Week #9 – Self Teaching Myself How to Hand Sew

For EDTC 300 Learning Project I’ve chosen to teach myself how to sew. This assignment tests out the idea that students can learn how to teach themselves using online resources.

Before the Learning Project, I barely knew how to sew. I once mended a tear on a dress but that was the extent of my sewing skills.  Looking back at my weekly learning posts  I have seen that progress I have made since my first attempt at stitching a seam to creating bags, hair accessories and making alternations.  I am very proud of the progress I made this past semester, especially since I self-taught myself how to sew using online resources.

Most of the online resources I used were various how-to Youtube videos or blogs about based sewing, crafting, homemaking. etc.  The main blog I went to the most was apartment therapy and it was this post, How To Sew by Hand: 6 Helpful Stitches for Home Sewing Projects, on this site that I found the most helpful.

In the first few weeks,(Week #2, Week #3, Week #4) I focused on learning various stitches. I learnt how the stitches have different purposes, such as whip stitch and blanket stitch are most commonly used for sewing separate pieces of fabric together, slip stitch is best used for hemming, backstitch is the strongest stitch and is the “go-to” stitch. In my first blog post, I made a goal of learning how to sew ten stitches, but over the past few weeks, I realized that the number of stitches I wanted to learn was too much and that focuses on master fewer stitches was easier. Plus, learning how to stitch a straight line was a project itself.

Whip Stitch
Blanket Stitch
Backstitch
Catch Stitch
Running Stitch
Slip Stitch/Ladder Stitch (inside out)

Here is my first sewing project. It’s a simple bag and making it is even simpler. You only need to type of stitch and one piece of fabric.

You can see the crooked stitching and the uneven top.

(Image credit: Richelle Guerra)

compare this to the draw string bag I made in week #5. This used multiple types of stitches, uses at least three separate pieces of fabric, and uses hemming technique.

Animated GIF
(Richelle Guerra, “Drawstring Bag”. Giphy. 23 Feb 2020, https://giphy.com/gifs/elIfVGQXN6ICx0tM

Although I have learnt how to sew the basics, I have learnt more than just sewing. I have learned to search for useful resources, learning how to self asses on what types of instructions I understand the most. (visual) How to communicate my learnings with other people.

Other projects:

Medical mask
Tote Bag

Although this Learning Project is over I still plan to continue to learn how to sew. I recently just bought a sewing machine and I’m excited to learn how to use it and create new things.

Week #8 – How to Sew a Hair Bow

What you need:

  • fabric
  • a needle
  • some thread 
  • some headpins
  • an alligator clip 
  • a glue gun with a glue stick 
  • an iron

This is the tutorial I used DIY Hair Bow | Sewing. This video tutorial was easy to follow but there were some steps that it didn’t address. Such as what stitches to use, how big should the seam allowance be, and how to knot a needle.

These are the other resources use to help me sew.

How to thread and knot a needle – How to Tie a Knot in Thread: Sewing for Beginners 

How to sew a backstitch – How to To Sew by Hand: 6 Helpful Stitches for Home Sewing Projects

EDTC 300: Week #8 – How to Sew a Hair Bow

In this video, I show how to sew a hair bow.

 

 

 

 

Week #7 – Alternative: Alterations

When I think about how much I spend on clothing I cringe. Think about it there are four seasons here in Canada. That’s one set of clothing for each season. Clothing for Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter. Sure you can downsize it to two sets of clothing a year – Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter, but there are still other factors such as if you want to keep up with the latest trend or if your clothes tear or get stained you would have to shop for new clothes or at least thrift, anyhow you are still spending money.

There is an alternative solution to buying new clothes – you can alter/redesign your clothes.

In my high school years, blouses with frilly ends were a trend. It’s been a while and so this trend is outdated. I still like the blouse but it’s not my style anymore so it’s been sitting in my wardrobe. I knew I could give it away but I decided to try to update it with alterations. Black and white stripes are a tread also having a long-sleeve in basic colours area must have basic items for a versatile wardrobe. I realized I could just cut off the frilly part create a basic long-sleeved shirt. After cutting the frilly part I hemmed the ends where I cut to make sure the steams don’t loosen. Altering my blouse saved me at least 15 dollars. A long-sleeved shirt would have cost me at least 15 dollars, 10 dollars if I found a really good discount.

Week #6 – Tips and Tricks

This week I decided to sew a hair ribbon since I still have excess from fabric from sewing my drawstring bag from last week. I followed a tutorial, called DIY Hair Bow | Sewing, on Youtube. After a few weeks of following video tutorial, I’ve picked up on three tips on how to follow tutorial videos more easily.

  1. Go to settings and click the playback speed to watch the video in slow motion. It is easier to see small details that the instructions do not state explicitly.
  2. Rewatch the video in smaller segments. Take it one step a step.
  3. It’s ok not to follow the exact instructions. You might find a more efficient way.

I found that playing this tutorial at 0.75 speed really help with seeing the step by step process. Many tutorial videos do not directly state “this is step 1” or “next is step 2.” There are many times where you as the audience have to deconstruct the video into steps in order to follow the tutorial.

This is a picture of the before and after product. It’s amazing how a person can take a piece of cloth and create a whole new object.

Before
After

Week #5 – Drawstring Bag

Animated GIF
(Richelle Guerra, “Drawstring Bag”. Giphy. 23 Feb 2020, https://giphy.com/gifs/elIfVGQXN6ICx0tM

This week I decided to attempt to sew a bag. I followed this video on Youtube, Hand Sewing The Most Simple Drawstring Bag | DinLife. This video is not a tutorial but more like a demonstration. I wanted to challenge myself and see if I could follow along with a video with no instructions.

Since I didn’t want the tread to be seen, I side up using the ladder stitch to sew the ends together instead of using the blanket stitch.  That’s why if you compare my drawstring bad to the one in the video the sides look different.

Instead of writing a step by step tutorial on sewing a drawstring bag. I used an app called Shortcut to create a slideshow of me making a drawstring bag.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Week # 4

Hi everyone welcome to week #4 of my sewing project.  I learnt 3 other types of stitches. The whipstitch, backstitch and the blanket stitch from “How To Sew by Hand: 6 Helpful Stitches for Home Sewing Project.” The whipstitch blanket stitch is used to bring pieces of fabric together, while the backstitch can be used for embroidery. I practiced on this sheet to the fabric which I cut out from an old pillowcase. The stitches on the right are the blanket stitch, the bottom stitch is whipstitch, and the top stitch is the backstitch.

From “How To Sew by Hand: 6 Helpful Stitches for Home Sewing Project,” I learnt 6 types of stitches that I think will come in handy for future projects.

Whip Stitch
Blanket Stitch
Backstitch
Catch Stitch
Running Stitch
Slip Stitch/Ladder Stitch (inside out)

Week #3

Week three of learning how to competently sew. This week I learnt a new stitch, the ladder stitch also called slip stitch. I originally wanted to learn and practice 3 different types of stitching – the ladder stitch, blanket stitch, and whipstitch. But I got caught up with the ladder stitch. According to “How To Sew by Hand: 6 Helpful Stitches for Home Sewing Projects,” the ladder stitch is used for sewing pillowcases. I decided to try to make a mock-up pillowcase. I wanted to see if I can apply the stitches I’ve learnt and actually create something. I used two types of stitches, the ladder stitch and the catchstitch, to create this mock-up pillowcase.  So this is the finished product.

(Image credit: Richelle Guerra)

Yeah I know, it looks bad. But hey this is my first time creating something with sewing.

I use fabric from an old pillowcase. I deconstructed it then I cut the fabric into a smaller rectangular piece.

(Image credit: Richelle Guerra)

Then I folded the left and right side of the fabric to create two folds at each end.

(Image credit: Richelle Guerra)
(Image credit: Richelle Guerra)

Next, I folded the fabric into half.

(Image credit: Richelle Guerra)

 

(Image credit: Richelle Guerra)

I sewed the two folded ends together using the ladder stitch. The ladder stitch is great for hemming because if you match the colour of the thread to the colour of the fabric, the stitch is essentially invisible. I used black thread in order to show you the threading.

(Image credit: Richelle Guerra)

I folded the edges of the bottom of the fabric.

(Image credit: Richelle Guerra)

Then I sewed the bottom together.

(Image credit: Richelle Guerra)

If you can see the edges I didn’t cut the fabric evenly. It’s very crooked. So, I decided to hem the edges of the top to cover.

(Image credit: Richelle Guerra)

I folded the edges of the top of the fabric.

(Image credit: Richelle Guerra)

I used the catchstitch to hem the folded edges.

(Image credit: Richelle Guerra)

This is inside out of the mock-up pillowcase. I just wanted to show you what the catchstitch looks.like.

(Image credit: Richelle Guerra)

 

This is what the finished product looks like outside and inside. I think its a pretty ok attempt for a first attempt.

(Image credit: Richelle Guerra)

 

(Image credit: Richelle Guerra)

Week #2

This week I decided to work on simple stitching. I practiced these two stitching the running  stitch and the catch stitch  from “How To Sew by Hand: 6 Helpful Stitches for Hime Sewing Projects.” 

The running stitch is a basic stitch and can be used to temporarily hold fabrics together.  In my first attempt at sewing, the running stitch I couldn’t get the spacing between the stitches even and I had a hard time keeping the line straight.  In this picture, you can see that my stitching is starting to curve. I had to restart my stitch, which I found my self doing a lot.  I started with longer stitches because I found out that it was easier to sew then stitching in smaller lengths.  Once I got the hang of it. I  sewed the stitches into smaller lengths. The smaller the length of the stitch the strong it will hold the fabric.

The second stitch, the catch stitch,  is used for hemming. What is hemming? Hemming is a  finishing method for fabrics. It is when the end of a piece of fabric is folded and then sewn together to make sure the fabric doesn’t rip.

It wasn’t as hard to stitch as I had initially thought. But applying these stitches to create clothing or other articles of clothes. Now that’s going to be a challenge.

Week #1

For my learning project, I decided to learn how to sew using online resources. I want to learn how to sew because first, I don’t want to be wasteful and second I want to save money. For example, if I have a shirt with a hole or a tear I could sew it instead of throwing it away and buying a new shirt.

I do have some experience in sewing. I had a dress that had a torn strap. I could have asked my mom to sew it together for me, but I realized that sewing is a practical skill I should know. So I decided to do what every Gen. Z would do. Google it!

(Image credit: Richelle Guerra)

I found this website apartment therapy where I learnt that slip stitch/ladder stitch and used this type of stitch to fix my dress’ strap.  Fortunately,  I found some sewing tools and tread in my house. so I didn’t have to buy new needles and tread.

(Image credit: Richelle Guerra)

This is the dress after I sew the strap. If you look closely you can see that I couldn’t quite make that the stitching look seamless. One of my end goals is to be able to make stitch seem like it was always supposed to be there. 

I plan on learning how to make at least 10 different stitches by the end of this learning project. This project is not only going to make me learn how to sew, but also test my diligence and time management skills. It will teach me how to self-study. I can’t wait to see the progression of my sewing skills thought out the coming weeks.