My First Sewing Projects

I’ve been wanting to learn to sew for years, and my lovely husband surprised me with a sewing machine for Christmas! I have been having an absolute blast using it! So far I’ve made a few too many pillows, a tote bag, two aprons, and a knitting needle case.

I’d ultimately like to make clothes, or at least learn to alter my own clothes. I have a major fitting problem–for every ten items I take into a fitting room, nine go straight back to the shelves because of fitting issues. Until I can make my own clothing, I made something similar to clothes–an apron! Aprons are one of the reasons I wanted to learn to sew because I really love them. I find half-aprons more comfortable, so that’s what I’ve been making.


My friend Aly helped pick out the material, and I’m so happy with the way they ended up looking together!


I added rickrack to cover my messy seams and make it look a bit more vintage.


It is so satisfying to end up with a product that looks EXACTLY like what you wanted!


I whipped this up yesterday! The green fabric is the left-over from the band of the first apron (amazing how different it looks as the dominant fabric, right?).


Even though I typically only like to buy craft supplies on sale (Hobby Lobby and Joann’s have a lot of sales), I couldn’t resist the cute birdcage fabric.


I finally have a knitting needle case!  I used this wonderful tutorial.


Detail. Nearly-straight stitches! That was the hardest thing for me to get used to.


The case rolls up and ties with ribbon.


My friend Aly helped me pick out this fabric as well, and I couldn’t be happier. It matches my bedspread perfectly!


That little blue pillow in the back was the first thing I sewed! It doesn’t match our living room, but Joseph put it on the couch anyway.

30 comments


  • Jen

    Everything turned out so good! Great job! I’ve been wanting to learn to sew too. I was just looking at sewing machines yesterday, but I’m not really sure whats good and what isn’t.

    January 4, 2011
    • Alyssa

      Thanks so much! I wanted to learn for a long time too. If it helps any, I got this Brother. My husband did research and found that the best for the price–he didn’t know I’d already decided that’s the machine I wanted to learn on!

      January 4, 2011
  • Nice job! I got a sewing machine for Christmas several years ago, but I have yet to really put it to use…I feel bad! I need to relearn threading the machine X_X

    January 4, 2011
  • These are completely gorgeous! You’d never be able to tell you just started sewing. I’d like to eventually get into sewing too, but unfortunately I have other, higher priority things I need to buy. You should consider selling some of your aprons on Etsy, they’re seriously beautiful.

    January 4, 2011
  • I have had a sewing machine for years and still can’t do straight stitches. How did you learn so fast? And I LOVE your aprons. I’ve been wanting to make some myself but never found the time (or talent).

    January 5, 2011
    • Alyssa

      Well, I wouldn’t exactly call my stitches straight yet. That is definitely what I’m struggling with the most right now. I’ve practiced quite a bit by drawing straight lines on a piece of paper, taking the thread out of the machine (just so I don’t waste it), and punching holes along the lines. It really helps a lot! Once I felt more comfortable doing lines I started drawing abstract shapes and circles too.

      January 5, 2011
      • Annonimous

        When you need to sew staight lines on projects such as the needle case, it helps to do the markings on wax paper first and then stich over it. When your done, just tare the wax paper off and what you end up with are straight lines. If the paper wrinkles too much, just loosen the stich and that should do the trick.

        December 24, 2011
  • LOVE the little apron!
    Such a simple pattern, but so effective… WELL DONE!

    January 5, 2011
  • I love your aprons! You sew, girl! Have you found http://www.WeAllSew.com yet? I think you’d like scrolling through the “Free Stuff” page – lots of great projects and tutorials that are right up your alley.

    January 5, 2011
    • Alyssa

      Thank you so much for the recommendation! I had no sewing resources except a few great bloggers and Craftster.org, so that helps a lot!

      January 5, 2011
  • The knitting needle kit is soo pretty!! not to mention your photos are very professional. And I like the apron too :)

    January 5, 2011
  • Orli

    First off, beautiful aprons! I love the fabrics and the way you put them together.

    Secondly, that is one fantastic husband you’ve got–he appreciates your craft, puts it on display for the world, and knows how to get stuff that will further it. You’re a lucky woman.

    January 6, 2011
  • I love all of your fabric choices! They’re great! It looks like you’ve gotten off to a good start with sewing!

    January 6, 2011
  • Very lovely aprons and pillows! The green apron is my favorite, it looks super adorable!

    January 7, 2011
  • Hi Alyssa! I found your blog via CraftGawker. We are so alike! I just bought a Brother sewing machine (I think a price/freature step down from yours, it’s the teal & white one) and my first project will be a pillowcase, an apron, and a sewing machine cover! Your apron is absolutely adorable. And I thought it was worth mentioning, I bought the same birdcage fabric to make the cover for my sewing machine! Also, where did you get the blue mixer & that cute pink pillow? I love them both!

    January 12, 2011
    • Alyssa

      Hi! Your Brother sounds cute. I wonder if I should sew a sewing machine cover too–I hadn’t thought of it. I hope you’ll put pictures of yours on your blog when you finish it.

      The mixer is a KitchenAid Artisan stand mixer in the “ice” color; I ordered it off Amazon. The little pink pillow I bought at a local store when I lived in Italy :)

      January 12, 2011
  • Brook

    I love your aprons! Where did you get the patterns? I am thinking about making one for my first sewing project!

    January 27, 2011
    • Alyssa

      Thank you! I actually didn’t use a pattern but just figured it out as I went along. If you have another apron you like the shape of, you might want to use that as a guide! :)

      January 27, 2011
  • […] stumbled upon this adorable homemade apron here. Cute, right? Just thought I’d share. Next on my list: learn to […]

    February 3, 2011
  • karissa

    love your aprons!! very inspirational! i soon wil be learning to sew and hope my creations will be as adorable as yours..one day! probably not soon..but hopefully eventually :)

    May 20, 2011
  • This is very fascinating, You are an overly skilled blogger. I’ve joined your rss feed and stay up for in search of more of your fantastic post. Also, I’ve shared your web site in my social networks

    November 25, 2011
    • Alyssa

      Thank you so much for the compliments! I really appreciate your comment :)

      November 27, 2011
  • Catrina

    Cute apron…nicely done. I also love your shoes!!

    December 8, 2011
  • Michelle

    Hi!! Your apron is gorgeous! Just wondering if you have a tutorial for it or have I completely missed the link? I’m just a beginner since a friend gave me a sewing machine for my birthday and I’d like to try this apron. :) Thank you! You’re an inspiration!

    March 11, 2012
    • Alyssa

      I actually didn’t use a pattern! I used an aprom I already had as a guide for the skirt a bit, but besides that it was all on my own. Honestly, I have no idea how I knew how to do everything!

      Good luck! I’ve had so much fun playing around with my sewing machine :)

      March 14, 2012
  • I just found your aprons on Pinterest. I know it’s over a year ago now since you posted this, but they are amazing for someone who was new to sewing, especially as you didn’t use a pattern. Great fabric choices for the first one and I love the pocket and ruffle on the second. I would love for you to share this at our ongoing themed linky that’s just for Aprons…
    http://threadingmyway.blogspot.com/2012/02/threading-your-way-aprons-and-art.html

    April 7, 2012
  • All your creations are so great! I just started sewing this year & you’re a total inspiration – you actually inspired me to make my own apron without using a pattern [the first time I’ve ever successfully done that], & it turned out so great! It’s not perfect, of course, but it will be great for the handmade gift exchange I’m participating in right now, because the girl I’m making a gift for said she wanted things for her kitchen. :] Thanks so much, keep up the great work!

    theyarntotell.wordpress.com

    June 21, 2012
    • Alyssa

      Wow what a compliment! I’ve dropped the ball a bit on my sewing, I’m afraid. I started a skirt a couple weeks ago (my first real piece of clothing and first time with a pattern) but got intimidated when it came time to attach the zipper, and it’s been sitting by my machine since.

      I hope the giftee likes the apron! I think they make wonderful gifts, plus they are fun to make because you get to play with all sorts of fabric combinations!

      June 23, 2012
  • Lisa

    Good Job and thanks for the inspiration! I am always on the outlook for new tasks and find sewing so relaxing. Keep up the good work, your projects look fantastic!

    November 9, 2012
  • Lovely apron!!! :) Amazing for the 1st sewing project.

    December 21, 2012

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