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Holiday Sewing Practice!

The holidays are a busy and stressful time, and I like to add to that by making christmas gifts. This year, I had some sort of “Move over, Martha!” moment and decided it would be fun to make my holiday cards.  Thing is, it’s an excellent opportunity for some serious precision sewing practice.  

Years ago, my mother told me that if I really wanted to learn to sew well, I’d go draw lines and squiggles on a sheet of paper and follow them on the machine.  I never did, because it sounded pretty boring.  It still does.  Somehow, though, if you add a stamp and some cardstock and a festive corner punch, I’m all in.  Here’s a fun, relatively easy, way to make some super-cool cards or gift tags and sneak in some sewing practice at the same time…

Pieces to be used for card
I've stamped an image onto plain muslin, and cut it out with pinking sheers. I've cut red cardstock to size. I want to attach the two layers with gold thread.

I’m actually terrified of sewing by machine with metallic threads, which is why I’m doing this.  I am also, oddly enough, just starting to learn to sew with a shoe on my right foot.  I’m normally a toe-sewer….

sewing around the edge of the muslin square
Here's the basic round. You're going to sew around the edges of the muslin square.

This will help you learn how to use the machine foot as a guide for sewing straight lines relative to an edge (crucial for topstitching), and will also let you practice controlling the speed of the machine and keeping it under control.  You’ll also get plenty of practice with making neat corners, which often involves walking the machine for a stitch or two I haven’t marked a sewing line. I’m lining the inside edge of the right toe of the foot up with the inside of the pinking.

the curved edges of the stamped design have been traced in thread
Challenge round: curves. Sew around the curved edge of the stamp design. No, really. And try to stay right on the edge.

You might wonder why any sane human being would want to do this.  I really couldn’t speak for them. I, however, have images of a stamped underskirt, trapunto-ed in gold, dancing through my head….  The kicker is, I want to do it for a 16″ doll, so I’m experimenting with how small a set of curves I can sew accurately, whether or not I can do it in gold, and just what level of time commitment I’d be looking at.  Also, I want to know if I will end up gouging my brain out to relieve the tedium if I try it….  ;)

the finished product
In the mean time, I have a lovely little centerpiece for a holiday card.


  1. Martha
    Martha December 14, 2010

    Missa, The card is lovely! Love the idea of the trapunto underskirt and I really want to see it completed. Happy Holidays! – Martha

  2. missa
    missa December 16, 2010

    Thanks, Martha! Happy Holidays to you too!

  3. Stephanie H
    Stephanie H December 27, 2010

    LOVE it! A very, very pretty design, beautifully wrought. It’s on my dresser. :-) And no one’s brain had to be gouged out which is a Very Good Thing(R), Martha! Love n hugs to you, Missa!

  4. missa
    missa December 28, 2010

    Yay! I’m so glad you’re happy! Love and hugs back at you, Stephanie!

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