I have been thinking lately about the many amazing and talented seamstresses, sewists and crafters out there who help build and sustain sewing as not just a life skill, but a wonderful career or hobby. Like many, I learned to sew from my mom at a young age, dabbled as a teenager, explored in college with a pushpedal singer from the 20′s, and finally came to it as a realistic pursuit as an adult. However, as a late 20-something adult, I had no where to turn and no idea where to go. I didn’t want to pay for classes for something I already thought I knew how to do (and I couldn’t afford them at the time.) Additionally, I am very much a hands-on kinda girl. I wanted to learn by trial and error, sewing late into the night after my daily bike-riding and business days were done. This is where our fantastic online community welcomed me into its gigantic, comforting, and super fun arms. Google became my best friend as I gleefully searched for what I considered modern and current-fashion sewing projects. I was certain I would never quilt, and all I wanted to make were fun yet practical and beautiful things I could use and share.
The handmade is the thing to do, and some say is making a “come back” with today’s eco-conciousness. So in celebration of Sewing September, I wanted to share with you the online and free tutorials I have used, learned from, and thoroughly enjoyed. Patterns I have made, remade, altered, and turned to again and again. I hope you can find the same enjoyment I have, not just in the process of learning to sew, but in the making by hand something you will love and cherish. So without further ado, here they are.
- Noodlehead Fabric Tray ~ I love this one. I have made it in vinyl, cotton, laminate, and more. Make good coaster holders, desktop organizers, kitchen item and gift basket.
- Noodlehead Gathered Clutch ~ This is a super cute, fairly easy zip pouch. The zipper part can be tricky, so read carefully.
- Juicy Bits C is for Crown ~ This one is amazing! I have made it many times over and will make it again. It is a simple felt crown with elastic, and you get decorate it as complex as you’d like. We are huge board gamers, and I made a Settlers of Catan bedazzled crown for the Lord or Lady who wins each match.
- Three Bears Little Boxy Pouch Tutorial ~ This I learned to sew boxed corners on years ago. It is the most simple and sweet little box-shaped bag you will ever make. Since I have learned to line them, which is also very fun to do.
- Happy Things Better Lined Draw String Bag ~ Even though my original link isn’t working for the Happy Things blog, this is her pattern. It is AWESOME. Makes super fun gift bags. I also use it to store holiday buntings/banners. Or anything. I love it.
- Canuck Hippo: YouTube video “How to Miter Sew a Corner Using Binding” ~ So brilliant AND she has a Canadian accent. WIN WIN.
- Jennifer Casa Handmade Kidlet pattern ~ I printed this one out and keep it and remake it for gifts. It is also very easy to just add on handle on the handle-free side to have a sturdy child-sized tote.
- Purl Bee The Unpaper Bag ~ I have made this pattern so many times now, I don’t even use it anymore. I just whip up a tote bag any dimension I choose. However, this was the first and best bag pattern I ever made. LOVE it.
- Anna Maria Horner Figure 8 scarf ~ I have made so many of these, in a variety of widths and fabrics. I especially love them in two layers of voiles for warmer weather.
- Purl Bee Party Garland ~ This one is particularly fun. I make them for most parties, usually using paper. You can often get the huge pads of fancy papers from Joann’s for 50% off with a coupon! Right now long strands hang in my toddler’s room in bright colors.
- Craftiness Is Not Optional the Bapron ~ I made this as gifts before I had a kid. Now that I have a child, it remains the best bib in the world. I even drafted a larger size to make for my huge toddler. LOVE.
Additionally, I often turn to favorite businesses and blogs for their expert knowledge and wonderful service, tutorials, and brilliance. Check out my links list on the side of my blog too!
- U-Handbag is ran by Lisa Lam. Her supplies are awesome, her pricing and shipping is accurate, and her instructions are invaluable. She has free tutorials on how to make awesome bags, and a book I keep gently suggesting my husband get me for any important holiday where gift giving is usual. I should be more subtle maybe?
- The Purl Bee is a group of people and a business, and someone named Molly is kind of a genius. Awesome ideas for handmade gifts.
- Sew Mama Sew is overwhelming with information. I tend to use their search function when I want a specific pattern or idea. They feature many different bloggers or talents. Also they host the May Day Blog Giveaway which I love participating in!
Who do you read and enjoy? Share your blog or blog list with me!
PS: I am also addicted to Pinterest and love finding awesome ideas and creativity there. Are you using it as well? Follow me so I can find your ideas too!
UPDATE October 08. 2012:
I can’t believe I didn’t include Colette Patterns. Their weekly snippets email, and their forum, are amazing! Check them out!