Sew Fun!

May 10, 2012

A project that has been hanging over me for months… re-learn how to sew.


Karen gave me her old sewing machine, and it’s been in our attic since the last time it was hot outside. I decided to try out some kitchen curtains and bought fabric at Cottonwood Fabrics here in town months ago. I finally found a wide open morning in which to tackle the task.

Karen actually brought this sewing machine home from Germany on an airplane (as a carry on!) in 1984. She says it’s top of the line : ) I have a little bit of sewing experience – when I was in high school I made a few dresses, which were more like sacks with a halter top strap. They were cute, but not the easiest to get on and off! But it’s been about 13 years since I last put the pedal to the metal –


The hardest part of sewing is threading the machine. No, I take that back – measuring and figuring out a vision is harder. I did lots of math to figure out the right dimensions.


This video and this blog post were very helpful to get an idea of hems and procedures. I Google everything before I do it!

I followed the instructions for threading and 20 slow minutes later, the machine was ready to go.




I also realized I had absolutely no pins or fabric scissors – until I opened Karen’s accessories bag and found some in there!


I did a test run on some scrap fabric and found that the machine worked! (I also unthreaded it in the process and had to re-do it!)


Ironing. I never, ever iron, but it’s fun to iron things that are flat and straight. Total number of iron burns: 2. Gosh they sting like a bee sting now!


Was also too lazy to carry up our ironing board, so I just put a towel on the dining room table Smile






This project took me a few hours, but it went pretty smoothly! My hems and corners are not perfect, but who is zooming in : )


Hung with a tension rod and some clips from one of our old house’s curtains


And the kitchen has color!


I have mixed feelings about curtains. I think they make a room much cozier, but they also darken it. I hesitated to put any in the kitchen because I need to maximize my natural light in here. However, the neighbor’s house looks right into ours, so at night, it’s a bit awkward if I want to kiss my husband while we’re making dinner! They DO darken the room just a bit, but I like them!!


Closed – which will mostly occur at night.


Note the color coordination going on!! Yellow + yellow <3


In our kitchen I went for a retro/vintage/color pop theme. Here are ways I got bold colors in:


We finally have one gorgeous day here!! Windows and doors are wide open!


At 12:30, I made lunch.


A “taco” made from a sliced No Bull Burger with cheddar, romaine and greek yogurt

IMG_0382 IMG_0383

It was supposed to be a burrito but it wouldn’t roll up! These tortillas rarely tear, but I left them in my car for an afternoon and they kind of stuck together.


On the side!!


Can’t get enough in the summer.



Have a lovely afternoon!

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{ 65 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Krissy @ Shiawase Life May 10, 2012 at 1:13 pm

Watermelon sounds sooo good right now…


2 Averie @ Averie Cooks May 10, 2012 at 1:16 pm

Kath I love this post! My mom is a huge sewer/seamstress and I grew up with a sewing machine very similar to that one in my childhood home. What memories!

And I love the print of the curtains and the yellow accents you have in the room. Tiny pops of color are so fun. I know what you mean about balancing light with privacy. My first house in California was so close to my neighbors that when we both had our kitchen windows open, I could literally hear every word she’d be saying if she was talking on the phone. No lot lines!


3 Khushboo May 10, 2012 at 1:18 pm

Who needs handbooks when you have Google 😉


4 Johanna B May 10, 2012 at 1:21 pm

I think your curtains are just right for your kitchen. Makes me wish I had some (but in a different color. My walls are buttercup and I don’t think I’d need yeloow curtains too).


5 Melissa @ HerGreenLife May 10, 2012 at 1:24 pm

Congrats on a successful sewing project. Perhaps someday I will pick that hobby up again, too. Good call on getting started BEFORE baby arrives! I have no idea when I would fit it in now.


6 KathEats May 10, 2012 at 1:25 pm

I left the thread in so I could just start next time if I’m busy!


7 Katie @ Peace Love & Oats May 10, 2012 at 1:25 pm

The curtains look great! I used to love to sew when I was younger, I just thought it was so cool that you could make something out of nothing!


8 Ashley @ Coffee Cake and Cardio May 10, 2012 at 1:29 pm

Cute curtains!!


9 Elyse May 10, 2012 at 1:31 pm

The curtains look great!

I’m taking a sewing class right now and absolutely love it! We’re making an apron and seeing it turn into a real garment is so fun. I can’t wait to sew more stuff and your adorable new curtains make me want to run down to the fabric store!


10 Cait's Plate May 10, 2012 at 1:34 pm

It looks great! Learning to sew is definitely on my to-do list. I grew up having my mom sew all our Halloween costumes and Easter dresses and stuff and I want to be able to do that for my kids!


11 Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat May 10, 2012 at 1:41 pm

So many amazing things going on here! First, congrats on your lovely curtains! I love DIY projects but haven’t tackled sewing yet. When I was in grade 7, I took home economics as an option course and one of the activities was crochet. I had to make a dish cloth for a project and it gave my mum a good laugh – she told me my stitches were so tight I would need a crow bar to get them out!! And also, I LOVE your colour pop theme!


12 Lynn @ the actor's diet May 10, 2012 at 1:42 pm

I always loved sewing!!! But the threading the needle part was always an issue for me. Haven’t they invented a self-threading machine by now?!? Kinda like those cappuccino espresso maker pods?


13 Catalina @ Cake with Love May 10, 2012 at 1:47 pm

I used to sew when I was in high school but by now I forgot everything!! :( I really enjoyed doing it! The yellow curtain is very nice, I love the bold color, makes the room bright and crisp!


14 Molly @ RDexposed May 10, 2012 at 1:47 pm

I may be on lunch break now but I still cho counted your lunch automatically.
Also, I see Matt’s roots for his love of beer-German!


15 Susan H. @ The Food Allergy Chronicles May 10, 2012 at 1:51 pm

Love the bright sunny charm of the curtains in the kitchen…little punches of colour add some character to a room! With our dust allergies, outside of getting rid of all the carpet…curtains were also on our ‘out the door’ list. We opted for white shutters which can close at the bottom while still being open at the top to let in the light and save my wooden floors. The kitchen is the only room left to do…we just have ‘boring beige’ roman blinds from Ikea which actually go with my Fernwood green walls…my punch of colour!


16 Laura @ She Eats Well May 10, 2012 at 1:51 pm

I love the yellow curtains! I think they are perfect and sunny for that Kitchen. I am jealous of your sewing venture. I must admit, I have no idea how to sew and growing up, wasn’t even able to sew my own point shoes. Oops!


17 Jessica May 10, 2012 at 1:57 pm

Love the curtains, Kath!

I just read the May O magazine and saw the article about the Wild Squirrel girls. Credit was given to you for their great success! You have a great influence on people.


18 Heidi Bundles Of Hugs May 10, 2012 at 1:57 pm

First of all I LOVE those curtains! Fab job. Second, all that food looks so good now I’m off to make something for lunch. :)


19 polly May 10, 2012 at 2:02 pm

Kath, your curtains are beautiful!! I love to sew… but have not put the pedal to the metal in years, either! I used to sew for 4-H back in the day. Even made a prom dress once! eeks! Anyways, you did super! have fun kissing your man anytime. 😉 also, what tortillas do you use????



20 KathEats May 10, 2012 at 2:26 pm

Whole foods!


21 Shana May 10, 2012 at 2:02 pm

This is random but I love the way you cut your watermelon. So easy! I always cube mine and it takes forever. It’s the simple things :)


22 jeanette May 10, 2012 at 2:14 pm

Kath, as someone who loves to sew and iron this is a dream afternoon! So glad you had the time for some fun! Also, this is truely a serendipitous post because I’ve been looking for fabric for these extact curtains for this exact window! It is a sign, I will get them done :)


23 Holly May 10, 2012 at 2:32 pm

OMG Kath, can I just tell you how lucky you are that you have the manual for your hobbymatic?! I inherited my Grandma’s hobbymatic 939. I have searched the internet for a copy or download of the specific machine’s manual and haven’t been able to find it anywhere. There’s a place in town that services Pfaffs so I know I could go there and they would show me how to thread it…but man I wish I just had the manual. Anyways, just wanted to let you know how precious that manual is :) Oh, and your curtains turned out great!


24 KathEats May 10, 2012 at 2:55 pm

Let me know if you have any specific questions!


25 Carla May 10, 2012 at 2:52 pm

Wow, awesome job on the curtains! I’ve had various run-ins with sewing throughout my life, but it’s never really amounted to anything. Yours look great! Besides, yellow is happy bright color anyway, so hopefully not too much darkening going on!


26 Jen May 10, 2012 at 2:57 pm

You are so creative! Looks great.


27 Jen May 10, 2012 at 2:57 pm

or I should say *”sew” creative. :)


28 Becca May 10, 2012 at 3:01 pm

This may seem like a really odd/out of place question… but… do you wear shoes in the house? I couldn’t help but notice your sneaker on the foot pedal 😛 I never, ever wear shoes in the house, so maybe that’s why I noticed the shoe and just had to ask about it!


29 KathEats May 10, 2012 at 3:04 pm

I do! Having a history of foot problems, I need the support. Although most of the time I’m in slippers or Toms. Today I wore my sneakers because I was going “rough” things


30 laine May 10, 2012 at 3:01 pm

Those are really cute curtains! I was re-bitten by the sewing bug when my sister had her first baby and sewed most of her clothes for the first couple of years. They then cycled through all of her friend’s babies and are now being worn by my newest niece!


31 kristen @ verbs and vignettes May 10, 2012 at 3:10 pm

I think I am so bad at sewing because I just hate it so much. I always want to make something homemade and adorable, but even my simple little sack-dresses never quite turned out. that first photo of thread through the needle looked gorgeous, though. and very nice yellow curtains!


32 Lauren @ Sassy Molassy May 10, 2012 at 3:16 pm

Kath, I LOVE the colors in this post. So vibrant I had to scroll through a few times. :) Makes me want to make the time to sew something.


33 kris May 10, 2012 at 3:18 pm

loving all the pops of bright colors in your post!


34 Susan @ Lawrence 785 May 10, 2012 at 3:19 pm

Cute! Having a sewing machine around is soo handy, I don’t know what i’d do without mine! Its like the textile world is my oyster. Or something.

I’m sure this occurred to you, but I’ve totally messed up wood table finishes with the iron before and that is a GORGEOUS table you have there!


35 Kimberly @ Healthy Strides May 10, 2012 at 3:21 pm

Yellow curtains are exactly what I need for my kitchen. I’ve been telling myself for ages that I was going to make some but I have yet to do it. It’s not so much the sewing – that’s the easy part – but the measuring, pinning and ironing, which take forever. Given I can barely cook dinner without a 10 month old trying to climb my leg, I keep putting it off. Maybe it’s time to get to work!


36 Jessica May 10, 2012 at 3:32 pm

Your curtains look beautiful! Love yellow in kitchens. Such a happy color!


37 Eileen May 10, 2012 at 3:37 pm

Ooh, I love those curtains! You’re reminding me that I need to get my sewing machine repaired–so many projects to do. :)


38 Cindy May 10, 2012 at 3:40 pm

Cute curtains! If you’ll heat the tortilla directly on the gas burner it will be more pliable & have more flavor!


39 Angel7 May 10, 2012 at 3:40 pm

You did a great job on the curtains, Kath! I love the pop of color they bring!


40 Maura @ My Healthy 'Ohana May 10, 2012 at 3:43 pm

Wow, nice job on those curtains!! I love the pop of yellow and white to brighten a space, even when you’re darkening it a little bit :) I’ve been thinking about taking up sewing again, but am totally intimidated, haven’t done it since home-ec in 7th grade, yikes.


41 Fran@ Broken Cookies Don't Count May 10, 2012 at 3:55 pm

Curtains look great for your first sewing project in 13 years. Lunch looks delicious, too!


42 Emily May 10, 2012 at 4:02 pm

Keep at it, Kath!! My mom has sewn my sister and I so many things over the years… blankets, pillow covers, pajama sets when we were little, halloween costumes, and outfits for our dolls, just to name a few! She even made my prom dress my senior year of high school when I just couldn’t find a store-bought dress made out of a mulberry colored silky fabric! I still have nearly everything she’s made me, and many of them are some of my favorite things from my childhood. Anyway, my point is, someday you might be able to make your little man an adorable Loaf of Bread costume for Halloween, and I’m sure he will cherish it forever! :)


43 KathEats May 10, 2012 at 4:13 pm

Hahah a loaf of bread would be so cute!


44 Heather @ Fit Mama Real Food May 10, 2012 at 5:00 pm

Look at those sewing skills! I definitely need to work on mine. Love the pops of color in your kitchen.


45 Jill May 10, 2012 at 5:05 pm

Is that a yellow radio?? How cool! what is the make of it? your kitchen looks great!


46 KathEats May 10, 2012 at 8:28 pm

Yeah, it’s one I got from a sale that Young House Love did. Expensive, but oh-so-cool!


47 Lisa (bakebikeblog) May 10, 2012 at 5:08 pm

I would love to learn how to sew!


48 Earthy Nicole May 10, 2012 at 5:21 pm

How pretty! I have never used a sewing machine but I’ve hand-sewn a few things in my time, like pillowcases and Halloween costumes for my little girl! I love the yellow you used! I’m actually moving into a new house this weekend and it’s in need of curtains so maybe I’ll sew some –by hand, of course, I am pretty sure I would get way too frustrated with a sewing machine, lol!


49 Kelly May 10, 2012 at 5:36 pm

Just a thought, if you wanted to add some color but still wanted to let some light in you could certainly try making (or buying) another set in a fabric that is more translucent. Linen lets in just a bit more light and something like silk organza lets in a bit more. Though as far warning, the latter is a wee bit harder to sew on.

I made my prom dress and a lot of theater costumes in high school so it really makes me wish I sewed more these days. My only recommendation, if you find this machine tricky I would not recommend an overlock/serger machine down the road. I have one but admittedly rarely use it because the threading process is such a mess. I’ve actually thought about bringing it to a local craft store to see if they might thread it for me.


50 Jen May 10, 2012 at 6:09 pm

Good for you, Kath! I feel like sewing is a dying art, but it’s such a practical skill to have! When I was a kid my Mom sewed EVERYTHING for our house – curtains, clothing, crafts…you name it, she sewed it. It saved so much money and the quality was always so much better than what you’d find in stores. Enjoy!


51 chris May 10, 2012 at 6:22 pm

Hooray for you!! I’ve no idea what happened to my sewing machine, but did sew Halloween costumes to beat the band. I hear the new machines are like computers, think I’d prefer the old school type, like Karen’s (now yours)…less things to break! Beautiful yellow curtains, bravo!!


52 Alexis May 10, 2012 at 6:50 pm

So impressive! I wish I could sew!


53 Deva @ Deva by Definition May 10, 2012 at 7:31 pm

Nice job – I love the curtains and the colors in the kitchen :-) :-). Pfaffs are AMAZING sewing machines!


54 Greg May 10, 2012 at 9:20 pm

Agree. In my opinion, there’s no better sewing machine than a Pfaff. Hope you appreciate the quality.


55 Andrea May 10, 2012 at 7:46 pm

The other day I’m pretty sure I ate half a watermelon to myself through the course of a day…but looking at your pics makes me want more!!


56 robin May 10, 2012 at 9:34 pm

LOVE the curtains!!!!!!!


57 Katie @ Talk Less, Say More May 10, 2012 at 10:23 pm

i LOVE the yellow! It definitely brightens everything up! Good color choice!


58 Elisabeth May 10, 2012 at 11:18 pm

I love the retro pops of color in the kitchen, especially the new curtains & the yellow radio :)


59 seana May 11, 2012 at 6:31 am

Your curtains turned out great. I had a thought though… you could probably spray the black rings silver if you wanted it to match the rod and other hardware in your kitchen. Just my 2 cents. I spray paint everything :)


60 Karen May 11, 2012 at 7:19 am

Impressive sewing work on those sunny curtains, Kath! Gosh, I am so envious of your patience for DIY projects! It’s been about 30 years since I threaded a sewing machine and during that period my memory has faded considerably… :)


61 Blaire May 11, 2012 at 9:32 am

Your pin cushion is adorable!! I’ve only seen apples!


62 ~Christy @ wonderofallthings May 11, 2012 at 9:49 am

I’ve made curtains at our house before and it’s just like everything else — you just have to go for it. Looks like you did good. And you’re right…who cares if things don’t line up exactly the way they “should”? The creative process, when we allow ourselves the space, is a wonderful thing. Good for you! Your lunch looks fantastic! Especially that watermelon… mmmmmmmm! :)


63 Lara @ TresLaLa to TinyLaLa May 11, 2012 at 10:18 am

I got a sewing machine as a bridal shower gift from my mom (I had registered for it), and had great plans to make a bunch of stuff. Fast forward, and I’ve made exactly 2 things in 4 years: something for my sorority (I’m an advisor at a local chapter) and a fantabulous bunting (similar to yours from Etsy) for a girl friend who is pregnant. It was one of the decorations at the baby shower, and was a complete hit. I really need to do a bunting tutorial on the blog — they’re sew (!) easy!


64 Stacy @ Say It With Sprinkles May 11, 2012 at 11:47 am

Ooooh, fun! I so wish I had more time for sewing projects! Love the bright sunny curtains, Kath =)


65 FitPhilanthropist May 14, 2012 at 10:07 am

Your curtains and color pops look fab! Well done!


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