Rachel was one of my first blog readers ever! And in turn, Heart of Light was one of the first blogs I ever read. (Back when I was planning and blogging about my wedding, and she wasn't.) (Now she is planning a wedding and I am not blogging about them, but that is not here nor there.) I am always super inspired by the way Rachel approaches life, super organized and thoughtful, but so, so rich. Her recipes and crafts are always so approachable! I have been wanting to sew this year, but I am kind of afraid to dive in. I asked her if she could some how encourage me....

Hello, ADF readers! When Jamie asked me if I could give a little advice on sewing, I totally jumped on it. I love talking about sewing.

My mom is an excellent seamstress, but I didn't grow up using the sewing machine due to a (totally rational, I think) fear that I might accidentally sew my finger. I did hand sewing instead. Lots of hand sewing. All of my model horses had outfits. Granted, horses are easy to fit, because they can basically only wear capes, but it was a start. At some point, approximately two decades later, I started to dream of all the things I could do with a machine. Clothes! For people! Bags! Hems.

I mentioned to my mom that I was thinking of diving in, and she had a really good piece of advice - figure out what you think you want to sew (if you're planning on serious quilting, your needs will be a little different) and then get the best machine you can afford.

I know that some people recommend just getting a dirt cheap machine to start with, but that would have driven me nuts. All machines are slightly different, so if you buy a machine you can grow into then you can learn all its quirks. Once you're used to a machine it can be hard to switch, so upgrading later on could be a pain. My mom had her machine for 35 years before she finally gave in and replaced it. So it's a long term investment.

Personally, I have a Janome that I'm in love with. It was pricey (they run between $300 - $400, depending on where you go and if there's a sale) and is identical to this one, except for the model year. It has all those fancy stitches I used for my felt gift wrapping - I love them. I also love the automatic buttonhole attachment - so quick and completely brainless to do buttonholes with it. There are tons of machines with different features at different price points, so do some research and read some reviews before going shopping.

And while you're at it - please do yourself a favor and pick up a couple additional basics* along with your machine. You'll want an Olfa mat, a rotary cutter and grid ruler, a good pair of scissors (never let anyone use them to cut paper) and extra bobbins. Trust me, your machine didn't come with enough bobbins.

* Wait and watch for sales at Joann's and sign up for their flyer to get coupons. I got all of this stuff at least 40% off and I always use coupons for the refills as well. I really dislike shopping here (so crowded, lots of potpourri and such), but you save so much money.

Part two coming next week!


  1. I'm in the same boat so, this is a great starting point. Thanks!

  2. Anonymous10:47 AM

    Looking forward to the next step!

  3. Can't wait to see more!

  4. that bag is fantastic.

    i haven't sewed a single thing since i stitched a quilt square to my corduroy pants in 7th grade home ec. i don't know if i can stomach giving it a second try.

  5. rachel's blog is one of my favorites -- so happy to find yours, and congratulations on your little one!