Why You Need to Learn to Sew

Quilted Hexagon Table Runner

You may have noticed that I love to sew. I have dozens of sewing projects in my blog repertoire, sewing is one of my favorite things to do. Here’s why:

Finished fabric stack

 

  1. Believe it or not, I can sew just about anything cheaper than I can buy it. The only exception is with specialty items like winter coats or sequined evening gowns. Most of us already own a coat and few of us actually wear evening gowns. I suspect most people today would like to learn to sew to save a few bucks here and there, alter the clothes they already own or just for their own knowledge. At any rate, learning to sew will save you MONEY.

Kids Travel Pillow

2.  I can sew faster than I can order things online and have them sent through the mail. You would be amazed at how quickly you can make things at home that cost a considerable amount of money to buy in a retail store. I often go shopping and come home with nothing except photos in my phone of things I want to make, or ideas for those I can make cheaper than I can actually buy them.

Cutting out the tree appliqué

3.  I can whip up gifts at a moments notice. This is a huge benefit of sewing. Once you have a stash of fabric and supplies built up, there is no stress in putting together a last minute gift that is unique and special because you made it just for them.

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4. I can sew my own clothes or make clothes for others. Let’s face it, it’s really hard to find things that fit, that in your price range and look really great. It takes time and a bit of patience to sew your own clothes, but it is well worth it. You will be able to make better fitting, longer lasting garments than you can buy in the store.

DIY: How to Hem Jeans

5. You can alter or repair the clothes you already own. Even if you have no time or desire to sew your own clothes, by learning to sew you can repair the ones you already have. If you pay someone else to hem slacks or skirts, shorten sleeves, repair worn spots, or replace zippers it is far cheaper to learn to do this yourself. You can even get paid by your friends to do it for them! Plus, it’s fun!

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6. You can sew fun projects for your home decor. Let’s say for example, you see a cute pillow that you love in the store. Small decorative pillows run anywhere from $13.00 on up. You can make one your self for less money that you will like better! Not to mention, it’s easy to cover an old pillow with a new cover that you can make yourself for free!

I can even leap over my sewing machine in a single bound. Well, not really.

But, you know what I mean? Sewing and making my own stuff is part of my Homemade Super Thrifty existence, without it life would be very dull indeed. And expensive!

I am hoping that you love to sew too. But, perhaps you never had an opportunity to learn?

Here’s your chance! I am starting a new sewing series call SEW FIRE. I chose this name because I am passionate about sewing and can teach you to sew IN A FLASH. When I went to Googled this title, I discovered an article about a tragic fire in New York’s garment district  in 1911. Hundreds of young women lost their lives trying to escape from a building where they were seamstresses. This really touched me, and I decided that SEW FIRE was also a way to recognize the garment workers who sew for pennies in deplorable conditions even today. I have been inside similar buildings in the garment district of NYC, and let me tell you, they aren’t pretty. I fact, many of them are downright scary. I can’t imagine being trapped in one by a fire. If you would like to read more about this tragic fire, click here.

This Sew Fire series is for those of you who have never sewn a stitch in your life, don’t know how to turn on a sewing machine, or even thread it. This series is sewing from the VERY, VERY BEGINNING.

You are going to love it! I am doing weekly videos on Facebook Live and posting additional tutorials here on the blog and my You Tube Channel.

Here’s the introduction teaser video:

Join me on FB live Monday and Wednesday mornings, 10:00am CST for the Sew Fire series!

I am really excited about this, and I have much more in store for you here on the blog including some free printables that I am working on!

You won’t want to miss out! Sign up for my weekly newsletter in the side bar for all the updates!

Succulent Cross

Succulents are my one of my all time favorite things, and so are topiaries.  Here is an easy DIY project to add some green to your decor – a succulent cross! 

DIY Succulent Cross|Designers Sweet Spot|www.designerssweetspot.com

 

It’s finally warm enough to spend some time out on the porch. My first priority of course, are plants and accessories. Never mind that there is no where to sit, or that my pile of rummage sale junk still sits in the corner of the porch. A pretty front door is so welcoming, and something green by the door just makes it so much more inviting.Succulent Cross on door

Succulent Cross materials

Succulents are my one of my all time favorite things, and so are topiaries. I used to work in a green house and we planted dozens of topiaries early in the season. Topiaries were always hot items and they really aren’t difficult to plant. Succulents work well in them because they have shallow roots and don’t need a ton of water. I found this cross topiary online last year and thought it would be perfect for my Easter decor. This would also be a nice project for a grave site planting, as the succulents don’t need a lot of maintenance.

The first step is to soak your topiary in a bucket of water for 10-15 minutes until saturated. Then it’s ready to plant. I only used 6 plants for this project, but I broke them down into smaller pieces as I planted them so they wouldn’t be too big for the narrow parts of the cross.

Succulent Cross close up

I used a screw driver to poke holes into the moss, then inserted the plants. The plants filled up the cross quite well and will grow into place even more over the garden season.

I used a Command Strip to hang it on the glass door.

whole door with cross

I will have to take the cross down and soak it in a tray of water when it is dry since I don’t want to mess up the wooden finish on the door by watering it directly.

cross on the door

I found the blue hydrangea plant recently at Costco. My cross dripped a bit after it hung for a while, you can see a bit of moisture on the lower part of the door. I will have to remember to let it drain for a bit before hanging it up after watering. I have planted the Bunny Topiary in past years, you can read that tutorial here.

Now that my door is ready, perhaps I need to go out and look for an Easter Bonnet?

Enjoy your Holy Week!

 

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A Trip to the Orchard

Door creek logo

It’s hard to believe that fall is here AGAIN. Wasn’t it just fall last year? My sense of time gets more warped the older I get.

Door creek truck

It seems like we were just here picking apples last year. This year is even better for we had an excellent growing season. I love the apple logo at our favorite orchard. It’s so quaint.

It’s even more adorable on this old truck.

suprised james suprised james2

Our youngest son was rather reluctant to come apple picking. He quickly changed his mind when he realized how beautiful the apples were. He now tells me he wants to work here some day.

golden apples

We came home with bags of Empire, Golden Delicious and Jona Free apples.

We sampled each one on the drive home.

They were all excellent.

grapes

The orchard also has several different types of grapes that you can pick. The vines were loaded and we brought home a bag full of Concord grapes to make jam.

More on that soon!

mason bee house

I always enjoy seeing how professionals find ways to use sustainable gardening methods. This Mason Bee house was one of several along the orchard groves. The bees make there homes in here and pollinate the apples in the process. I love it!

black sheep

This farm raises black Welsh sheep. They sell their wool for yarn and you can buy fresh mutton, although I can’t imagine eating such a darling creature! They use the sheep to clean the orchards after the picking season is over. The animals eat the fallen apples and even find the weeds. Such smart farming!

Isn’t this ewe adorable? She quickly decided that I was not worth her time. She ran off to find someone who would feed her handfuls of grass.

black sheep grazing

I could get used to a view like this. I am quite sure that I must have been a shepherdess in another life.

Yup, sheep are my thing.

silo doors

Even the barns are so interesting. I love this round Silo with the rusty doors.

red barn

The red barns are so lovely. This one has a beautiful stone foundation.

Although we were just here, we have eaten almost all of the apples we picked. I guess we will just have to make another trip!

 

 

So You Think Your Crafty Week 3 and a Giveaway

 

 

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Here we are on Week 3 of the 8 Week So You Think Your Crafty Challenge! I am still part of the challenge, but this is bound to be the toughest week yet!

This week’s theme is “Paint”.

I love painting, but will I make the cut?

You decide! You can vote for your favorite project over at So You Think Your Crafty.

Voting will remain open until Wednesday evening at 6 pm MT.

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Last week’s winning project was Virginia with her tiny little Peg Doll Craft. Isn’t it cute? The complete tutorial is on the So You Think Your Crafty website today.

Congrats Virginia!

Here’s our giveaway link for this week! You can win a $25.00 Home Depot gift card!

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/f4c4f74567/

 

Kid’s Travel Pillow

This easy to make kids travel pillow does double duty as a toy for entertainment and a neck pillow for when your child finally falls asleep on those long road trips.

Kids Travel Pillow|Designers Sweet Spot|www.designerssweetspot.com

 

 

Kids Travel Pillow

It’s time for Week 2 of the So You Think Your Crafty Contest! If you missed last week’s project, click here!

This week’s theme is “Kids Can Do”.

How fun is that?

One of my favorite kids projects involves socks. They are so easy to make! Click To Tweet

I decided on a Kid’s Travel Pillow for this project, because it’s so hard to keep kids entertained while traveling in the car.

Kids Travel Pillow materials

To make the pillow you will need:

A pair of argyle soccer socks (any size, I chose a size large since my kids are older) You can order these green ones on this website.

Red and Pink craft felt

Poly-fiberfill stuffing

Wiggly Eyes in two colors

Craft Heat Bond, Craft Glue or Fabric Glue

Large needle and embroidery floss (to match your socks)

Small pieces of stick on velcro (optional)

heat bond

To make the mouth, cut two pieces of the red felt into ovals. Trace the red felt pieces onto the pink felt for the interior part of the mouth. Cut the pink felt, with the red being slightly smaller so you can see the two colors. Pink felt first, then the red on top will make an interesting mouth design.

Cut out two tongue pieces from the red felt. Cut the heat bond for each mouth piece, making it slightly smaller than the felt so it won’t show around the edges. Cut two small pieces for the very end of the tongue, the rest of the tongue will be free and wiggly. I love things that wiggle, don’t you?

ironing the mouth

Adhere the pieces together with Craft Heat Bond using a warm iron, or if your kids are too young to handle an iron, use craft glue or fabric glue. Be sure to iron both sides for maximum adhesion.

mouth placement

Attach to the bottom of the foot part of the sock with either method. I like how the sock has different colors at the toe and heal, it helps to define the mouth area.

iron the mouth

Again, iron both sides of the sock for maximum adhesion.

fold the sock for the mouth

eye placement

After the sock has cooled, put the sock on your hand like a puppet, to find the correct eye placement. Glue eyes in place with craft glue. If you have a very young child, draw them on with a fabric marker instead. I placed my eyes right above the black sock toe.

stuffed and pinned

Stuff your snake with the fiberfill stuffing. Check to be certain the snake will still form around the neck by pinning the two socks together and checking the fit and function. If it is too big, you can over lap the ends of the sock at the back of the neck until it is the right size, then re-pin in place.

sew the head

Use the needle and embroidery floss to slip stitch the sock ends together at the back of the neck. This helps hold the head in place so you can see his adorable wiggly eyes.

WIGGLY EYES = ADORABLE

sew the mouth

Using more embroidery floss, make a few stitches at the side of the mouth to hold his adorable mouth into position. Cut and trim threads.

This is a good opportunity to teach your kids to sew. Don’t be a perfectionist about this, let your child take a few stitches, the unpredictable nature of the needle and thread will only add to your snake’s character.

Kids Travel Pillow finished

Optional: Use two small pieces of stick on velcro (you may have to glue them on) to hold the snake heads together at the front of the neck, or you can let them hang loose for play.

snake pillow

Time to travel with your new Kids Pillow!!

If you would like to see the other projects in this week’s contest, check out the So You Think Your Crafty Blog.

 

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