Patterns and Projects and Tutorials, Oh My

Okay, so where to start? I’ll be making a pillow at Sewing 101 (in two days-yay!), so I’m going to re-cover several pillows after that. Hopefully that will make me more comfortable with the machine. And with zippers!

So, from there it’s probably natural to move to bags and purses, right?

The bag I *really* want to make is the Buttercup Bag by Rae. So cute, and with a free pattern, to boot (I heart free patterns). The Needle Shop actually has a class to make this purse, but you have to take the Tote Bag class before you take it, and well, I’m not made of money. 🙂

Buttercup Bag by Rae

OMG. How cute is this?? (Photo by Rae Hoekstra)

The Buttercup bag is probably too ambitious a place to start, though, what with the lining and pockets and pleats and buttons.

Noodlehead has a tutorial for Lil Cutie Pouches, which looks a lot easier as a starting place. If a few of those go well, I might try her Zippy Wallet Tutorial, too. It’s a bit more complicated but possible do-able.

Picture of the Zippy Wallet

The Zippy Wallet should be quick to make. Right?

The Sewing Mamas have a lot of beginner patterns for bags and such, too. I may try my hand at the Patchwork Zippered Coin Purse and the Card Holder (with bias tape and a snap!). And we really don’t need any more grocery bags, but I may make one anyway.

Once I move into clothing, the possibilities are endless. I’ll most likely start, of course, with the shirt I’ll make in my second course at The Needle Shop. I’ve found tutorials for a few other cute tops, including the Spring Ruffle Top by Rae (again, she’s terrific) with a tutorial at Sew, Mama, Sew. It’s a bit summery, but maybe with a jacket it would be work appropriate(?).

Cute yellow top

More cuteness from Rae Hoekstra

From shirts, I can move to skirts. Here I will use the book I ordered used on Better World Books (by the way, you should order all your books here): Sew What! Skirts. What I like about the book is that it’s all about experimenting. I actually have an odd aversion to patterns and would much prefer to make clothes the way they do on Project Runway. Okay, so maybe my clothes won’t look quite like theirs:

April's outfit

April's ridiculous triple diaper.

but maybe making my “own” skirts will help me feel more comfortable with going off-pattern.

Once I’m ready for dresses, there are a few patterns I want to try. I found a dress on BurdaStyle that claims to be a “novice” dress. Novice without the ruffle, perhaps. It’s called the Coffee Date Dress (by the self-proclaimed Selfish Seamstress) and it could easily be work appropriate with a cute cardigan (can you tell that my number one concern with clothes is whether  I can wear them to work? All I wear at home is pajama pants, which is another good project…). It’s ridiculously cute. I just need to find a good solid color fabric if I’m going to include the ruffle. Maybe this gorgeous color from Sew, Mama. I think if I can make this dress I will feel like I have really arrived.

Coffee Date Dress

Too bad my date doesn't drink coffee!

Another free Burda pattern that I’ve been eying is Danielle, which looks beautiful in teal crushed velvet.  From pictures of the finished projects, it seems that the sleeves are a bit wonky when it’s not crushed velvet, but on the other hand cotton or linen would be better for work.  Is crushed velvet hard to work with? Would I ever wear it? Anyway, it appears to be a fairly easy dress (you know, if you can sew).

Velvet Danielle Dress

Gorgeous! I'll look like I stepped out of a catalog every time I wear it! 😉

In final preparation for the Star Trek TOS mini-dress, there’s Simplicity 3835 (Built By Wendy). This is the pattern I’ll be purchasing for the Raglan Sleeve Top Class at The Needle Shop.

Simplicity 3835

Doesn't look like much from the drawings on the cover.

A quick Google search will show you that everyone and her sister has made something from this pattern. You can see that in addition to the shirt I’ll be making, there are also patterns for two similar minidresses (score!). View B is my starting point for the Star Trek dress (more on that tomorrow), but I also want to make it as is (probably View A, though, so it’s not too short to wear in public!). As you can see, this pattern has way more potential than it looks like from the pattern cover drawings:

Girl wearing Simplicity 3835

Made and modeled by Kristin of Sew Very Prairie. She made this for her sister! Wish I had a sister like that!

So, what do you think? Are there great free patterns and tutorials that you recommend? Am I crazy to think I could be sewing clothes in a few weeks? What to join me for a sew-along on any of these?

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7 responses to “Patterns and Projects and Tutorials, Oh My

  1. I’ll have to weed through my masses of saved Web links with free tutorials. 😉 So much good stuff out there! So many talented people! And you will be one of them in no time!!

    I really don’t think it’s too much to think you’ll be sewing clothes soon. Once you can read a pattern and know the basics of garment construction, you’ll be good to go!

    I think a sew-along is a fantastic idea!! I’m definitely in. Have a ball at the class this weekend!

  2. I have made that Buttercup Bag!! It was super easy.

  3. 1.)Are you crazy? Oh yeah, but you always have been a bit crazy.
    2.) Will you accomplish all this? Yep, once you set your mind to something…
    3.) Will I join you on a sew-along? Gee, I would, but you broke my machine! Just kidding. You know I would do almost anything with you – but sewing is NOT one of them!
    4.) Enjoy! Love, Mom

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