My New Toy!

Happy Thursday!  Remember a few days ago I mentioned my favorite Christmas present, one that I would probably break before I figured it out?  Some of you correctly guessed this:

I am so excited about this sewing machine, but also so stinkin' intimidated.  It's a Janome, which I guess is good, right?  My husband, bless his heart, did lots of research to make sure I had something that would last for years and years.  Like I said, if I don't break it first.

My first test was to create a little mattress for this baby bed.  Nina has been really into "taking care of babies" lately, so when I saw this frame (at Goodwill, can you believe it?) I snapped it up for her.

Anyway, here's my request.  If you have any favorite blogs or websites that you visit, ones that have easy tutorials for sewing beginners like me, would you pass them along?  I just need ideas, but I also need some people to hold my hand!  

Thank you in advance for humoring a girl who is way out of her league! 


Mrs. Cup said...

I wish I had advice...I bought a sewing maching for myself and it's been sitting in my closet for a year....good luck!!

Anonymous said...


awesome and inspiring! -Alicia (Ohio)

duchess said...

No advice to give - my sewing machine's in the closet (and it's safe there).
Check out: thesticklerfamily.blogspot.com
Darby is always sewing up something & has some links in her margin, maybe they'll help.
Have fun.

Jo said...

Good morning Carrie ~

Snow day here in Connecticut so I'm catching up and will actually be pulling out my sewing machine this afternoon to work on a few projects. I don't know of any blogs to share with you. My mother gave me basic lessons when I was young and the rest has been self taught through trial and error (lots of that!). There are some very simple patterns out there that walk you through step by step and are easy to understand.

Good luck!

Darlene said...

Can't help you cause I can barely sew a straight line but how FUN!!!! LOVE that little doll bed.

Bahama Shores Mama said...

There are plenty of free tutes floating all over blog land......but I also love the occasional downloadable purchase I make at:



PS: I'm am also self taught and Trial and Error seem to be the degree I hold highest honors in :)

Monica @ Writer Chic said...

I'm SO jealous!! Have fun!

coco said...

I have always wanted to be able to sew beautiful things but I am a frustrated perfectionist and it would take me way too long to complete something after ripping it apart until I got it perfect! Good Luck to you...can't wait to see what else you create. I love the baby bed!

Harmony said...

I think you did a great job on the doll mattress. I have a sewing machine sitting around, not being used. I can't figure out the whole tension thing and sewing lingo but my mother-in-law is moving out my way this summer and hopefully I'll get some free sewing lessons! Good luck!

Christy said...

I'm sorry that I can't pass on any help... I can't sew at all! With all these creative bloggers out here, I know you will find some help though. You are going to have so much fun and I will enjoy seeing all the things you do.

Have a great day!

April said...

Very nice contraption you have there! I call it that because I can't sew a lick, either! I took Home Ec. in high school and we had to sew a dress to wear for a class fashion show. Well, needless to say, mine was large enough to fit a lady who weighed about 500 lbs! I kid you, not! Plus, the belt was about 8 feet long! It was so hilarious! So, I have not given it a second chance since then. I wish you well on your "journey" with the needle and thread. ♥

Laurel MacD said...

Oh, you're going to have fun. A sewing machine opens a whole new world of decorating. I love a couple sites - you'll have to google them because I don't have them right infront of me. I love angry chicken, camille rosekelly of Simplify, crazy mom quilts, and the purl bee's website. That's just to get you started!

Tonya said...

I have a 2 year old daughter too, and I wanted to share a project with you that you might enjoy.

I haven't made this yet, but I have been dying to make it for my daughter. It was actually on a blog I follow...

I can't wait to make this for this summer for my daughter and take pictures of her at my grandparents farm.

Thought you might enjoy (-:

Enjoy your sewing machine! A great gift! I love mine, but I do wish I could use it better, but I manage! Maybe I will learn of some new sites via your comments, that would be great!

Kristin said...

I must say I love getting up in the morning and drinking a cup of cocoa while reading your blog posts! I am so excited to see your new babies room (I love nurseries) I got a sewing machine last year for christmas and haven't used it yet for the same fears you have!!! But it's on my list of 09 resolutions...haha. A blog I love that has some great sewing tutorials (especially baby items) is http://homemadebyjill.blogspot.com/
Enjoy! - Kristin

Diane@A Picture is Worth.... said...

Love that little doll bed! Have fun sewing!


Betsy said...

My sewings skills are very limited as well. However, through trial and error I am getting better. Made all my babies bedding and made both boys PJ pants for Christmas. All my curtains too. Good luck.

Jboo said...

Took two years of sewing classes in summer school -- my Dad didn't want use (me and twin) being lazy getting tans and watching soaps -- do you believe that!! Anyway, it was so long ago, I still feel like I don't know how to sew at all. I have a great little ancient, portable Singer, but it is covered in dust. I'm going to read your comments and find a tutorial too! Nina's dolly is so cute -- it must be about as big as she is! Have a great day!

theArthurClan said...

I wish I could help you out, but I am the WORST sewer in the world. Horrible! And I hate it more than just about anything.

I'll just live vicariously through the beautiful creations that you show us. :)

Busy Mom said...

I asked for a sewing machine for my birthday {but my request was too late} but my Mom asked around in her SS class and lo and behold someone brought me one new in the box!! I am SEW excited! So I will check out some of the links you have gotten! Happy Sewing!

Heather said...


This is a great tutorial for making a zippered pouch. I made one to coordinate with my purse and I use it to carry all my essentials that are otherwise floating around in there. They also make great gifts.

Make sure to read your owner's manual. I am a "home ec" teacher and you can avoid a lot of problems just by going through the manual and getting to know what your machine can do :) Practice with the different settings on scraps of fabric.

And don't forget to have fun!

Sandy Toes said...

LOL! I love the legs hanging off the bed..that is great..she needs a poofer pillow and her head will go up and her feet down!

Have fun with your new toy!
-sandy toe

jenlaser2015 said...

Not sure if this one has been mentioned yet but its a good blog for patterns, links, fabric etc:

I just got back into sewing myself and if I weren't spending so much time drooling over blogs and websites with patterns, fabrics, and ideas then maybe I'd actually sew a stitch or two! Good luck with your sewing endeavors!

Our Complete Family said...

What a great hubby you have Carrie! I love your new toy! I have a confession. I have a sewing machine that has sat in a box since 2002 because I can't figure out how to thread it! Now, how pathetic is that?!?
Was yours hard to thread? Did it have good directions?
I am so excited for you! I bet Miss Nina was over the moon with your creation. You go girl!
And preggers to boot? You amaze me!!! xo

Jen r. said...

It looks great! What a great find at the GW I am sure you'll master it before you know it!

Twice as Nice said...

I have a sewing machine that has sat in the closet for years because "the guts" of the bobbin fell out right away and I can't figure it out. But there is a sewing place in my small town where you can get lessons and as soon as the weather warms up I'm going to attend. Maybe there is something like that in your town where they sell sewing machines. I know it will be hard with another baby coming but here they are held one hour every Saturday. It could be a nice out for you and bonding time for the kids and Daddy!!

Carolina Mama said...

Oh you are going to love this! You'll get it and love it. The bed looks great!

The Montalbos said...

I am a beginner sewer too and the first thing I did was sign up for a 4-hour begginer sewing class at a local sewing shop. We spent the first 2 hours getting to know our machines, then the last 2 we made little tote bags. (My instructor reccomended a Janore, by the way.) It was by far the BEST thing I could have done, and it gave me all the confidence I needed to make my daughter's halloween costume this past year. I highly recommend it!

Sewing blogs, of course http://www.sewmamasew.com/blog2/ always has tutorials.

I really enjoy checking in on http://homemadebyjill.blogspot.com/. She has great sewing and crafting ideas. And her burp cloths (linked on the rt. side)are a GREAT beginner project, and you could probably use them soon too! ;)

Sorry! I don't know how to link in comments.

Kerri said...

I know I've seen some sewing blogs featured on Todays Creative Blog, it has been a few months though, so check there. Or gooogle sewing blogs. Good luck! It's so fun to learn to sew, but I, like you can only do projects with straight lines! I would suggest buying one of those printed panels from the store and making it. You can get one of a doll or stuffed animal or something like that. I have done a couple and they have taught me quite a bit more. They have step by step instructions.

Momma to Bug said...

I LOVE to sew but hardly ever do it! This is my favorite tutorial for making quick and easy pillow covers that you can change as many times as you want. I have made a couple of them myself and it couldn't get much easier. Have fun and let me know if you decide to make one (or more)!

Jamie said...

Hi! I discovered your blog after you were featured on Today's Creative Blog and I've loved reading every post! Congratulations on the new sewing machine! There are so many great online sewing resources. A few of my favorites with great tutorials for the little ones are:
This Mama Makes Stuff
Handmade by Jill
Chickpea Sewing studio

Happy Sewing! -Jamie

Shilo said...

Learning to sew is one of my goals for this year too! Good luck!

Mindy said...

I sent you an email for an apron tutorial with a photo of what I made.

Good luck!

PearFamily said...

Good luck in your sewing adventures. I too am a amature when it comes to sewing, I know enough to do mildly complex pattern, but still not enough to do much of anything. I came across The Princess and the Monkey a couple of days ago, and found an entire list of easy sew tutorials on her page! YAY! So here is the link. . . http://theprincessandthemonkey.blogspot.com/2008/06/tutorials.html
Happy Sewing!

Jill said...

Hi Carrie!
My mom got me a super fancy-shmancy sewing machine for Christmas a few years ago and it has not gotten too much use. However, I agree that trial and error is the best way to learn and become comfortable with your machine. I swear the first 6 times I used mine I had to get out the directions on how to thread the needle but now I don't need to! Also, check out Amy Butler patterns (I think she has a website too) - they are geared to the beginner and super cute too! She sews home dec stuff, cute purses/bags, aprons and stuff like that. Good luck!

Sweet Simplicity said...

I'm very impressed! I always google blank tutorial for whatever I am looking to make. Thankfully a good blog always pops up. Good luck!

Shannon said...

I've always wanted to learn how to sew! I've got my hands quite busy with knitting right now- and am somewhat addicted to it I think, although I can only knit a scarf ( :

I'm excited for you, though. . . I think you'll end up learning quickly and end up loving it ( : I'll keep my eye out for any great projects/sites.

There are a few quilting/sewing shops near me that offer lessons and projects- there's probably some near you too.

julie & joe said...

You're going to have lots of fun. Just do straight seams until you feel confident and then move to a bigger project. I've sewn since I was 7 or 8, you'll be amazed at how quickly you will get it.

julie & joe said...

You're going to have lots of fun. Just do straight seams until you feel confident and then move to a bigger project. I've sewn since I was 7 or 8, you'll be amazed at how quickly you will get it.

jennykate77 said...

Awesome new toy you got there! I love the little mattress and pillow you made. It may not be perfect, but it is really good for your first venture on your new toy! Sorry, but I have NO help or links for you. My sewing abilities are limited to buttons.

Enjoy! Can't wait to see what you make next!

Kris said...

Nice machine!! Dan got me a Singer for Christmas to replace my old one and I am thrilled - but still haven't used it. It needs to find a nice home to stay put in around here. You did great on your first project! I'll be back to check this post since I still consider myself a beginner. Can you believe I had a grandmother who made ALL her own clothes - they were amazing. I kick myself for being a self centered teenager and not stopping to spend the time with her to learn now. Sigh.

Casey said...

love the machine! and that doll bed is adorable, I wish I could find cool things like that around here. I have a list of links to tutorials on my blog that I want to give a try, it's in the left hand side bar


u r so cute .




Heidi @ Blue Eyed Blessings said...

I'm so proud of you for taking the plunge in beginning to learn to sew! I don't sew. I may never sew, but I'm always in awe of people who can create such fun masterpieces. You'll be that person one day. I guarantee it. With your creativeness, it's bound to happen. Best of luck with your new "best friend".

Every Day Blessings said...

I love to sew!!!! I went to a fabric store and inquired of classes when I first started and they had classess in the evening that I took. I got the basics down and I got lots of great help learning to use my machine and how to do things like darts, zippers....
A lot of home things like curtains, drapes and pillows are just that straight lines so just get busy and practice.
I hope you love it as much as I do.

Ms. Tee said...

Oh, that's so cute! :) You did a good job! My mom won a sewing machine a few years ago, & I've just made a pillow so far (after about 3 years!) isn't that funny? I have a friend who loves to sew, so I'll ask her if she has any good beginner websites for you!

Corinne said...

What a cute little bed you found! I think that your sewing looks great.

Mimi Sue said...

I saw some sewing technique and project books at Joanns Fabrics the other day. Do you have Joanns in CO? Anyway, take your 40% off coupon down and maybe a book would help. Love the little bed. We have one that is similar for the sweetpeas. It's getting a little bent because the 2 year old likes to sit in it...Mimi

Ally0005 said...


Don't think their stuff is easy but sure is cute. They have other stuff on there also that is not sewing stuff.
I hope I can get a sewing machine, but first I need to learn how to sew. Found someone in my subdivision that teaches, 6 weeks for under $50.00. Don't know if that is good or bad. I have not signed up yet. I also know if you have a Joann's near you they give sewing lessons.

Windy said...

I am jealous! I am going to ask for one for my birthday and then learn - maybe then we can share what we know:)
I think the baby doll bed looks great!

Joanna said...

Can't sew here...Sorry no advice...But practice makes perfect! *smiles*

Sandy said...

I have so many imperfect things in my house - but so what. Many memories were created w/my kids.

Love the mattress - so fun!

Shannon said...

Yay! I guessed right. :) Looks like a good one!

Blondie's Journal said...

Good luck with the mean machine. Sewing anything other by hand intimidates me.
Please go to my blog today, I have something there for you!!

Dreamer said...

Check out http://www.youcanmakethis.com/
They have some way cute ideas. Some of the patterns you have to buy but some are free. If you sign up for the free email newsletters they send you an email with lots of free patterns in it. Then you can always cancel if you like, but I like it so much I love getting the emails and seeing new project ideas right in my in box. Now if I only had time to make them all. *sigh* Good luck!

Kristi said...

I am so excited for you! You are going to have a great time. You have already got some great blog recommendations so I am going to give you something else. Go to www.rockymountainsewing.com and click on classes. They have some awesome classes and the best part is that you bring your own machine with you so they can help you if you have problems threading, winding a bobbin, etc. Well worth the $$.

Gina @ Six in the Country said...

House on Hill Road has a few good tutorials you might could use.

I'm happy you got a new toy! It looks like fun!

I have a gift for you over at my blog, see ya soon!

Hilda Siemens said...

have you checked out Sew, Mama, Sew? They have tons of great projects for all sewing capabilities. http://www.sewmamasew.com/blog2/

Kimm said...

I'm afraid that I have no sewing talent whatsoever, but I am jealous of that gorgeous machine that you get to learn on! Have Fun!

Becki said...

You will probably enjoy Amy Butler's designs. Very simple but with a lot of impact and good ideas. Happy sewing! Becki

frillsfluffandtrucks said...

I'm a novice sewer too, so I don't have any great words of wisdom for you. Sometimes I poke around http://www.youcanmakethis.com and look at the patterns that are there. It's nice because people write reviews and they tell you if the patterns are right for beginners.

~ Sarah

Shilo said...

You're getting closer to the big day! Hang in there!
Just wanted you to know that there's an award for you on my blog! Thanks for all your inspiration! :)
Blessings, Shilo

Wendy @ The Shabby Nest said...

I don't know where to send you for a tutorial but I sure wish you luck. Your little mattress and pillow look great!

Nicole said...

Congrats on the new sewing maching. My SIL left her Bernina while her and her family moved to Nevada for a few years, I'm loving life! Congratulations on being featured on Today's Creative Blogger, that is so neat!

AJ said...

Love the little baby bed! I can remember when my oldest was into taking care of babies before her little sister came. So cute!

The Golf Widow said...

pass on all the good advice!

I bought a sewing machine when I had my first daughter to make bibs out of hand towels. It was SOOOOOO hard! I made 2 and they were just adorable.My sisters joke that I could have bought 50 bibs and saved time and money. sewing straight lines is my skill level too!I just keep at it. Have fun!!!

What a sweet little baby bed!

Amanda said...

are you kidding? that came from GW? adorable, who cares if the doll fits...good luck on the sewing - i can only do the basics too!

Half Gaelic, Half Garlic! said...

Looks like a great gift....I would be majorly intimidated....I can barely sew a button on a shirt...so no advice here. Something tells me in no time you will be whipping up cute little outfits for Nina!!

Happy Sewing:)


Kelli said...

I just thought I'd add to ALL of the information that you've already gotten. Here's a blog that I like http://camilleroskelley.typepad.com/simplify/
She does quilting but I'm sure she has some info on there that you can use. Have fun.

Pretty Organizer said...

Hubby gave me a sewing machine our first Christmas. I think he had grand plans that I would be making my children's clothes, mending for the homeless, and quilting for children in African countries. Well, it has been a workhorse but after 15 years it needs an overhaul. I'm looking at yours and thinking... that baby looks well oiled. I bet it never jams. I bet it keeps it's tension tuned... Girl you got it made!

My only advice is to not let your kiddos get a hold of your sewing scissors. Not because I've noticed anything terrible when that happens but that's what my mother hollered at me whenever I had them in my hands! Good luck. The bed was a great start!

Jodee Leader said...

Wow! What a great gift! I can't wait to see what you do with it!

the undomesticated wife said...

yay on your new machine!

Gray Matters said...

I really like SkiptomyLou.org - she has some great tutorials and when I had a question about something she emailed immediately. You'll be surprised how many great resources there are once you start looking around - you can also find just about any type of demonstration on youtube.

blueladybug said...

I'm so scared of sewing machines and have been since I was forced to use one in junior high in a home economic class:)) I'm glad you are trying your new machine out.I'm sorry I don't have any suggestions for sewing blogs. I can't wait to see more things that you make with your new present!

The Thompson's said...

I think you did a stellar job on that matress especially that it was your first project!

Sorry I cant help you now on any sites, but i will keep my eyes peeled for you.

I found your blog thru Angie at the Arthur Clan. So glad I did. I hope you wont mind me coming back, and hope you will stop in and visit us as well.

Love and Prayers,

Lisa & Gerald said...

You go girl! you rock I love it!

jennifer said...

ok. so i got one for christmas too and feel TOTALLY intimidated by it.


you inspired me to bust it out and try.

jenallyson said...

I only have one easy sewin project up so far, but check out my blog!


Carolyn (Harbor Hon) said...

A Janome? Your husband did very well. I'd love to own one of those! So far I have an old Singer and an old Elgin that do what I need them to do. I haven't created anything fancy, but there's always hope. :) Enjoy that sweet machine. xxoo

Amanda said...

Love your blog! I'm just starting a new one (another tip/idea blog) I do a lot of sewing and am gearing up to post cute simple sewing projects. Girly bags, skirts, hair stuff, etc. Check it out!

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folding bed said...

Thanks for sharing this with us. I've quiet enjoyed the experience of reading your blog so far. Maybe some cliff notes at the bottom would be a useful addition to summarize the lessons...regardless i will be checking back here so keep up the delightful work,your readers appreciate it...