Although I took a brief sewing course when I was in junior high, I’ve only recently started learning how to really sew on my own. I bought a sewing machine in September 2005 for the purpose of learning, and it’s definitely been an experience so far. I’ve never felt so intimidated by a piece of machinery before, but I hope to get to a point where I feel as comfortable using it or a needle to sew as I do using an envelope template and bone folder to make envelopes.

Here’s some info on projects I’ve completed so far, as well as a few links to pages that I’ve found to be helpful.

Drawstring Bags
This was one of the projects I had in mind when I first got my sewing machine, although I didn’t know quite where to begin. Fortunately, I found a great tutorial on a LiveJournal community for making lined drawstring bags, and off I went. Here are the ones I’ve created so far, including photos of the inside lining on each.

Drawstring Bag  Drawstring Bag - Lining  Drawstring Bag - Closed

Drawstring Bag 2  Drawstring Bag 2 - Lining  Drawstring Bag - Closed

Hello Kitty Drawstring Bag Hello Kitty Drawstring Bag - Lining Hello Kitty Drawstring Bag - Closed

Drawstring Bag - Purple and Green Drawstring Bag - Purple and Green - Inside Drawstring Bag - Purple and Green - Closed

Hello Kitty Stuffed Toy
This is the first stuffed “thing” I made, and it was done for a Hello Kitty swap organized on Craftster. I machine-stitched the white pieces together, leaving an opening for stuffing, and then the rest was hand-sewed, including stitching on the eyes and nose with a blanket stitch and making the bow. Although I had some trouble getting started on it, I think it turned out pretty well and I learned a bit too.
Hello Kitty Stuffed Head

Holiday Ornaments
I created these two as a proof of concept for myself, and as part of a swap with a local craft group. The first doubles as a pincushion and the second is based on my favorite symbol/flower from Japanese culture, the cherry blossom or sakura.
Green Tinsel Pin Cushion Ornament Green Tinsel Pin Cushion Ornament Pink Sakura (Cherry Blossom) Ornament Pink Sakura (Cherry Blossom) Ornament & Templates

Envelope Pouch
This was created as part of a swap on Craftster and was made from felt and a bit of embroidery floss. I created the design myself and it was pretty simple to make.
Envelope/Card Set with Pouch - Spread Envelope/Card Set with Pouch - Inside Envelope/Card Set with Pouch - Closed

Zippered Pouches
A friend gave a demo at our local craft group on making these zippered pouches, and I’ve made several since. They’re fairly quick to make and can be done in any size and fabric.

Handmade Zippered Pouch - White, Black, Red Handmade Zippered Pouch - White, Black, Red - Inside Turquoise Flowers Zippered Pouch Turquoise Flowers Zippered Pouch - Lining Black & White Musical Pouch Black & White Musical Pouch - Lining

Tote Bags
After seeing variations on tote bags on different craft sites, I thought I’d try making one myself. I got a bit of help from another craft blogger and have made a few since then. It’s fairly similar to making a zippered pouch, but with handles instead of a zipper.
My First Totebag My First Totebag - Lining View Music Tote Bag Brown & Blue Polka Dot Tote Bag Brown & Blue Polka Dot Tote Bag - Close-up