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 featherweight sewing machine.

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.
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See these other upcycled pants and shorts!
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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.

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I hope the remainder of your summer was great!

Happy Sewing,

JoLene

 

Giving Camp Success & Chance to Keep Giving

As well as teaching an almost lost art through my sewing school, I also believe in promoting service and community-building in young people. It is important to teach the value of giving back to others. Those who have been with my school for awhile know that at least annually we hold service-oriented projects and camps. In the past I’ve worked with a Girl Scout Troop, made items for the Dougy Center, and even got locked up for a good cause!

This year I decided to hold another Giving to Others camp, sewing for the Stockings for Soldiers project. This project is in its twelfth year, and provides Christmas stockings stuffed with goodies for military personnel who are halfway around the world in harm’s way.

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Giving to soldiers who are away from home at the holidays is especially important to me. My dad served in the military, and I have a son-in-law and brother-in-law who have been away from family at Christmas. This may seem like a little thing, a stuffed stocking at the Christmas holiday, but can make a big difference to a solder away from home.

My campers and I have made the stockings, and now we can focus on items to fill them! Here is a list of items requested for the Stockings for Soldiers project. The project can also use cash donations, for those who wish to contribute financially.

Like last year, this Giving to Others Camp was a huge success! We had nine participants in the morning session and nine in the afternoon! It feels so good to practice our skills and offer our talents for the benefit of others. The camp is free of charge, and the participants committed to all three days and provide an adult volunteer. My goal was to create 100 stockings for the project, and we exceeded that by 40%! Between the morning and afternoon camps, we created 140 stockings to send!

On tbe last day of camp, we made teddy bears that the campers got to take home.

 

IMG_1093 IMG_1096Thanks to everyone who participated, from the woman who donated the fabric from her late mother’s stash, to the campers, to the adult volunteers, and to YOU if you choose to contribute to the stuffing of the stockings. More information here!

Happy Sewing!

JoLene

 

April 2015 Newsletter from JoLene’s Sewing School

April 2015 Newsletter

Upcoming Events, Summer Camp Opportunities, Sewing Tips, and More

Greetings!

Hello! Spring has sprung early and it is glorious to watch everything come alive. I’ve been enjoying my new flowers and lovely weather, and I also enjoy the rain. A recent windstorm took out part of our big tree in the back yard, but it luckily just missed hitting our trampoline! There are only two months left of after-school classes, but there is a lot happening during these last two months!  See below for more information, and all my best for your spring showers and flowers!

Multnomah County Fair

The Multnomah County Fair is a highlight of my sewing school’s annual events, and I’ve been talking to students about it for the last month or so.

Just knowing that they might enter a fair where a judge will look at their project helps them to pay more attention to detail and become more skilled in their sewing. The benefit of careful work is one of the most important part of participating, whether or not they win a prize (but is a bonus if it happens!).

Consider encouraging your child to enter the fair; having a public place to showcase work is an incredible motivator! Here are details of how and when to enter:

  • Fair will be May 23 – 25th, 2015, from noon to 7:00 PM each day, at Oaks Park in the Sellwood Area. Admission and parking are both free.
  • Entries need to be to me by Wednesday, May 20 by 9:00 PM
  • Entrants may submit one Item per lot (one shirt or one dress, etc.), with a maximum of four items. (If you want to enter them yourself rather than going through me, you can enter more.) You don’t have to be present to win or enter, so even if you’ll be out of town you can submit items for entry.
  • Logistics: I will take all the entries to the fair on May 21st and will pick them up on May 25. For entries that I submit on your behalf, you must have my permission to pick up items from the fair yourself. Fair officials won’t let you take them unless I give the okay. Also, the fair won’t release any items before 7:00 PM. I will bring the entries to my house and give it to you the week after the fair.

Fashion Show & Second Annual Picnic

This year’s fashion show will be held at my home studio and will include a picnic!

Mark your calendars for June 20, from 4:00 – 7:00 PM. The fashion show will be held first with the picnic following, about 5:00 PM.

For the picnic, I will provide hamburger, hot dogs, buns, condiments, and beverage. I am asking that each family bring a salad or dessert to share.

For the fashion show:

  • Each child can model two outfits. They need not match.
  • Each outfit can include as many items as you wish. For instance, a student can wear shorts and a sport shirt while carrying a bag or stuffed animal that they made.
  • Students can wear something they did not make, such as wanting to model a top but did not make pants.
  • Please have your child wear their first modeling outfit and bring their second outfit to change into.

This will be a great gathering! Please sign up with me the items that you child is modeling and what food items you are bringing. We will have this rain or shine; outside for sun and inside for rain!

Other Dates to Note

May 29 is the last day of after school classes.

I take off the first two weeks of June for vacation, so there will be no classes during this time.

Recap of Past Camps

The sewing camps held over spring vacation were great! Both camps were full and we had so much fun.

Who’s Hooting Camp is always a favorite and this time was no different. We made owl bags, owl pillows, and pajama pants. One girl made a nightgown with a matching one for her doll.

In the Sewing Supply Camp we made scissor holders. pin cushions, sewing bags, and donut pillows.

 Sign Up For Summer Camps!

Camps start the June 15th and go through to the third week of August. All camps are Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, either 9:00 am – 12:00 PM, or 1:00 – 4:00 PM. 

June 15, 16, 17

#1  9-12: Summer Outfit Camp

#2  1-4: Who’s Hooting

June 22, 23, 24

#3  9-12: Hearts Hearts Everywhere

#4  1-4: Fun at the Beach

June 29, 30, July 1

#5  9-12: Kitty Cat Quilt

#6  1-4: Circle Skirt and Cotton Tee

July 6, 7, 8 

#7  9-12: Skirt a Day Camp

#8  Everything Fox Camp

July 13, 14, 15

9-12 and 1-4 Giving to Others Camp. CAMP IS FREE!

I think it is important to give to others that are in need for whatever reason. We will be making cancer hats, Christmas socks for servicemen and women, teddy bears for police department etc. Sports for eight kids per camp, and I need one adult per day to help. Donations of fabric will be appreciated but not mandatory. Must commit to all three days. Each child in camp will be able to keep one item each day, and I will provide a great snack each day

July20, 21, 22

#9  9-12: Sock Monkey Camp

#10 1-4: Hoodie Camp

July 27, 28, 29

#11 9-12: Cats Galore

#12 1-4:  Freshen Up Your Bedroom

August 3, 4, 5

#13  9-12: Harry Potter Camp

#14  1-4: Camping Fun with Your 18 Inch Doll

August10, 11, 12

#15  9-12: Renaissance Cape Camp

#16  1-4:  Toothless the Dragon Camp

August 17, 18, 19

#17  9-12: Back to School Camp

#18  1-4:  Make Clothes for Your 18 Inch Doll

For more information see my website.

 Tip of the Month: Reinforce Seams

Reinforce your seams by back stitching at the beginning and end of each seam. Start by sewing forward only a few stitches then back stitch all the way to the edge. Then sew to the end of the seam and then back stitch again and sew off the edge. This keep the seams together and makes it easier to sew the next step.

Project of the Month

Check out this adorable long-sleeved shirt made by a 9-year-old girl in my school. I love the way the orange pattern goes down the middle of the front of the shirt, and the blue pattern goes down the sleeves. The neck facing is perfect, too. She did a wonderful job! We are so happy how it turned out.

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