Clothing

How To Sew Clothes With A Sewing Machine

Nowadays, clothes seem to be more than a necessity. With the different trends coming up, it is hard to catch up sometimes. But come to think of it, the trends are just going on a cycle. For example, many would think that skinny jeans were just invented during this time, but it is not. It has been around for a while but was named differently. Then there are statement pieces that are timeless and do not seem to get out of styles like denim and leather jackets. It is because of these reasons that some people would like to try a hand with sewing.

It will be quite simple once you learned about the basics. You can do something with your hands but with trendy clothes and also for efficiency, a sewing machine will be a lot easier. For starters, here is what you need to know:

1. Know the Parts

The first thing you would need to know is the parts of a sewing machine. There are many of them that you might get confused about, and it is a significant part of starting. The reason for this is because there are certain items that will have their own places. Also, you would also need to know about the settings and how to control it. It will be best to read the manual since some sewing machines work differently than the other.

2. Know the Types

There are different types of sewing machines. Today, most people are using modern ones, because it is a lot easier and also is mostly available. But there are still some would use old and traditional. For a beginner, there are sewing machines available and is best to use. It would be best to start with the mechanical sewing machine. If you did that, it will be a lot easier for you to move with other types. It will also be more efficient because you will not have a problem if there is no electricity, and the other types are now usually run by it. You can still invest in an electric sewing machine so that you could also learn and not left behind by technology. Some electric sewing machines can be computerized, and it will be handy to learn about it.

3. Know the Materials

This is pertaining to the materials and fabric you will use with the machine. As a beginner, it will be wise to start with those fabrics that are medium in weight which is not too thin and not too thick. There are also fabrics that are stretchable, and you could give that a try once you are more experienced. 

4. Know the Techniques

Now that you are ready to use the machine, you should know about the different techniques. It will definitely depend upon the fabrics you would use. The first thing you need to learn and practice is stitching. By this, you would learn the basics of controlling the foot pedal and how you will guide your fabric through the needle. Once you have learned about this, it will be much easier to know about the other styles.

Creative

What Makes A Person Creative?

Have you look at artworks or sculptures and think how good they are? Then add to that the meanings behind them, it is quite bizarre sometimes. There are also clothes and house with different designs. It is such a delight and wonder to think that those began with ideas in the mind of people.

You might think, how did that happen? Where did those ideas come from? Anyone can be creative but not everyone practices it. We all do tend to have ideas whether small or not. So what makes one more creative than everyone else?

1. Being Focused

You would think that creative people should have a lot of energy in what they doing. It is the case. But they also have their energy in focusing on what they are doing. Without any focus, it will be hard for them to finish and stick to one activity or project. Sure, creative people may tend to have many ideas but they would need to have a focus on what they are doing. Once they are done with that, they might start with another one. There are times that it does not seem to stop, but it what that keeps them going.

2. Being Observant

For them to have new ideas, they will have to look around them in every detail and action. This happens everywhere and anytime they will go to something. It could be as simple as doing chores or the more complex things. It is said that the world is our oyster, and indeed it is because there are a lot of ideas that can be formed by just looking around, and that is what creative people do. It is one of the reasons they tend to have notebooks with them to write down things they observe or if inspiration suddenly hits them. 

3. Being Curious

It is not just about being observant around but also being curious. Creative people are known to be smart, but they also have that child-like wonder when it comes to seeing new things. They would either want to try or learn more about something. Besides, being smart does not mean one will be creative. To be one, they have to be involved and do something, and a curious person tends to do that. They also tend to love trying new things and experience them for themselves. Also, even if something seems old or have already been experienced before, they will have ways to find something about it.

4. Being Passionate

Passion is what keeps them going. Without it, they will never have started in the first place. It is not also just in the beginning but until the end. That is one of the mistakes some people did. They would start as being passionate and excited in the beginning but will be lost in the middle or at the end and would result in their project seeming something missing or not as good as they imagined. Because of that, it would cause them to have a creativity block or stop in general.

Household

Cheap DIY Projects for Home Decor

To call something, whether your own house or rented apartment, a home, it should be somewhere that you are comfortable and shows what you are. In order to do that, you should have your home decorated according to your tastes. But oftentimes, it will be very expensive and in addition to that, you also have to find something that will save space.

One of the things that will surely make your space be the one you will truly like is doing them your own. You may think that you are not that creative for that, but there are easy solutions. Aside from that, you will definitely save a lot. Here are some that you can try:

1. Repurposing Furniture

If you have a hard time finding the perfect furniture for you that is cheap, you can always take a look at stores that second hand. There are thrift stores or yard sales that sell very cheap and still in great condition. If there is a need to be repaired, you can do it yourself. If you do not like the design much, you can change it. This does not only include second-hand items though, but you can also give some of your old furniture a makeover. That way, you do not have to spend too much yet feels like it is something brand new.

2. Making Own Artwork

Artworks are a great addition to your rooms to make them look more interesting and elegant. The problem is that they tend to be pricey. Instead of buying one, why not make it yourself? This will be great for those who do some painting as their hobby, but what about those who are not? Well, it does not have to be complicated or sophisticated. There are some techniques that are great for beginners such as acrylic paint pouring. 

3. Painting Own Walls

Do you want to change the colors of your wall? You do not have to hire a contractor for that. You can definitely do it on your own. You just have to choose the right paints. You will also need to know the proper way and have the proper technique in applying them. If you will need some help, you can have some of your friends or family with you. 

4. DIY Organization and Storage

When it comes to home, proper storage is a must to best avoid clutter. Even though it is not that expensive to buy things that will help you to be organized and with storage, it is also easy to do them your own. You will surely have some old boxes or dishes, and you can repurpose them as a place to keep some of your stuff. If you do not want them to be boring, you can have them painted and designed that will also add some color. This way, you will save more rather than buying that at times will just also add some more to your space and be cramped. It will also great to recycle.

Art

Different Types of Arts and Crafts

With technology today, it seems like arts and crafts will fade out, but that is not the case. Many still treasure and continue doing it. In fact, many will prefer doing something with their own hands because they feel like it is something real, unlike digital counterparts. Also, doing crafts is something therapeutic.

But as technology progresses, so is this though not as much, only a bit faster to produce unlike before. There are also some new types, but they just came from old concepts. Today, these are some of the arts and crafts that are currently and mostly done:

1. Textile

Also known as fiber craft, this is the craft that works with fabric, yarn, and any other surface design. This craft includes weaving, knitting, quilting, and more. And because the fashion and clothing industry is so big today, so is this. It is not only used for clothing though but also for homes such as rugs and beddings.

2. Paper

As the name suggests, this is the craft that uses paper. Most of the crafts that are done by kids involved paper. But adults also enjoy this. It is simple and not to mention cheap, because papers are easy to be on hand. Some examples of this are origami, quilling, scrapbooking, decoupage, and more. Some actually do this as a hobby instead of living. But because of the internet and social media, they are able to use that platform to advertise and sell their creations.

3. Mixed Media

It is is the type of art that incorporates different styles and has more than one medium. What was often used in this are paper, wood, cloth, and other items. Assemblages and collages are the most common type for this. Some people do this as a hobby by incorporating paint or any other art supply with their journals or scrapbooks.

4. Pottery

This craft uses clay or any other ceramic material to form objects. To make them hard and durable in form, they are fired in high temperatures. We have our kitchen dishes like plates, bowls, mugs, etc. because of this. Other items that are formed are decorative elements at homes such as vases. 

5. Wood

This is the craft that uses wood and is known to be the material that man had used for creative purposes. Like pottery, this is the craft that is usually used for everyday uses. This craft includes making furniture and cabinets and also carpentry. Wood carving also falls in this category. One does not simply become an expert wood crafter because of the different variety of woods available and its different uses.

6. Painting

When art is first mentioned, most people will likely have painting first comes to mind. The most popular will be painting on canvas but no matter what surface, as long as it is applied with any medium like paint, it is considered a painting. It is through painting that a person will express their emotions and ideas. Through the years, different techniques and types have been developed. 

Clothing

Easy Clothes To Make

One of the necessities that we have is clothing. But now, you could say it is more than that because it seems like clothing is not just a necessity. Clothing nowadays is also a form of statement, and also a way of showing your personality. And like any other thing in this world, they have trends, and it is a person’s choice if they will follow it or not.

But no matter how much time passed and changed, you can see that the trends about clothing seem to be in the cycle. It means that they just come back. There are also some pieces that never got out of style. If you are thinking of making one, there are easy ones that are great, to begin with, and also timeless.

1. Skirt

This is one of those pieces that has always been around. Back in the day, it used to be worn by women all the time. But it did not go out of trend though. In fact, nowadays, there are different kinds of skirts in length and shape. It can also be made with different materials and textures. It is very versatile because there are types that are for casual, formal, or business. But it is a good one to start with especially if you are also starting with a sewing machine.

2. Summer Dress

There are different types of dresses today. Some seem sophisticated, but there are also those that are simple. And like the skirt, it can be casual or formal. But one of the simplest is the summer dress, and it is a great way to start. It does not have one style but since it is a dress that is used for summer, they are usually made with light materials and therefore much easier to handle than those that are heavier. There are also easy patterns you can find that are great for beginners. 

3. Pajama Pants

Sure, it is not something you would wear outside, but it is always wore because it is very comfortable which is needed when you are sleeping. Aside from it being comfortable, it is also easy to make. You will not even need a sewing machine for this. You will just need a pattern and a fabric which are usually light and then some other essentials such as the sewing materials, scissors, and garter then you are good to go and make it by hand.

4. Scarf

Scarves also have different types nowadays and not only worn during the winter. It seems like a scarf also became a style statement that even during the summer, there are people who choose to wear them. Of course, those are made with lighter fabrics. But there are also fabrics that are great to use during the winter. Then there are also some that are expensive because of the fabrics they are made of. They are easy to make. There are no complicated patterns needed for this, but it will be up to you if you want to add in some other details like beads or sequins. The traditional way of making it is through knitting and if you want to try a hand at that, you can have a scarf as your first project.

Creative

How To Be Creative In Life

When we think of being creative, the first thing comes to mind is doing something in your own hands that come from an idea formed in the mind or simply put being an artist. It is not wrong per se, but being creative does not only apply to artists but can also be applied to anyone else. Creativity can be applied with the things you do whether it be for a job or just your everyday life. To develop it, here are some ways to do it:

1. Relax and Enjoy

No matter what stress you have experienced, remember to take a break once in a while. Not only it is good for your health, but it will also enhance your creativity. When you have a clear mind and just enjoy things around you, it may lead you to be inspired to do something or get an idea about something, and it may cause you well with your job or your home life. So go on a vacation or just take a moment to rest at your house and you never know, ideas might start popping in.

2. Enhance Imagination

To be creative, you will need to have a broad imagination. Before creating anything, artists usually have a vision or imagining it first. That is why it is important to have a broad imagination. This way, you will have ideas and inspirations in doing something. There are many ways to enhance the imagination. You can just read a book or listen to music, and it will help you. You can also go on a vacation or participate in any activities around you and that your way, you will also gain some experiences that will help you.

3. Start Now

Whenever inspiration hits you, start working on them immediately or else it might fade away, or the idea you have will be forgotten. It is not just only when an idea or inspiration strikes, you should also practice even in small ways. This way, you can further develop your creativity. This will also avoid you from having creativity blocks. You can also do some long term projects that will help you stay inspired and also get your hands and mind working often. For we know that to have something like engines work properly and to keep it from being rusty, it has to be maintained and moved, and that is the same with our brains.

4. Do Not Be Too Critical

Once you start on something, do not be so harsh and critical in what you do. Sure, it should not be mediocre but that does not mean it always has to be perfect. If you have done something and finished it, do not stress too much about the results and what it lacks. Instead, celebrate what you have achieved and done. You can ask some opinions of others if you want to help you ease the results. If it does result in lacking then have it as a lesson for next time, and you have your lesson and new inspiration as a result.

Household

Elegant Decorating Ideas for Living Rooms

In a house, the living room is what your visitors commonly stay and where they are entertained. It is for this reason that among all of the rooms in the house, the living room should always look pleasant and appealing.

It is said that what your home looks like reflects your personality. And as said before, the living room is what your visitors will mostly see, so it is important to make it look good and stylish. Would that be hard and expensive though? Not really. There are ways to make your living room look refined without spending too much.

1. Furniture

If there is something most essential in a room, it is the furniture. It is where people can rest and get relaxed. There is a variety that comes in different shapes and sizes. It is also made of different kinds of materials. It will be depending upon the space of the living room. If it is bigger and spacious, then you might need to have some bigger pieces that will fill up your space, and it is the same with the smaller ones. The reason for this is because the room might look either cramp or too expansive. For that, balance is important. You do not need to buy expensive furniture for your living room to look elegant. You just have to be creative and tolerant in finding one. You can look at thrift shops or yard sales for second-hand furniture that is still in good condition. There is also furniture that is cheap like a futon or a coffee table that will be a good addition to your living room.

2. Decor

The decor is the big factor to make your living room not look bland and boring. Like the furniture, it does not have to be expensive. Artworks are one of the great things to have in your living room, and there are inexpensive ones available. If it is your hobby, you can even make your own. You can also support someone locally and have it at your home as a way of promoting them. But of course, you can also make it personal by having some of your pictures or other photography. Rugs can also add dimension and interest to the room. Make it as big as your room, so that it will also create an illusion for your space. To add more life and color, plants are the solution. 

3. Light

Lighting will also have a great effect in your living room. It will definitely have an impact on the overall mood of the room. During the day, it is advisable to have natural light as much as possible. Not only it is good for you, but it will also help to make your room to be cozier. During night time, you can have lights that illuminate soft glow to be more romantic and dramatic. What will also help with the decor is to have some creative lamps and fixtures all over the room to add some interest.

Beginners · Creative · Music · Tips

Tips For Learning How To Play Guitar

All of us would want to learn something new once in a while. It could be just a hobby or, like my once-amateur quilting hobby, it could be something we work hard enough at to make an income. No matter what the case is (and in mine, it’s just a hobby), it will certainly not be perfected on the first try. 

One of the most common hobbies that people learn or at least take a stab at is playing musical instruments, and guitar is definitely one of the more popular choices. Learning guitar is not as hard as people may think, but it does take a lot of patience and practice. Are you considering learning how to play? Here are some helpful tips for a beginner. 

1. Pick a guitar

The first step is to have the instrument. Some borrow from their friends or family, but if you are really interested and want to invest in your own instrument, there can be many advantages to having your own. It will be up to you to decide if you want to start off with a cheaper model or purchase a more expensive one. Another thing to consider is what type of guitar you want. Will it be acoustic or electric? Most people start with acoustic guitar since it is larger and has thicker strings, therefore more challenging to play and better for first training your fingers. It’s often advisable for beginners to start with an acoustic guitar and then transition to electric guitar when you’re ready to learn more riffs and other advanced techniques.

2. Learn the chords

Some of us have our favorite bands and guitarists. We get inspired by the way they play, but do not let their high level of skill intimidate you. Even our favorite guitarist has to start somewhere. When learning how to play guitar, knowing and learning how to form and play chords is a good place to dive in. Start out slowly. The secret to having a good technique is proper placement of your fingers when forming chords, so it will better to start out slow and with proper technique than dealing with the consequences of rushing later on. A nice way to practice is to have some songs to play. It will help your fingers form strength with adjustment and transitions. There are some easier songs for beginners for you to start practicing on.

3. Do not avoid the difficult chords

Not all chords will be easy, even some of the basic ones. Remember that all chords are important and need to be played from time to time. This will be a nice reminder that learning guitar is not an easy process. There will surely more difficult moments once you get past learning the chords, but they will come to pass with just a little patience.

4. Practice

Whether the chords are easy or difficult, it is important to practice. Even skilled professionals need practice because it improves their skills and techniques. As a beginner, that will be also the case. You do not have to practice for full days at a time. Even just 10 to 30 minutes can be enough to refresh you. This will also help you develop good playing habits and you’ll get used to it before you know it.

5. Take a break

Of course, it is also important not to pressure yourself too much. Have a break and once in a while and either listen to music or watch videos to get inspiration. This will not only help to get your mind at ease, but it will be also a great way to keep your technique in check.

Practice makes perfect, but sometimes it is easier said than done. Always remember that to learn something new requires patience and determination. It will be over once you give up on it. So, always be prepared and you will be great before you know it. 

Fun · Quilt Making

Some Of My Favorite Places To Quilt

I absolutely love making quilts. That’s probably obvious, I have this entire blog set up to talk about quilt making. My studio is well set up at home with everything I’d ever need to crank out my latest creation, but I’ll admit sometimes it gets a bit lonely, stale, or even a little old.

From time to time I like to change it up and take my projects on the road. Here are some of my favorite places to quilt outside of my studio.

At The Beach

When most people think of the beach, they probably think of sand, sun, and swimming. I think these things too, but most of all I think of what a great place it is to quilt. I love getting up early in the morning and making my way to the beach before it fills up with the crowds. I set up my spot and get to work as soon as I can. It’s best to get most of the work done in the morning.

There are a few drawbacks to the beach, but I take it with a grain of salt. If it’s a windy day, it becomes quite frustrating trying to quilt. In such cases I’ll just call it an early day, or I’ll scrap the idea all together. Another issue is that by noon it’s often getting quite hot. If that is the case, usually the beach gets crowded and noisy too. Nonetheless, when the conditions are right the beach is a beautiful place to get some quilting done.

By The Fire

There’s something so calming about quilting by a fire. Whether that’s indoors by a fireplace or outdoors by a bonfire. During the cold winter months I love to visit my parent’s house when they have a fire going. We can spend hours just sitting by the fire, having a nice conversation, and quilting together.

When I’m on my own at home I don’t have the luxury of a real fireplace, my home isn’t set up for it. I do have a contemporary electric fireplace though which is quite nice to look at and can put off a good amount of heat too. Sometimes I’ll even play fire sounds from YouTube to make it seem even more like the real thing. It may sound goofy but its true! This is a great substitute if you, like me, don’t have a fireplace of your own.

On A Plane

I love traveling so so much. Seeing the world gives me so much perspective on my own life, and makes me value it so much more. Plus, just having exciting trips to look forward to throughout the year is just one of many things that keeps me going on a day to day basis.

Aside from the excitement of travel though, plane trips give me a long, extended period with not much to do but quilt or look out the window. If you know me, then you’ll know that quilting takes the cake in this side-by-side. Some of my greatest quilts have been made on a plane. Of course it requires a little prep work, otherwise you’ll make a mess and have the flight attendants and your neighbors at least mildly displeased (I’ve done that before too!).

So where are your favorite places to quilt? I’d love to hear any ideas you may have. Have you quilted at the beach, by the fire, or on the plane? How did it go for you? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!

How To · Quilt Making · Tips

How To Give Quilting Fabrics a Worn Appearance

Fabrics with a worn appearance have been highly desired by consumers and fashionistas alike for over a decade now, and it doesn’t look like the trend is going away any time soon. When you’re in need of some worn fabrics for your next quilting project there are a number of approaches you can take. Today I’d like to discuss a few of my favorite techniques that I use in my own quilting projects.

It’s important to keep in mind that the amount of wear that you desire can vary greatly from project to project, so you’ll have to gauge this when you embark on your very own journey. Before I get on rambling, let’s jump into some of the better ways you can incorporate worn fabric into your quilting.

It May Seem Obvious, But…

If you have an assortment of heavily used clothing that you’ve been saving for a project of a future day, then this can be an absolute goldmine. Torn jeans, heavily worn flannels, and well-loved corduroys can be a great source of linens for your upcoming project. If you can’t come up with your own there are still a few options you can work with.

First, try reaching out to some of your friends who are also quilting hobbyists or professionals. They may have some worn fabrics on hand that they are willing to part with for a reasonable price – or, if you’re lucky, completely free. It’s always good to get help from a friend when you can, and this is why it’s important to always help others when they are in need as well.

If this turns up empty, your next best bet is to check out used clothing centers such as the Salvation Army and Goodwill. The benefit of these outlets is that you might have a better selection of fabrics to choose from. You’ll have to pay a bit of money which may seem annoying when compared to free fabrics, but it won’t be too bad.

What About Making Your Own?

There are any number of reasons why you might want to make your own pre-worn fabrics instead. By going this route you’ll have full control of the fabrics being used – including the materials, the thickness, the colors, the patterns, the whole nine yards. You’ll also have the peace of mind that the fabric you’re using will not have been worn by anyone else, which is almost a must if you’re selling the end product to someone else. You’ll have to pay significantly more in most cases, but most likely it’s going to be worth it.

The main thing you’ll need to do once you’ve chosen your fabrics is to simulate wear and tear. Conceptually you can think about the different ways that clothes would wear out simply from natural use.

One of the primary mechanisms of wear is actually a result of washing and drying the linens in washing and drying machines. You can start with this to get a very light wear, but to get a more aggressive wear it will take a lot of cycles. You’re better off taking more aggressive matters actions to speed up the process.

One great way of doing so is to make use of a pressure washer. This will simulate the conditions of a washing machine cycle, but can be made much more aggressive. To start, lay your fabric out on a firm and rough surface, such as concrete, and make sure that it is thoroughly anchored down. The pressure washer will be exerting a lot of force. Then, fill your pressure washer reservoir with a compatible detergent in similar strength as to what you would use in the washing machine. Then you can start spraying the fabric with the pressure washer and taking a look at the results you get. Start with a more gentle nozzle, and if you need more wear when you are done you can move up to the more aggressive nozzles. Don’t start out too strong because once the fabric has too much wear, you can’t go back. If you don’t have a pressure washer, it may be best to borrow one from a friend as they can be a bit pricey. If you want to buy one anyway, you can check out any number of websites to find the best electric power washer for the job.

Another option would be to get the fabric damp and tightly wrap it around a sports ball, such as a soccer ball or a basketball. Then you can bounce these off of similarly hard and rough surfaces until you get the desired amount of wear and tear. There are chemical techniques you can use as well, but if you can get the desired amount of wear and tear from physical techniques, it will result in a longer lasting product.

These are just a few of the ways you can get worn fabric for your next quilting job. Try them out and see how they work for you!