-To

Sewing It Up

 As someone who less than six months ago had no clue how to sew a simple dress, much less a rag quilt and now plans to make many more items to keep and give as gifts, take it from me...if I can sew these projects, you can too!  There are so many useful tutorials and videos on the web that with just a little research, you can be creating clothing, handbags, and even quilts in no time at all.

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