Lazy Saturdays

learn to love sewing // seven simple tips by Lazy SaturdaysSewing can sometimes feel like a chore, right? I know I’m not the only one that thinks this. I’ve recently had a few conversations with friends where they expressed that pulling out their sewing machine and getting to work seems like such a big task. I totally get it! Up until last year, when I decided to really focus on my sewing, I dreaded sitting down to my machine. I have no idea why! I loved sewing and hated sewing at the same time. Over the course of the year, I made a few changes with my sewing habits and found that I loved sewing again! I look forward to any moment I can sit down with my machine. Here’s my tips for how to love sewing:

1. YOUR SEAM RIPPER IS YOUR FRIEND, NOT YOUR ENEMY. Often times, when we use our seam rippers, we think it’s because we messed up. This needs to stop! When you pull out your seam ripper, think to your self. “I can do better, so I’m going to try this again.” When you watch a toddler learn to walk, and they fall down over and over again after a few steps, you applaud them, you don’t get mad at them. Give yourself the same encouragement with sewing! Sure, you may mess up over and over again, but don’t get frustrated with yourself! Keep going, grab the seam ripper, and be nice to yourself.

2. WHEN YOUR PATIENCE LEAVES THE ROOM, LEAVE WITH IT. I can’t tell you how many times, I’ve been working on a sewing project, got frustrated, continued sewing, and messed up what I was working on. As soon as you feel yourself growing impatient, stop sewing. Take a break then go back when you’re up for it again.

3. ACCEPT AND APPRECIATE IMPERFECTIONS. It doesn’t matter how hard I try, every single item I’ve made so far has not been perfect. It’s impossible to make a perfect garment, and it’s okay! Instead of noticing all the things that you “messed up,” take note of the things you’ve done well. Appreciate the small skills that you’re improving on: notice that you sewed the buttons on straighter than you ever have before, appreciate that the first time you tried to match up the fabric pattern along the seam lines didn’t turn out half bad. Sure, the zipper may be wavy, but you think you know why and can work on that on your next project.IMG_15584. ONLY SEW WHAT YOU WANT TO SEW. I used to see other bloggers posting about the clothes they made for their kids and feel bad that I wasn’t doing the same. Currently, I only sew for myself. For a long time it made me feel selfish. I finally realized, that sewing what I wanted to sew wasn’t selfish. Sewing what I wanted and not feeling bad about it has really helped me to love sewing again. It’s a treat for me and not mean to my child that I don’t sew for him. I do plenty to show him that he is loved, I don’t have to sew for him to show it. Now that I love sewing again, I’m kinda itching to sew some things up for my little guy, like some superhero capes or a few bow ties. Funny how that all works out.

5. DON’T SEW FOR AN EVENT. Say you have a big work party coming up, and you think to yourself, “I should make a new dress for it!” Great idea! Until the party is tomorrow night, all you’ve done is cut out your fabric, and you find yourself in a panic. So now you stay up all night, swearing at your sewing machine, and hastily sewing this dress together only to have it not turn out the way you wanted it to. In the end, you decide to not wear your handmade dress, then panic about what you’re really going to wear, and just end up wearing something you already own but aren’t completely satisfied with. Ugh. This all makes for a horrible sewing experience. Here’s my tip: Don’t sew for events. But sometime sewing for an event is fun, you say. So here’s part two of this tip: Make your handmade dress your backup plan. Start by picking out an outfit for your party out of your closet that you already love. Plan on wearing it. Now, start making your handmade dress. You know that no matter what happens, you will go to the party looking amazing. You will not be rushed to make your dress and it will have less mistakes and will turn out much better. On the night of your party,  if your dress in complete, wear it! If not, wear the outfit your picked out first.

6. SEW FOR FIFTEEN MINUTES A DAY UNTIL YOU LOVE IT! If you’re really struggling to get in the sewing groove, set aside fifteen minutes everyday to sit down at your sewing machine. Set a timer, turn on your favorite CD, sew until the timer goes off, then be done.  After some time, you will find yourself looking forward to those fifteen minutes, and when the timer goes off, you’ll be sad your time is up. Slowly, you will find yourself loving the time you’ve spent sewing and look forward to it everyday.

7. STOP COMPARING YOURSELF TO OTHER SEWERS! There will always be someone that sews better than you. Always. It’s only going to bring negative feelings if you compare yourself to someone that’s more skilled that you. So stop it. The people who you compare yourself to are better than your for two reasons. First, they have been sewing longer than you. After you put in your time, you’ll be as skilled as they are. Second, they have developed skills that make sewing easier for them to pick up. For example, I’m not athletic and I don’t participate in sports. I have a sister that is athletic. If both of us try volleyball for the first time together, she’s going to pick it up much quicker than I will because she’s done things similar and her muscle memory will help her be good at volleyball. But if we both try knitting for the first time together, I will probably get the hang of it more quickly. Now, does this mean that I shouldn’t try volleyball, that my sister should give up on knitting, or that you shouldn’t try to push yourself to improve your sewing skills? Of course not! We all just may have to try a little harder, but the reward of finally getting down something that is really hard will be so much sweeter.

There you have it! My tips for how to love sewing! I hope this helps you get your sewing mojo going. What have you done to learn to love sewing? Are there any tips you would add to the list?

HAND-PRINTED-TOTE-BAGSAfter creating the easy breezy tote bag tutorial earlier this week, my brian started spinning with all the possibilities I could do with this easy sewing project. Here’s some hand printed totes I made using stencils from Stencil1, a pencil, and FolkArt multi-surface paint.photo-(1)To make a hand printed tote bag, you’ll need fabric for your bag, paints, and depending on how you want to print the bag, you may also need a stencil, sponge brush, and tape or a pencil and ruler. Cut out your fabric for your tote (Check back on this tutorial for the fabric sizes.). Then get to the fun part: printing!photo-(3)To create the floral tote, start by taping your stencil on the fabric. I used a stencil from the Stencil1 collection. They have some great new stencils! I’m thinking of using one of the graphic ones on a wall in my home. photo-(4)Use your sponge brush to apply the paint. To avoid the paint running under the stencil, dab the brush instead of using long strokes. Apply a couple coats to make sure you get every area. Let the paint dry a few minutes before removing the stencil. Let it dry completely and continue on making your tote bag.photoTo make the polka dot bag, all you’ll need is a pencil, paint, and a ruler. Dip the end of your pencil in paint, then using your ruler as a guide, add dots to the fabric. I painted my dots one inch apart. Be careful as you move your ruler around to not smudge the paint.photo-(2)From here, just follow the steps from the easy breezy tote bag tutorial to complete your bag. I adore the way these turned out! Wouldn’t these be fun to use in place of Easter baskets?tote bagsThis tutorial was made as part of a campaign by Ed Roth Stencils, and FolkArt Multi-Surface Paint. Stencil and paint were provided but ideas and opinions are entirely my own. Check out the fun from Plaid Crafts here: Blog, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram.signature

tote-bag-tutorialAs the weather gets warmer and I head outside more and more, I find myself grabbing for my no-fuss bags. Tote bags are great for warm weather outings and are wonderfully versatile. Throw in a book and a snack and head to the park. Fold one up to store in your purse for trips to the farmers market. Or use one to store your current sewing project in. The uses for these simple bags are endless. Here’s a tutorial to make your very own tote bag. I even included an infographic that you can pin to your sewing Pinterest board to have a quick reference to! Detailed directions are below. This project from start to finish, including cutting, took me lass than thirty minutes! How much fun would it be to have a bunch of homemade tote bags to use all summer long?easy-tote-bag-tutorial1. Cut out your fabric pieces. You will need two 14 inches x 16.5 inches pieces of your main fabric for the body and two 4 inches x 21 inches pieces of your accent fabric for the handles.

2. Create the straps: Fold each of the long edges toward the middle and press. Fold in half lengthwise, and press again. Topstitch both long edges of the strap. Repeat for the second strap.

3. Attach strap to the outside of one of the body pieces. Use a ruler to place each end evenly on the fabric. I placed each end about four inches in on both sides. Take care to make sure the straps are laying correctly and are not twisted. Pin and baste stitch to hold strap in place. Repeat with other strap and body piece.

4. With right sides together, sew the two body pieces together along the sides and the bottom. Press seams open.

5. Fold the top towards the inside of the bag 1/2 inch and press. Fold again 1 inch and press. Topstitch along the fold. Topstitch along the top of the bag.

6. To create more depth in your tote bag, square off the corners. This step is optional but I love the finished look of this step. With the bag turned inside out, at the corners, pinch the bag together to line up the side seam and the bottom seam. Use a ruler to draw a line perpendicular to the bottom seam about an inch in from the point. This will create a triangle at the corner. Stitch across the line. Repeat at the other corner.tote-bag-tutorial1There you have it! A simple tote bag you can use for everything! Have fun altering this tutorial to fit your needs! Make a larger or smaller tote. Change the length of the straps. Have fun and happy sewing!signature

lumme skirtlumme skirt detailsA little while ago, Named asked me if I wanted to try out a pattern from their dreamy new collection. Named is quite possibly my favorite pattern shop at the moment, so after I did I happy dance in front of my computer and threw in a few fist pumps, I politely said yes to their email. The pattern I choose was the pleated lumme skirt. At the time of publishing, I claim this as my favorite skirt pattern.

I’ve been really going over my wardrobe recently, and I’ve decided I need more mom-friendly skirts and dresses. Clothing that I can get down on the floor and play and get sticky finger prints all over. This skirt, my friend, fits that bill. It’s suuuuper comfy, long enough to sit on the floor, and bonus! I feel cute in it. I made it out of some delicious Lotta Jansdotter cotton fabric. The orange is a bit hard to coordinate colors with. It can go Halloweeny very easily. But I don’t care. I still love it. I’ve already worn it three times and will probably wear it again tomorrow.

So the pattern! It’s a great one! The lumme skirt pattern is simple. It’s a basic skirt with a couple swoon worthy design elements. It has a beautiful pleated waistband and a great, thick turnup at the hem. I have a couple modifications I’m dying to tryout: adding pockets to the side seams, color blocking the hem. This pattern would look great in a variety of fabrics. Named patterns are definitely not for beginner sewers. The layout of the patterns can be a bit confusing and the instructions are written for those that are comfortable sewing. If you’re skill level is higher, I recommend you try them out. I’ve now made two of their patterns, and so far, I’ve not had to alter the fitting on either. I like that. Haha! The other pattern I used was the Tyler Shirt. I used it for one of my looks for Project Sewn and love it like crazy. Next on my to-make list from them is the Halava Parka. Dreamy. Have you tried any patterns from Named? What did you make?

Processed with VSCOcam with m3 presetThe past few months have been a whirlwind for myself and my little family and I thought it would be fun to tell you all what’s been going on in our world. Our lives have been jam-packed with great things. Very great things, but very tiring things! At the beginning of fall, we sold our home, put everything in storage, moved in with my parents, and waited for our new home to finish being built. It’s crazy because we moved into our new home at the very end of November and I feel like I’m now, in February, finally getting my feet back under myself. Big sigh of relief.life2Those months living at my parents were hard. Not bad, but hard. My parents are super amazing and were so helpful! Living in limbo while taking care of an extremely active little boy in a very non-baby proofed house took a bit of a toll on me. By the time our house was almost finished, I was cracking. But we made it! We moved into our new home at the very end of November! I can’t tell you haw amazing it felt to finally have keys that were ours and didn’t belong to the builders. It was definitely worth all the hard work and long months and am so grateful for the help from family we had.life3Once we moved in, I thought things would calm down a bit. I was wrong.  With this adorable, active child, unpacking took longer than anticipated. On top of everything, it was the middle of the holidays, which meant all the fun festivities that went along with it. And Mason’s work gets crazy at the end of the year, so we didn’t get to see much of him, and when we were with him, we were at family Christmas events. In reality, we didn’t get around to really unpacking until January. And then we got sick. Oh boy did we get it. It was the sickest Max has been in his short life. It broke my heart. We spent the days watching Yo Gabba Gabba and cuddling on the couch. I’ll take the cuddling any day, but I can definitely do without being sick.Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetBut now, boxes are unpacked, things are mostly put away (let’s not talk about the garage until the end of spring, mmkay?), we’re healthy, and we’re getting a routine down around here. My studio (I have a new studio!) is finally set up and projects are going (the first one was getting my pattern shop set up!). I’m slowly getting pictures hung up and are making plans for future house projects. I mentioned in my 2014 goals, I planned to have more fun. At this moment, I feel like that’s a goal that’s coming to fruition. And goodness it feels good. This house is becoming our home and it’s been a whole lotta fun. (All pictures are from my Instagram account. Username @lazykrista)

P.S. You guys! Thank you SO MUCH for the kind words and purchases of my first sewing pattern! Today is the last day to use the code finally15 to get 15% off Jenny’s Purse Pattern!  I can’t wait to see what you are making with the pattern! Also, if you checked out the shop earlier from a tablet or phone and couldn’t see this pictures, that has been fixed :)