Tag Archives: sewing

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

 

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.
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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

 

A Dragon Gift from the Heart (and Sewing Machine!)

Children, Grandchildren and Christmas can stir all kinds of creativity inside one’s soul. And I am no different. It is so fun to give from the heart, and I’ve been sewing gifts for Christmas longer than I care to remember. What I most enjoy is that I get to think of something that is made with just one person or group of people in mind. It’s personal, and it’s heartfelt.

I usually wait to post Christmas presents until after Christmas because the gift’s recipient might see the post! But the person receiving this gift won’t see it because he is so young. I want to inspire you make a gift this Christmas even if it is only one, so you can get warmth of giving from the heart.

So here it is – one of my Christmas gift projects:

My grandson Aiden saw some fabric I had bought for a camp and just loved it. He said that it looked like dragon scales. That is high praise from a little boy who adores dragons! He wanted me to make him a shirt out it but  there was one problem: the fabric was red and it just had to be green to fulfill Aiden’s vision.

So I went on the hunt to find this fabric in green. After a long exhausted search I decided that it didn’t matter which fabric it was but that it was green and looked like dragon scales.  It wasn’t long before I found the perfect fabric and the perfect pattern.


What do you think?  I added a dragon head coming out of his pocket and found these red eyes in my button stash. I was going to add a tongue but was afraid that Aiden would pull it out. He is almost 5 but I am hoping that the head stays put for a while and doesn’t disappear right away.

Naturally I had such fun with this pattern. Button-down shirts are not for the faint of heart, but luckily this pattern was on the easy side. I wanted it to look more like a shirt he already had so I changed it up a bit. The pattern called for two pleats in the back, but instead I did one in the center. I made flat welt seams, which is fancy way of finishing off mens shirts, and changed the front placket where the button holes are.

I love the finished product. I hope he does too!

Merry Christmas and good luck making gifts form the heart.

Happy Sewing,

JoLene

December 2012 Newsletter

There are many exciting developments with JoLene’s Sewing School. Now we have two locations to serve you! With classes and workshops held in both Woodstock and Happy Valley, you have even more options to learn to sew or further hone your sewing skills. Join us!

This Weekend: Last Chance for Gift-Making Workshops

Last month we had Christmas Workshops During Thanksgiving Vacation. They were mostly full and we had a fun time making gifts for our families. I just love these workshops; seeing these kids make heartfelt gifts for their friends and family members is so satisfying.

I know a few of you were unable to come and had friends who wished they had signed up. So I’ve decided to add two more last-chance options!

Join us on Friday, December 7th, from 4:00 – 7:30 pm, with pizza and pop served in the middle as a dinner break, or Saturday, December 8th from 1:00 – 4:00 pm.

Cost is just $30, which includes all the materials and gifts that the students will produce. The workshops will be held at my Happy Valley location, 16661 SE Rock Creek Court.

Contact me to register or for more information.

This is an amazing gift-creating opportunity. In just three hours, students can make between 7 and 10 items. What better way to get a significant jump on holiday gift-giving?

There will be 15-20 projects to choose from, which will provide a wide selection of potential gifts for children and adults, both male and female. All materials are provided, and will be cut and ready to sew!

Winter Break Workshops

I am offering four workshops for kids over the Winter Break holiday:

On the Wild Side (NEW). December 26th, 27th, 28th; 9:00 am – 12:00 pm. Make three wild animals stuffies – monkey, elephant, and giraffe. All supplies included. $130.

Become a DIVA. December 26th, 27th, 28th; 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm. After this camp you will be one step closer to being a diva. Come make a tutu bag to carry your diva supplies, a diva skirt, leggings, diva tee shirt. $120. Supply list provided at time of registration.

Sock Monkey and More (NEW). January 2nd, 3rd, 4th; 9:00 am – 12:00 pm. Make the old-fashioned sock monkey and sock monkey hat, made from brown, pink, blue, or the original red heel socks. All supplies included. $130.

Animal Hat Camp. January 2nd, 3rd, 4th; 1:00 – 4:00 pm. Come and make the cutest animal hat out of faux fur with scarf and mittens attached, plus matching animal slippers! All supplies included. $130.

 

Holiday Class Schedule

Monday, December 24th – Monday, January 7th: NO REGULAR CLASSES

Classes start back up on Tuesday, January 8th

 

Open Spots in the Sewing School

Have you been waiting for the perfect time to enroll in JoLene’s Sewing School? With two locations, in Woodstock and now also in Happy Valley, you have even more opportunity!

Classes are taught in Woodstock on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 3:15, 4:15, and 5:15.

Classes are taught in Happy Valley on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 3:00, 4:00, and 5:00.

For more information, and to register, click here.

 

Project of the Month: Make Your Own Umbrella!

A while ago, a student asked me to help her make an umbrella kit. Ever since then, I’ve wanted to make my own.

So here it is! I had such fun with this, from picking the fabric to the quick and simple assembly. It’s very easy to make; you just purchase the frame and pattern, all available at cool cottons, a fantastic fabric store on Hawthorne in SE Portland. There is only one pattern piece that you cut out 8 times, sew them together, and finish the seams. You put the finished cover on the frame, tack it down, and waterproof the fabric.

For more pictures and information on this project, see my blog, and stay dry this rainy season with your own personalized umbrella!

Tip of the Month: Beautiful Finished Edges

Do you need to own a serger sewing machine to have beautiful finished edges? No! While sergers are nice to have, you can finish your edges without one with the following tips:

  • The easiest way is just to use pinking shears. After you are finished sewing each seam, use the zig-zag pinking shears to trim the bare edge of seam, then press the seams open.
  • Alternatively, pink the edge as described above, then sew next to the pinked edge, and press open as before.
  • Finally, you can make a zig-zag stitch close to the edge and then press open the seams.

These tips help your project stand the test of time while looking and feeling good inside and out.
Don’t let the season pass you by without registering for a class or a workshop! You can contact me for questions or registration.

Happy Sewing,

JoLene Tunison
JoLene’s Sewing School

First Adult Workshop was a success!

You never know how things might turn out when you do them for the first time, but my first Adult Workshop was great! We had good food, made new friends and learned a lot. I am not sure who learned the most, though, me or the students (I think it was me).

Kids Can Sew has a saying: “There are no mistakes, only lessons learned.” I so agree with that – we had lessons learned by both the teacher and the students.

The next Adult Workshop has started. It is a 5-week class teaching the same things as the all-day workshop – again, a great bunch of women and lot of fun.

The next all-day workshop is November 21st, but it’s already full (sorry!). I won’t be scheduling any more adult classes now until after the first of the year.

If you want to take adult classes after January 2010, send me an email at jolene@jolenesews.com and I will email you when as soon as I get the dates.

Until then, Happy Sewing!

JoLene

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