7 Easy Beginner Sewing Projects

 

It’s nearly the end of the week and I haven’t accomplished much of anything on my to do list. I have had a million distractions here. I am also working on some bigger projects, but can’t reveal those just yet. So, I decided to put together a few posts that you may have missed. These are easy sewing projects for the beginning sewer. They also happen to be some of my favorites!

 

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This is Maggie. She is one of my all time favorite pooches, and she was my model for this DIY Dog Bed project. You can read the whole story below:

DIY Dog Bed

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This simple blouse is great for warm summer days. It is flattering for any figure type and super easy to throw together for the weekend. Here’s the link:

Sewing a Cowl Blouse

 

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Sewing a Fleece Robe

Sewing a fleece robe is another easy project. Fleece is easy to work with because you don’t have to finish the seams. This robe is warm and fluffy, every girl should have one in her closet for those cool evenings at home.

Gifts Wrapped in Glass: Day 16

Pajama pants are another easy item to make. You can make them from fleece, flannel, cotton, etc. They also make a great gift!

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I love reusing fabric from different sources, this DIY Apron is made from an old flannel shirt. I love it for those really messy DIY projects!

DIY Apron

31 Days of Pintrest DIY: Day 23 Wool and Burlap Pillow

These pillows go back to my early blogging days, I still love them.  The photos aren’t my best but oh, well. You can make pillows from just about anything, these are made from burlap and old sweaters. Here’s more pillow ideas.

 

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Simple Pillow Tutorial

Finished Pillows

This post was sponsored by Fairfield World. Any opinions given are completely my own.

I have spent the last few days working on the porch decorating. I have been sewing pillows left and right. I can’t wait to share the entire project with you! This week’s fun project is sewing a Simple Pillow.

Wicker Sofa and porch

There are still a few more things to finish on the porch, but I thought I would give you a peek at what we have done so far.

The inspiration for this room came from this beautiful Tommy Bahama fabric. It just screams summer to me. I love the green and blue tones, it makes the outdoors feel closer some how.

Pillow with a hand

This Simple Pillow Tutorial is part of my Learn to Sew series. It’s easy enough for a beginner, but has a few little tricks that make fun for anyone to learn. Thanks to Fairfield World for sponsoring this post!

Sofa with yellow and paisley pillows

I used 18″ x 18″ pillow forms from Fairfield World for this project. They are very nice quality, and the size is big enough to fill in the space nicely behind your back and the rather prickly wicker sofa.

I cut my fabric with 1″ of ease in both directions for the pillows. This extra room makes it easy to slip the pillow form inside the cover without it being too tight. I cut my fabric 19″ x 19″ to give it plenty of room inside and compensate for any shrinkage in washing later on.

I use 100% cotton thread when I sew, it’s a bit heavier and holds up very well in the machine. It is also the best choice if you are a beginner sewer. You can find it labeled as thread for machine quilting, it’s a bit more expensive than the regular polyester/cotton variety but it is well worth it.

I put together a little video tutorial for this project, hope you enjoy it!

 

 

 

Easy Gluten Free Chicken Alfredo

 

Verital shot chicken alfredo @designerssweetspot.com

This month’s Ultimate Recipe Challenge is Pasta! We love Pasta at our house, it’s a thing of men. The more I make it, the more they eat it. Pasta is especially satisfying in our cool climate, and we eat it at least once a week.URC-Pasta-Collage

I have teamed up with some very talented bloggers for this Ultimate Recipe Challenge, you are going to love all these delicious Pasta ideas!

 

Chicken Alfredo on Blue Willow plate @designerssweetspot.com

I make Pasta once a week for the menfolk at our house. I cook both gluten free noodles and the regular variety to accommodate  those on special diets. My favorite gluten free Pasta is the Quinoa variety. It cooks the best and doesn’t have the sticky residue that rice base pastas have. It tastes just like the regular pasta, you may not even know the difference!

Recently, we went on a tour with 57 high school students as the cooks for the group. This Gluten Free Chicken Alfredo dish sold out completely! I had people asking me for the recipe, so here it is!

Easy Gluten Free Chicken Alfredo

Easy Gluten Free Chicken Alfredo

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. chicken breast, thawed
  • Lemon juice
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 Tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 cup cream or half and half, or original almond milk
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • Fresh or dried parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat grill or broiler. Drizzle olive oil and lemon over, the chicken. Season with salt and pepper. Grill or broil until done, 5-7 minutes. Set aside and keep warm in oven.
  2. In a medium sauce pan, heat olive oil over medium high heat until hot. Add onion and garlic, sauté for 2-3 minutes until onions are clear. Add butter, whisk until melted. Add flour, whisk until dry. Wait 2 minutes, then whisk in chicken broth a little at a time, stirring constantly until smooth. Add cream and reduce heat to low. Simmer 5-10 minutes until thick. Add Parmesan cheese, parsley and salt and pepper.
  3. Serve sauce over hot fettuccini noodles. Chop chicken breast into strips, serve over noodles with sauce and extra Parmesan cheese.

 


How to Hem Jeans

I have a new tutorial for How to Hem Jeans, it’s been one of my most popular sewing posts to date. It’s been featured on several different websites and blogs. Who knew jeans would be such a popular topic?

How to Hem Jeans - FB

I have been blogging for 6 years now. Hard to believe it’s been that long! I have hundreds of posts on this website. I am in the process of refining my brand and developing my future goals. One of the things I am working on is adding video tutorials to some of my old posts.

 

I think everyone I know wears jeans, probably all of us have had a pair or two that needed… Click To Tweet

You will need your jeans, tailors chalk (or a sharp #2 lead pencil), and a measuring tape or a ruler.

First try on the jeans (after they have been washed and dried), and roll up the hem to the desired length. I know you know how to do this!

Then, take off the jeans, and measure the amount you rolled up. It was 2 1/2″ on these jeans.

Turn the jeans inside out, matching the leg seams and smoothing out the fabric. Because denim is so heavy, you will need to work with one leg at a time. Calculate the amount of fabric to cut off by subtracting 1″ from your orgininal measurement, to compensate for the seam allowance needed for the hem.

I needed to shorten our jeans 2 1/2″, so 2 1/2″-1″= 1 1/2″ for my total.

Measure from the bottom of the pant leg and mark the distance with a piece of tailors chalk or lead pencil. My distance was 4″. Be sure your cutting line is parallel to the bottom of the pant leg.

Keeping the pant leg inside out, put the leg over the arm of the machine, turning back a 1/2″ seam allowance. Conveniently the presser foot is the same width. If you use it as a guide, you will not have to measure and it will save you time. Also, forget the pins. Pins ruin sewing machines, and you will be a much better sewer without them. They do not use pins in professional production because they would completely slow down the process. It’s the difference between sewing like a pro, and sewing like a homemaker. No pins.

Lower the presser foot and begin sewing, but do not start on the thick part of the side seam. Begin either slightly before or after the seam. Most machines will just sew right through the thick seam without a problem if they have a running start. Center your needle in the seam allowance, and continue sewing around the entire pant leg. When you get to the end, over lap the stitching slightly to lock it in place. Trim your threads, and remove the pant leg from the machine.

Here are my best tips and tricks for sewing with denim:

  1. Use a heavy duty needle for denim fabrics. I have broken more sewing machine needles  than I can count by sewing jeans. Denim is by far the heaviest material I ever work with. Recently I noticed you can buy packages of needles just for denim, what a great idea! Pick up a package or two to have on hand when ever you need them.
  2. Always use a new needle for each pair of jeans. Needles get dull very quickly on fabrics like this. It will save you lots of headaches if you use a new, sharp needle each time you sew with denim. It may seem like overkill, but you just have to trust me on this one.
  3. Purchase 100% cotton thread for working on jeans. Thread that is designed for machine quilting works well, it’s strong enough to hold up during sewing on denim. I use black or navy for hemming, you don’t have to match the gold top stitching that most jeans have, in fact I think it looks better if you don’t.
  4. Don’t bother with pressing your jeans. Denim is heavy and hard to work with. After you have hemmed your jeans, wash and dry them as usual. They will look and feel great. The new stitches will blend in with the fabric like they were always there. Besides, pressed jeans are just weird.
  5. Help your friends learn to hem their own jeans, I am sure they will be grateful for your help!

That being said, it’s time for the tutorial! I had fun putting this video together, hope it helps you hem your jeans!

 

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How to Hem Jeans

Sew Fire Learn to Sew Printables

 

FB Live Camera Set Up

Good hello my friends! I am excited for my Live FB segment today!

That’s 10:00am CST on Mondays and Wednesdays. Be sure to check it out!  Fridays I am posting a video tutorial for a simple project you can make with your newly learned sewing skills. If you aren’t sure why you should learn to sew, read this post.

Actually, this week Friday, I will have a no sew project to give you a few more days to practice if you are new to sewing! You are going to love it, so be sure to stop by!

I thought you might appreciate an insight into what goes on behind the camera. I know I love to see how other people do things. I am new to video, I have done a few of them in the past (see my YouTube channel) but I have so much to learn. I recently attended a class on video production, so I feel I have new skills to help me along!

For now, this is my Facebook Live recording process. It’s rather funny actually, and if you see me smiling smugly at the camera it’s because I am cracking up inside over this pathetic set up! Hopefully, it won’t come crashing down when I am on camera! The lighting isn’t great but with a few lamps I can improve things a bit.

In this photo you will see my cell phone attached to a selfie stick. Yup, that’s what it is. The selfie stick is connected to an old tennis ball holder with bull dog clips to hold it in place. It is sitting on one of our old kitchen chairs. Someday I will update to an actual tripod attachment gismo, but for now this ridiculous contraption seems to work rather well. It also makes me laugh on camera and helps to relieve my camera shyness.

Crazy right?

I am posting to give you the links to the promised So Fire FREE PRINTABLE WORKSHEETS.

I will be adding more to this page as time goes on, here are a few to get you started!

Lesson 1 Sewing a Straight Stitch

Lesson 2 Learning to Pivot

Lesson 3 Sewing Curves

Lesson 4 Thread Do’s and Don’ts (also coming next week!)

See you soon!