I'm starting off small with my sewing projects. I used to do quite a lot of sewing, but this is way back in time, over twenty years ago! I was an enthusiastic member of the sewing club at primary school, where I learnt to use a sewing machine and how to use a pattern, plus we did a bit in textiles classes at secondary school (although I seem to remember dyeing cotton and using it to make a bag, before we spent weeks writing business plans for a hypothetical farm shop, which was rather boring, if probably useful. The school trip to the farm where the hypothetical farm shop was going to be was quite fun though, lots of cows to see!). And in my early teens I made a few things, but then I must have got swamped by GCSEs and then A Levels and then university and then career, as I have done very little since.
So, with a new sewing machine to get used to, I started off by making another one of those bags, this time for a friend's birthday. All went well, and I was impressed with how much easier it was using a zipper foot on the new machine. I'd bought a more complicated zipper foot after a consultation with the saleswoman in John Lewis - this one swops sides and is adjustable, unlike the basic one that came with the machine. It definitely seemed worth buying the extra foot. I also got some thread that properly matched the fabric, thanks to the OH and his Superior Colour Matching Abilities.
This is project two, a drawstring bag for a knitting project. I wanted a slightly bigger one, as my existing ones are fine for sock projects, but not bigger things like jumpers. This was a free pattern from Quilting Bees (opens as PDF) and is lined with a cunning channel incorporated into it for threading the drawstring through. So cunning that I only made a hole for it one side, so couldn't actually use it for the drawstring. Oops. So I used a strip of the lining fabric to make an external channel, which does the job (although then it ended up taking ages longer to make the bag as it would have done if I'd not misread the instructions). *sigh*
Next on the list of things to do was to wash my existing fabric stash! The Tilly and the Buttons book suggested washing fabric as soon as you get home with it (which seems a bit excessive on the washing machine front, maybe I'd wait and put it in with a load that's going on anyway?), but it seemed like a good idea to get the stash washed and ironed so that it would all be ready for future projects.
Fabric Warehouse) not far from where I work, so there feels like less of a need to stock up as I can get a lot of things without going too far or having to buy online.