Check Out My New Sewing Apron!

I’ve been teaching my sewing classes for over eight years now, but it took a while to realize I would need a sewing apron to make the job easier!

When I first began teaching, I was always running back and forth through the studio to grab supplies to help the students. This gave me quite the workout, but it was also frustrating not having everything on-hand whenever I needed it. Not to mention, this made it much easier to lose things in the process!

This process went on for a while, until I came up with an idea: I could make things much easier on myself by creating a customized sewing apron to fit my needs.

Check Out My New Sewing Apron!

This project came in stages, as I tried new things and figured out what worked best. The first version was a simple, 3-pocket apron sewn out of linen. This worked great for a few years, but as I got busier I came to the conclusion that I needed more pockets to hold everything.

I sat down and sewed a new sewing apron, which is the one I use today. First, I used some leftover fabric that I had made my sewing machine covers out of (along with some twill tape), so that my apron would match my new studio. (Haven’t seen my new sewing machine covers? Click here to see them!).

I then sewed two rows of pockets across the front, which would be ideal for organizing my supplies. The top row has small, narrow pockets – necessary for organizing my sewing gauge, fabric marking tools, writing pens, and other skinny, narrow objects.

I sewed larger pockets for the bottom row to hold things like my painters tape (to be a sewing guide on the sewing machine), receipt book, seam rippers, small screwdrivers, bobbins, cough drops, chapstick, etc.

I absolutely love my new sewing apron – it’s extremely useful! Now I have everything I need at all times, right at my fingertips.

Here’s a picture of the final product:

Sewing Tip:

One of my favorite things about my new sewing apron is that I can use it for a variety of activities. For example, it makes things like gardening, cooking, and cleaning much easier! Once you sew something you love, try to think up new, creative ways to use it. The more versatile your creation, the more you’ll appreciate it (and the less extra items you’ll have to sew unnecessarily).

Stay tuned for my next blog, where I’ll show you my new ironing board cover.

Happy Sewing!

JoLene

 

Camps, Projects, Fall Sewing Classes! | September News from JoLene’s Sewing School

What A Great Summer!

What a great summer we’ve had here – these past few months have been filled with wonderful classes and even MORE wonderful students! We had a ton of great summer camps going on this summer. However, the most popular was Emoji Camp – we had 14 participants for this camp alone! The kids had a great time sewing their own Emoji pillows and footy pajamas out of Emoji fabric. We even made Rice Krispy treats for snack, and decorated them with our favorite Emoji faces! Everyone had a blast, and I’m excited to be doing more of these camps moving forward.

Want to know about more of the classes I’ve offered this summer? Be sure to Like and Follow my Facebook page, where you can keep up with class updates and other information. Click this link to visit my page.

 

Student Spotlight

I truly enjoyed all of my students this summer! However, there is one that stood out in particular. Cerra is 13 years old, and this her second year attending my camps. Each year, she flies to Oregon all the way from Hawaii in order to see her family and take my sewing classes! This year, she participated in Around The World Camp, where she had fun sewing her own french berét, french skirt, stuffed panda bear, and bag that says “Hello” in 13 different languages. It was a joy having her in class, and an honor to have her come all the way out here to see me. I’m looking forward to seeing you again!

 

Upcoming Class Information & Important Dates

Fall sewing classes have officially begun!

My one-hour Children’s Classes are being held Mondays – Fridays at 3:15pm, 4:15pm, and 5:15pm. There are still plenty of spots open for those of you who have not signed up yet. Please click this link to view all class availability and information.

Are you adult who would love to learn to sew? My Adult Classes are lots of fun, and you’ll leave knowing all the basics you need to sew your own clothing, accessories, and more! There’s still a few spots left if you’d like to sign up. To view up-to-date availability for my Adult Classes, please click this link.

You can also call me at (503) 804 -7259 for questions or to set up an appointment.

The holidays are coming up, and my sewing school will be taking some much needed breaks to celebrate! Please note the following dates that we will NOT have class:

  • Columbus Day – Monday, October 9th
  • Halloween – Tuesday, October 31st
  • Thanksgiving Week – November 20th – 24th
  • Christmas Break  – December 18th – January 1st

 

Exciting News: I Have A “New” Sewing Studio!

As some of you know, my sewing studio recently got a huge makeover! With help from my sister and some friends, we transformed my old studio into a work of art. I love it!

Want to learn more about the studio, and stay up-to-date with what’s going on with Jolene’s Sewing School? Click here to read my blog! I have a new blog up every month with sewing school updates and fun sewing tips.

What’s New With JoLene?

I was lucky enough to take a trip to Hawaii in April with my family! My husband, daughter, son-in-law, four grandkids and I all spent a week in Kauai. We went snorkeling, ziplining, swimming, and spent some time relaxing on Hanalei Beach. We also went to Turtle Cove, which is a small cove at the base of a cliff. There were tons of turtles swimming around! It was such a great trip, and an excellent way to spend time together as we got ready to head into summer. Here’s a few pictures from the trip:

 

I’m looking forward to seeing you all as we head into Fall! If you have any questions, please let me know.

Happy Sewing!

JoLene

sewing machine covers

My Latest Project: Sewing Machine Covers

Today I’ll be showcasing my latest project: new sewing machine covers!

One of my greatest delights comes from being able to sew something myself, rather than purchasing it from a store. I love taking ordinary materials, and transforming them into something functional and fun. As a result, almost everything in my sewing studio is hand-sewn by me!

My sewing students love walking through my studio, pointing to things and asking, “Did you make this? How about that?” This has inspired me to continue sewing new pieces to show my kids that, when you put your mind to it, you can create something that looks just as good (if not better) than what you can buy from a store.

One of my most recent projects has been sewing brand new sewing machine covers for my studio sewing machines. This has been such a fun project, since I’ve gotten the opportunity to work with different fabrics and piece together a creative and cohesive look for my studio.

First, I found some fun fabric in three different colors: red, white, and black. This was perfect for me, since it would match the new décor in my studio. I also gathered some fun looking buttons, as well as some twill tape with measuring tape printed on it. This would work as my trim.

Then, I went to work on my sewing covers. I must say, these came out even better than I expected them to! Plus, I was able to use my creativity to come up with a truly unique design that is a reflection of my unique style. The kids love them!

I made six of these covers – one for each of my students’ sewing machines, one for my machine, and one for my serger. . The project turned out to be a complete success! You can see the finished product in the pictures below:sewing machine covers

sewing machine covers

sewing machine covers

Sewing Tip:

If you are sewing something for yourself, make it your own! Get creative and choose fabrics and accessories that you love. Don’t be afraid to take a risk, or to try something new. Remember: you can always change something if you want to. However, these projects often turn out much better than you’d expect! By making something your own, you can be proud of the work you put in, and the piece will truly be a reflection of you.

Stay tuned for next month’s blog, where I’ll tell you all about my new sewing apron.

Happy Sewing!

JoLene

sewing studio

Fresh Face, Same Place: My “New” Sewing Studio!

You may remember the look and feel of my sewing studio – its last update was in December of 2013. The room has been lovely, and it’s been such a joy using it to hold sewing classes for children and adults over the last few years.

However, my sister and I decided the room needed a fresh, updated look to go with my fun new summer classes. The two of us put our heads together and decided to take on one of my biggest projects yet – giving my sewing studio a brand new look!

Fresh Face, Same Place: My “New” Sewing Studio!

Here’s a picture of what my studio looked like before:

sewing studio

This project has been a few years in the making, but it’s been worth the wait!

Slowly but surely, my sister and I (with the help of her wonderful foreign exchange student) were able to turn the room into a masterpiece. Here’s some of the new additions:

  • We took my collection of wooden spools and made a heart design out of them using a wire frame.
  • My sister and I found some great vinyl stickers that would work perfectly for the main wall.
  • We used some old flags I had kept from my 5th anniversary, and sewed them into a banner.
  • My sister and I took my collection of antique dress patterns, as well as some old picture frames I had in storage. We painted the frames black, and placed the patterns inside.
  • I hand-stitched some new sewing machine covers for my machines. This was a project I had forgotten about from a year ago, but decided to finish it for my new studio.

Here’s a few pictures of the studio coming together:

sewing studio

sewing studio
Here’s a picture of the finished project! Many thanks to all the help I’ve had in getting this project completed. I love it!

sewing studio

Remember, my summer classes are now underway. Be sure to sign up now to see the new studio and to save yourself a seat!

Stay tuned for more details on my latest project: new, hand-stitched sewing machine covers.

Happy Sewing!

JoLene

Camps, Projects, Fall Classes! | July News from JoLene’s Sewing School

The summer camps have been a lot of fun so far; here’s an example!  While many folks out in the world are busy finding Pokémon with their phones, my students are making their own Pokémon bags, pillows, and even hoodies.

There are a few open spots in these last weeks of summer camps. See details below, and check out links to recent blogs on my website. Fall classes are just around the corner!

All my best for the rest of your summer. Happy Sewing, JoLene

 

Last Chance for Summer Camp

There are a few more summer camps left this year! If your favorite camp is full or is scheduled on a week you can’t attend, please contact me and I will work something out.

Camps are MondayTuesday, and Wednesday; either 9am – 12 noon or 1pm – 4pmRegister on the website or by contacting me.
August 1-3

#13  9-12  Stuffy!  Make three stuffed animals from soft fabric and take home to cuddle or share with a friend or family member. All supplies provided: $130.

#14  1-4  Hoodie!  What fun to make and wear a hoodie you made yourself. We will also make mittens, a hat, and more as time allows. Patterns provided. Supply list given at time of  registration: $110.

 

August 8-10

#15  9-12  Circle Skirt & Cotton Tee. Come make a very up-to-date version of the circle skirt in three colors with a top to match. Great for summer or school. Patterns provided. Supply list given at time of registration: $120.

#16  1-4  Back to School.  Make a poncho, a messenger bag, and notebook cover (notebook provided), just in time for school. Patterns provided. Supply list given at time of registration: $120.

 

August 15-18

#17  9-12  Warrior Cat. Do you love cats and/or love to read the Warrior Cat books? If so you will love this camp. Make a sweet cat bag, stuffed cat, cat tee, and more as time allows. All supplies provided: $130.

#18  1-4  Hunger Games. Make a skirt on fire, mocking jay backpack, and tee shirt. All supplies provided: $130.
Remember, you can register on the website or by contacting me. Once again, if your favorite camp is full or is scheduled on a week you can’t attend, please contact me and I will work something out. 

 

Recent Blogs on Website

In case you missed them, there are two recent blog posts on my website:

New Wool Coat: I have been making my own coats and jackets when they wear out, and I really love this one I made. It has a paisley liner! You can read about ithere. Personalizing these projects, and making them fit just right is such a pleasure. What projects would you like to see come off your cutting table and through your sewing machine?
Pioneer Fashions: Last summer my granddaughter Madison had the chance to participate in a pioneer trek in Washington state. She needed pioneer clothing for her trip, and did a wonderful job on her projects, with only a little bit of help on something tricky. See more picture and read all about it here!

Weekly Classes

As a reminder, the weekly classes will begin again on September 12. You can find more information on my website.

Red Wool Coat Made Just Right

red wool coat 2

When sewing projects for myself these last few years, I have been drawn to making coats. I made a fleece jacket, and then a rain coat. (And an umbrella!) As my coats wear out, I just sew new ones. So I had a chuckle when I decided to make yet another coat. This time it was my nice coat that needed replacing. I had a black wool coat for at least 15 years and it was definitely time to get a new one.

It took me a while to find just the right pattern. After I chose the pattern, I waited for the wool to go on sale. Mill End Store is in the Sellwood/Milwaukie area and has been a family-owned business since 1918. They always have a great wool sale in the fall. I love the quality of their wools and they have fabulous colors.

For my new coat, I chose a beautiful red wool and a black paisley lining. I always say if you are going to make it yourself, make it your own! Make it something that you could not buy off the rack.

red wool coat 3

I did all the correct fitting of the pattern to my size, but after I cut it and had it partially sewn I tried it on again and it was a bit too big. So I took it apart, cut it down to a smaller size, and sewed it all together. I tried it on again, but it was still too big! (In the mean time I had lost some weight, so I am sure that that was part of the problem.)

Christmas was fast approaching and I was going to Idaho for the holiday. I needed the coat finished before I went. Although It was too big, I just finished it and sewed on the buttons during my plane ride. When I got home, I took the sides apart, took the pockets out, and cut it down another three inches on each side. I sewed it back together, and now it fits perfectly!

red wool coat 1

Moral of story: we all like our things to fit differently and the pattern is just a starting place. If it doesn’t fit perfectly you can always fix it. I just love my coat now and am very happy that I took the extra steps to help it fit me just so.

Happy sewing!

JoLene

June 2016 Newsletter from JoLene’s Sewing School

June 2016 Newsletter

Sewing School Summer Camps!

Hi to everyone! What a great spring we have had. I am happy to have my garden planted and am already harvesting radishes and lettuces, with peas on the way. Eating produce from the garden is a delightful part of summertime.

Right now I am in the middle of my two week vacation, and am having a lot of fun with my husband and grandkids. I’m also getting ready for my upcoming summer camps and am very excited. I really enjoy these camps and have a great lineup for you! Not to worry if you have not signed up yet; there are plenty of spots left, but they are filling fast, so don’t wait too long!

If your favorite camp is full or is scheduled on a week you can’t attend, pleasecontact me and I will work something out. 

Camps start June 20th and go through to the third week of August. Most camps are Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday (except for week of 7/4); either 9am – 12 noon or 1pm – 4pm.

Register on the website or by contacting me.

 

June 20-22

#1  9-12  Who’s Hooting. Come make everything owls!! Make a super cute owl bag, owl pillow, owl pajama pants, and more as time allows. All supplies included: $130.

#2  1-4  Dress a Doll. Make a wardrobe for your 18-inch doll (3 to 5 clothing items). Bring the doll with you; we will be having a tea party with our dolls each day. All supplies included: $130.

 

 

June 27-29

#3  9-12  Dress a Doll. Make a wardrobe for your 18-inch doll (3 to 5 clothing items). Bring the doll with you; we will be having a tea party with our dolls each day. All supplies included: $130.

#4  1-4  Summer Dress for You & Your Doll. Come make a summer dress for you and your doll that you can enjoy all summer. We will be having a tea party with our dolls each day. Pattern included. Supply list at time of registration. $110.

 

July 5-7 * note Tuesday-Thursday

#5  9-12  Art Kit Organizer. Come make bag and art kit organizer for all your art supplies! All supplies included: $130.

#6  1-4  Bedroom Makeover. Come make monster pajama eaters, laundry bag, pillowcase, flower pillow, and more as time allows. All supplies provided: $130.

 

July 11-13

#7  9-12  Fun at the Beach Love the beach, sand, sun, and waves? Make a bag that turns into a beach towel with pillow, cover up, and beach bag. Towel and pattern provided. Supply list at time of registration: $130.

#8  1-4  Sock Monkey. Make an old-fashioned sock monkey made from brown, pink, or blue socks with a red heel. We will be making a variety of sizes. All supplies included: $130.

 

July 18-20

#9  9-12  Everything Fox. Inspired by the song “What Does a Fox Say,” come make a cute fox bag, fox scarf, and more as time allows. All supplies provided: $130.

#10  1-4  Pokemon. Come make a Pikacku hoodie, poke-ball bag, and poke-ball pillow. All supplies provided: $130.

 

July 25-27

#11  9-12  Kitty Cat Quilt. Come make the cutest cat quilt ever! Curl up with a good book on a cool winter day. I supply the quilt top fabric. Supply list given at time of registration: $120.

#12  1-4  Star Wars. Come make Jedi robe (either the light side or the dark side), a Chewbacca pillow, and Star Wars pillowcase. All supplies provided: $130.

 

August 1-3

#13  9-12  Stuffy!  Make three stuffed animals from soft fabric and take home to cuddle or share with a friend or family member. All supplies provided: $130.

#14  1-4  Hoodie!  What fun to make and wear a hoodie you made yourself. We will also make mittens, a hat, and more as time allows. Patterns provided. Supply list given at time of  registration: $110.

 

August 8-10

#15  9-12  Circle Skirt & Cotton Tee. Come make a very up-to-date version of the circle skirt in three colors with a top to match. Great for summer or school. Patterns provided. Supply list given at time of registration: $120.

#16  1-4  Back to School.  Make a poncho, a messenger bag, and notebook cover (notebook provided), just in time for school. Patterns provided. Supply list given at time of registration: $120.

 

August 15-18

#17  9-12  Warrior Cat. Do you love cats and/or love to read the Warrior Cat books? If so you will love this camp. Make a sweet cat bag, stuffed cat, cat tee, and more as time allows. All supplies provided: $130.

#18  1-4  Hunger Games. Make a skirt on fire, mocking jay backpack, and tee shirt. All supplies provided: $130.

Remember, you can register on the website or by contacting me. And if your favorite camp is full or is scheduled on a week you can’t attend, please contact me and I will work something out. 

Project of the Month

This is Amber and she loves plaid. This dress she made had a simple skirt but she changed it up and made a knife-pleated skirt instead. She already knew how to sew when she started taking lessons, and her sewing skills have really improved. Congratulations, Amber! Keep up the great sewing projects.. . .

Tip of the Month

When starting a new project, always make sure you have the right needle. I use universal needles most of the time, which can be used for both woven and knit fabrics. If your thread or needle keep breaking, do your research. You may need a specialty needle! Good luck on all of your sewing adventures.

Happy Sewing,
JoLene

 

Pioneer Fashions

Last summer one of my granddaughters, Madison, who lives in Tacoma, had a wonderful opportunity to participate in a pioneer trek in Washington state. Over 160 years ago, my family’s ancestors came west across North America. Many of them came on foot, walking the whole way, pulling their belongings with handcarts. Madison was part of a five-day trek in June 2015 during which young people and their adult leaders pulled handcarts and recreated a small snippet of what that pioneer journey was like.
pioneer2 madison in yellow

Madison, then age 15, can be seen here in the yellow hat.

 Madison needed clothing for this learning-filled adventure. She would need a hat, two skirts, two shirts, two aprons, and two pantaloons. A skilled seamstress, Madison did all the work herself, except for needing a little help on the shirts. I was pleased by her commitment to participate in this trek, and her ability to be self-sufficient in the necessary sewing preparation.
IMG_4273[1] IMG_4272[1] IMG_4271[1]
Coming from pioneer stock, my family and I are proud of the strength and resolve it took for our ancestors to pioneer westward. One aspect of pioneer western life is the strong tradition of craft skill that is passed down through families.  Madison’s sewing projects, creating her own pioneer-style clothing needed to re-create a trek and honor her ancestors, is evidence of continuing that tradition in modern times.  One of my joys in teaching young people to sew is passing on the knowledge from my foremothers, helping them know the craft skills from yesteryear, so those skills will continue forward.
Happy Sewing!
JoLene

Upcycle Levis Into New Creations

In a Super Saturday event at my local church, I taught a workshop on how to recycle / upcycle Levis. My daughter Stephanie brought me four pairs of her kids’ Levis that they could still wear but that had holes or other problems with them. See what can be done to seemingly worn-out clothing that just needs a little sprucing to bring them a new life!
Natalie, age 5, doesn’t like to wear Levis because they feel rough on her tender skin. I solved this problem by making her a pleated skirt lined with soft cotton. I cut off the pants at the top of inseam and cut each pant leg in half to give me four pieces. I sewed them all together in one long strip, lined up the inseams and made pleats all around. After giving it a soft cotton lining, I put a ruffle on the bottom and looped a tie through the belt loops.
IMG_1075
Aiden, age 7, loves Star Wars. His pants were ripped at the knees; I cut them off at the rips and put a Star Wars fabric cuff at the bottom of each leg. I used Wonder Under fabric to cut out Star Wars figures and glued to the front of the pants and sewed around each one for stability.
IMG_1066
See these other upcycled pants and shorts!
IMG_1068IMG_1069IMG_1071IMG_1076IMG_1073
Happy Sewing!
JoLene

Summer Fun!

As usual, this summer has been a whirlwind! My summer camps have been a blast, and have been filling up so fast.

Below is a list of the camps I offered this summer. As I make plans for future camps, it helps a lot to hear from you about what camps were most enjoyable or which ones sound most interesting for students to take in the future if they missed this round.  Please email me your feedback about what camps you’d like to see again, or ideas for new ones to create!

Summer Outfit Camp

Who’s Hooting

Hearts Hearts Everywhere

Fun at the Beach

Kitty Cat Quilt

Circle Skirt and Cotton Tee

Skirt a Day Camp

Everything Fox Camp

Giving to Others Camp

Sock Monkey Camp

Hoodie Camp

Cats Galore

Freshen Up Your Bedroom

Harry Potter Camp

Camping Fun with Your 18 Inch Doll

Renaissance Cape Camp

Toothless the Dragon Camp

Back to School Camp

Make Clothes for Your 18 Inch Doll

We had a ton of fun, as you can see in the gallery. Please let me know what camp(s) you’d like to see repeated or created in the future!

In June, JoLene’s Sewing School held its picnic and fashion show, as a way to cap the schoolyear of classes and give my students a chance to socialize and show off their handiwork.

IMG_1043 IMG_1044

 

I hope the remainder of your summer was great!

Happy Sewing,

JoLene

 

Weekday classes are now open for registration! See our Weekly Classes page under Child/Teen Classes. Dismiss