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There is probably something that I have said every year for a long time: I want to learn to sew. At the beginning of a new year it’s tangible, it’s something that I always say to myself; this is something that I am going to learn.

For several years I had my Nanna’s sewing machine stashed away in my wardrobe, but when I dug it out and dusted it off [and looking up how to thread it…] I couldn’t get it working, so it became confined to the bin. This didn’t fill me with joy, as you could imagine, and proceeded to buy a new one from HobbyCraft [where all my money goes, it would seem]. The new machine also ended up in the wardrobe with the thought “I’ll learn how to do that soon” and then getting on with something else. Like knitting. Or Reading.

This is a craft that I am determined to learn as I really, really, want to make my own clothes. I’d love to be able to go to my wardrobe and pick out a dress that I’ve made ready for summer, or a nice top that fits properly, and that I know it fits because I have made it.

This weekend I’ve taken a step closer – a small step, mind, but it’s still a step – in achieving my goal. When I went out this weekend I had it in mind to buy either a book, or a magazine, on the topic of sewing. With a book I didn’t want a book with basic techniques – I wanted something that I could make. I learn by experience, not just reading the words – I can’t think of anything more boring that just reading the words.

I did use the sewing machine back in September when I made a lining for a knitted bag for my niece. That was more learning how to set it up and how to get going, and the lining for the bag was the result.

Yesterday I was practising lines – and ended up with a couple of narrow bag-like tubes that I don’t really know what to do with – but it was practice. It was also free hand stuff, not a design or anything like that. Learning lines is important.

When I cracked out the sewing machine today after I had got a magazine [“Sew Today” I think…] there was something simple inside that I knew I would be able to do with ease. It’s a stuffed dog, nothing exciting, but it is something that I have made, and actually, I am very happy with the outcome. It was supposed to be stuffed at one of the feet though, and I must admit I got a bit carried away with the sewing that I ended up doing it at the top of the item rather than the bottom… but actually, it looks okay so considering that this really is my first proper project I am quite happy with it.

I have since added eyes as I was told that it would look better. But s[he] needs a name, any suggestions?

The magazine came with several patterns to try. One of them is a pair of simple trousers, which to be honest if I made I would turn them into pyjama bottoms, but I now have to learn how to decipher patterns, probably invest in carbon paper or tracing paper or something similar and put in the effort to prep the item so that I can make something that I can wear. Then – well, then the world is my oyster really.  My Amazon basket and wish list is fast filling with all sorts of stuff related to sewing, alongside the occasional knitting related item.

Anyone out there got any tips for a newbie sewer?

Take it easy folks,