Today we have an extra special guest as a part of our “What I Wish I’d Known When I Started Sewing Series”. It’s our friend Melissa from the Polka Dot Chair. We’ve been lucky enough to spend a lot of time with Melissa…talking, eating, sewing…all even though we live hundreds of miles apart. She is warm, fun, and the kind of person that you not only want to be friends with…but to sew with as well! So we are so very happy to have her here today sharing some of her sewing advice with us. (Trust us…she knows what she is talking about!)
Hi There! My name is Melissa Mortenson and I blog at the Polka Dot Chair. I’m so excited to be posting here on Simple Simon & Co today! I first met Liz and Elizabeth 2 years ago at a Riley Blake Fabrics event and instantly fell in love with the two of them! I feel so lucky now to have met them and count them as friends.
I’ve been sewing avidly since I was 14 years old. I started takings sewing class in school every year starting in 8th grade and, somehow I even managed to take 2 periods of sewing my Senior year of High School. Since I was younger when I started sewing it’s hard for me to think of what I wished I knew then… (as that would fill up a book). So I’m going to take the approach of, What I wish I knew when I took sewing as a blogger.
So first thing:
IT IS OKAY TO MESS UP
Seriously though, it’s okay, I give you permission. I know it seems hard when you see the internet full of seemingly perfect gorgeous sewn projects. But honestly, if you’re not messing up you’re not learning– And the best way to learn is just to DO IT.
Learning and stretching your skills will require you taking on projects that are above your comfort level, so you might mess up, but if you don’t try how are you EVER going to learn.
I always tell people if it looks horrible when you’re done, just don’t show it to anyone. Seriously, not a big deal. Keep it to yourself and try again.
SEAM ALLOWANCES MATTER
A few years ago I started quilting more seriously and challenging myself to try harder techniques and blocks. I would spend hours on a block then notice that nothing was lining up. Turns out that what I thought was a 1/4” mark on my sewing machine was not truly a 1/4”. Quilt patterns are made to fit together perfectly with 1/4” seams.
Get yourself one of these and test to see if your seam allowance is really 1/4”.
When you find the spot on your machine that is 1/4” mark it with washi tape that way you won’t forget where it is.
My current machine has a 1/4” foot. It has a metal guide and as long as the guide is on the edge of the fabric (and the needle is in the center) I know it’s 1/4”. If you’re going to be doing a lot of quilting it might be worth it to invest in a 1/4” foot.
Last but not least, for my contribution of favorite sewing tools for the giveaway, I’m going to give away a box of binding clips. These things are seriously amaze-ing. I don’t know how I lived with out them.
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