I hate sewing. No really, I do. I love the creative process but I don't do well with any type of creative endeavor that has strict rules and guidelines. I hate feeling like I have to stick to rules. That is why knitting and I will never be friends. You can't just wing it, because you get your count off and you have a wonkie dish towel. This is especially true if you are working from a pattern. Oh I hate sewing from a pattern. I get all kinds of anxious just looking at pattern pieces. I've learned just enough about sewing that I rarly have to consult patterns . And, I only sew for two reasons . . . necessity and frugality.
Necessity . . . this would be if can't find something the right size. Like, my kitchen windows. Okay, this always plays a little into frugality (more on that in a minute). The other part of necessity is that every now and then I will just find fabric that I love and I just feel compelled to use it to make something like I did with the table runner I made last fall. I just had a bunch of lovely material begging to be used. Not only it is cheaper, but often, making something yourself gives you creative license to make something unique. Like kindle covers for instance. They are both cost effective as well as unique. This is my newest cover that I made a few months back.
No one has a kindle like mine. I hand embroidered the flower on the case. I am still using the same pattern that I've used before. I've made a couple of other ones too. I modified the pattern this time to have an elastic closure and I love it. You might notice there are two in the photo. We picked up a kindle lite (at a great price) for me and Jason has been using my old kindle.
Now, about the frugality. As I mentioned earlier, this really drives most my sewing. If you've ever done much sewing, you might disagree with this. You see fabric can be crazy expensive. But, I tend to shop sales and clearance bins. I also pick up fabric at thrift stores (like what I used for my yoga bag). And, my sister who is a fabric hoarder, has been kind enough to bestow on me some yardage from her stash. She also sews things for the boys and I all the time. She is a real seamstress. Her hems are neat and even. She will even rip out a seam if it isn't right. Not me, I just live with the uneven lines. Which is why I will never be a quilter.
My most recent sewing creation fit both of my criteria for undertaking a sewing project. I needed a new tote bag for the gym. I was using my mom's old (like circa 2006) Vera Bradley bag. It was looking rough and Janine happened to give me a yard of a geometric print that I loved. And so, I have a new bag. It cost me $4. I had to buy the lining fabric and some interfacing.
I even fussed it up a bit with a few little frayed rosettes. I used this tutorial for the flowers. As for the bag, I used this method (lots of great tutorials on this site). I didn't measure it, I just eye-balled it. People who actually sew probably just fell out of their chair. That's right, I didn't even get out my tape measure and I barely used my iron. Like I said, I am a lazy seamstress who really doesn't like sewing. But because I am cheap and quirky, I will continue to do it from time to time.
PS. I made this bag too, I used the same method I did for this bag. I love this tutorial. Very easy and educational.
PPS. This is Kindle cover I made for my mother in law. The photo pretty much sucks, but I wanted to show you the label. I know it is way blurry, it says 'jaime barks: handmade.' I found this great tutorial for making your own custom sewing labels on the cheap. It worked great. You use iron transfer paper and twill tape. Really neat trick for gifts and such. I just made a few, I didn't need a whole bunch. Just thought I'd pass the tip along.