Sewing is superb!
In January 2017 I decided I wanted to sew chair covers for our dinning room chairs, as we couldn’t afford to buy new ones. I saw the idea while browsing Pinterest, and I got totally inspired. The only problem with my grand idea was that I had no idea how to sew.
I was determined to make these chair covers, so I came up with a plan to reach my goal. I did this by setting small attainable goals to work towards. Lucky for me my mom is an amazing seamstress, and I just so happened to be going to visit her in a few weeks time. She was only to happy to show me what a sewing machine looked like and some of the basic things you can do with one. I studied the anatomy and physiology of a sewing machine, read manuals and got a good understanding of how things worked before I practiced this new developing skill.
I started out with hemming a small tablecloth. My mom taught me how to do a mitered corner, which is in one of the pictures below. I used a basic zigzag for a nice finish. Feeling proud of myself for actually sewing something for the first time in my life, I put our tablecloth on our coffee table and admired how it changed the atmosphere in the room. I never realised how good it felt to make something you’re happy with and that is both creative and functional.
I was so lucky that my mom-in-law lent me her sewing machine, so I could see if I was any good at sewing and to decide whether I wanted my own machine. For my next project, I decided I needed a challenge. I chose to learn how to make something that had a more complicated pattern, and I looked around my bedroom for inspiration. I found a bag that was made for me by my sister-in-law for a birthday, it was a lovely reversible tote bag. I studied it, trying to work out how it was made, determined to make one myself. I bought my supplies and started. It was certainly a challenge to figure out how it was made, and after hours of sewing, taking seams apart and resewing, I finally had something that resembled a reversible tote bag to be somewhat proud of.
This method of learning seems to be quite effective. Find something you like, and work out on your own how it’s made. It’s harder and requires a lot of motivation and concentration, and you will make more mistakes but you learn so much that way.
I did a few more sewing projects, and slowly built my skill set and confidence. I tried using different sewing techniques and a variety of fabrics. I got to the point where I was happy to buy some fabric for our dinning room chairs and attempt these covers. Choosing a colour wasn’t that hard, I fell in love with the colour jade and I thought it would look great in our dinning/living room. Choosing type of fabric was a bit more challenging, but in the end I settled for a beautiful velvet from Hertex. And in a few weeks, and many many tedious hours of work, I finally finished six chair covers. They don’t look perfect but I’m so proud of them and I love how they have completely changed the look of the room.
It was so great to reach the difficult goal I set myself, and I feel so empowered by this new skill. It has opened up so much opportunity for me, and I’m excited to keep learning. My vision is sewing things we need in our home, like clothing, linen and other useful items. Doing this not only instills a sense of a handmade home to be proud of but it’s economical too. My next step is making a few items of clothing and maybe a few scatter cushions for our couches.
I just wanted to mention that I wouldn’t have been able to do this without the wonderful community of women around me, who have been encouraging me, teaching me and praying for me.