Independent-Learning Project: Sewing

I was instantly ecstatic when I saw this was part of the syllabus for ENG 361 because I have been wanting a sewing machine for about a year but I was making myself wait until I graduated (I’ll be done at the end of the summer) before I could buy one as a celebration gift for getting my bachelor’s degree. However, my parents bought me one early for my birthday & I had mixed emotions.

First, I really wanted it because I have so many Pinterest ideas I can’t wait to make!

Second, I knew it would be a complete distraction from doing my homework

Third, sewing is more fun than homework for me so I would procrastinate finishing my assignments

Fourth, I’ve never tried sewing before (and being one of those type A personality people) I was going to have to set aside some serious time to get this thing figured out.

So seeing that an independent-learning project made my type A personality & the thought of learning sewing do a silly little happy dance in my head!

This is my new sewing machine! Isn’t it pretty?


So when my mom came up to my house for Christmas we did a crash course in how to thread a bobbin, how to straight stitch, and how to get things started. So I bought some material to practice on. I am going to start with a straight stitch around in a square to make a single-sided blanket. Simple, right? Yeah, maybe not for me.


This is what I’m staring at thinking, “Okay, now what? Oh geez, I’m in over my head already!” Ha!

So I set out to begin. I measured my green material to make a nice square (while fighting with the cat who thinks that I’m making him a nice, soft, new bed). I folded over the edges, pinned them, and headed over to my new Brother sewing machine.

Next I threaded my bobbin, got it in the bottom of the machine, and got my thread through all these little loop-holes & through the needle. It was a real miracle!

Remember: The foot must be down or it will just jumble up your thread & cause a huge mess. (I know this from half an hour of frustration!)

But look, tah-dah! After an hour & a half of getting things measured, started, and a little sewn I got 2 edges done!


The rest of time this week is invested in Pinteresting hacks of sewing. It’s not fair, my mom, mother-in-law & grandmas all made this look so easy. It’s not easy. But I have to say—I’m excited to learn!

Next week I’m also going to come up with goals for my sewing adventure. Sorry, I like goals & I can see myself getting frustrated so goals will keep me on track…I think.


17 thoughts on “Independent-Learning Project: Sewing

  1. I love your independent study idea! Sewing is such a practical life skill, one that isn’t appreciated as much as it should be. I’ll admit, when I was younger, my mom attempted to teach me how to sew, but that didn’t go over too well. I made a pin cushion shaped like a strawberry, but that was the beginning and end of my sewing journey. Plus, it must be a kind of liberating feeling to know that you can make and modify your own clothing etc., and don’t need to rely on a tailor or a store to get you your fashion fix. Sewing is an art form; you can create something beautiful that didn’t exist before. I’m eager to hear how you progress on your sewing journey, and good luck!

    • Thanks! I’m excited and a little scared to get started. It wouldn’t be so bad but my progress is going to be here on my blog. I hope to finish with something great, but first I have to get the tension thing figured out…that may take a couple of weeks!

  2. I thing you independent study idea is awesome. I have always wanted to learn to sew too. I have to agree with you learning to sew is hard and time consuming work. My mother and grandma make it look so easy as well. I know that it will take time and practice to get to where you want to be when the class is over and I know that you will be able to make it come true.

  3. What an awesome gift from your parents, sewing is a really cool project. I would love to see your pintrest board and all the projects your getting ready to make. I love the fabric you picked out for your first project. It is super cute. I am excited for your progress and really excited to see your journey. Good luck I can’t wait to see your progress.

  4. You will have so much fun! Pinterest has great sewing tutorials. My mom always told me that if I am getting frustrated by sewing, to stop for awhile, or I would keep making mistakes. This is true for me. I can’t wait to see all your awesome crafty-ness!

  5. This sounds like a great idea, and you sound like an extremely creative person! I have always found the art of sewing fascinating and even tried to dabble in it when I was younger. It didn’t really stick due to being extremely busy, and bull-headed when I didn’t get it perfect like I had hoped! It sounds like you will have a ton of fun and learn a lot of new ideas while going about this project! Good luck to you, I hope to see and read about more of your successful projects this semester!

    • I hope it goes well I’m excited to learn. I’m a complete type A personality so I will have to deal with having struggles & imperfections along the way but thanks for the vote of confidence!

  6. I like that you already had something you wanted to learn. I think you’re going to have so much fun! I don’t know how to sew with a machine either, but I don’t have one to learn on. My grandma makes quilts that are beautiful! She says they aren’t too hard to do. If you are ever feeling brave, you should look up simple quilting on pinterest and try it out. Having a big, warm quilt you made would be very rewarding, I think! Good luck!

  7. That is awesome that you are learning to sew, I love sewing but haven’t taken the time in about 5 years to do any of it. I make quilts, not just the little ones for babies but the great big huge ones that cover an entire king size bed. It’s a lot of work but so worth it when you get it finished. I’m excited to see how things go for you.

  8. My mom and grandma sewed too–and yes, they made it seem very easy! I really like this as a learning project and I’m also so happy that you’re excited about the assignment. Sometimes it’s a struggle for students to take this assignment seriously and set aside time for their own learning. It just doesn’t feel like school, and it’s not clear at first how this project might relate to your teaching (or to digital literacy!). It will all come together in the end, though! Can’t wait to read about your project.

    • Thank you! I love that you encourage us to think for ourselves & try new things. I wouldn’t normally take the time for these projects but I enjoy trying something new. I seriously love your classes!

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