Faith, Family, Love and Reviews

Super Stitches Sewing: A Complete Guide to Machine-Sewing and Hand-Stitching Techniques by Nicole Vasbinder #grow4christ #bookreview

About the Book:

Does your sewing machine come with lots of fancy stitches that you’ve never thought to try? This essential guide to machine and hand stitches will teach you how to use any and every stitch for professional-looking seams, hems, gathers, darts, and more. Unlock your full sewing potential with 57 machine stitches, 18 hand stitches, and tips to choose the correct needles, threads, and sewing machine accessories, complete with detailed step-by-step tutorials and illustrations.

This comprehensive stitch dictionary is a must-have companion for any sewer, whether you just bought your first sewing machine or you’re a seasoned expert looking to polish your skills. If your passion is dressmaking, tailoring, or simply mending your own clothes, Super Stitches Sewing gives you all of the information you need to make every project a success.


You can look inside the book and purchase it at Random House.


My Opinion:


I’m not a great seamtress – I’ve sewn a couple shirts, with a lot of help from a friend, and I sew on karate and American Heritage Girl patches – but I long to improve on my sewing skills so my mom bought me a lovely computerized sewing machine about 1 1/2 years ago and it has a TON of stitches on it, that I don’t know how to use.  So when I saw the book, Super Stitches Sewing, I thought this could be the book that tells me how to make more use out of my machine as well as some hand sewing techniques.  The author herself has been sewing for 30 years and teaches classes so she knows a thing or two about sewing and how different machines work, this book is like having a really great sewing friend sitting next to you as you work on your newest sewing creation – whether it’s a pillow, a quilt or a shirt – there are stitches for every type of fabric, or so it seems.  The book is divided into three sections, the first covering 50 stitches for the sewing machine, the second devotes it’s time to 18 hand stitches and section three is all about the tools of the trade such as hand needles, machine needles, feet and also the different machines.


What I liked about this book is it’s not just a text it’s also very visual – so it’s great for all types of learning styles, I prefer to have someone next to me showing me how to do things – that’s just how I learn best especially with sewing (but when you’ve sewn through your thumb and have to have the medics come it does tend to make one fearful).  There are pictures as Nicole guides you step by step through using that stitch, complete with ideas if your machine doesn’t have the stitch she tells you what can be used in place of it or if there isn’t a replacement, what type of fabric is best to use, thread to use, needle type and more.  Some of the machines stitches covered are the automatic buttonhole, ric rac stitch, feather stitch, quilt stitch, honeycomb stitch and that is just the beginning.  As for hand stitching techniques she covers the back stitch, whip stitch, darning stitch, tailor’s tack and more – which gives a good overview of stitches you’ll need if you’d rather hand sew your project instead of machine sewing it.


If you’re like me your machine came with many stitches and the machine’s book just doesn’t do much in helping with understanding the stitches or even all the feet that came with the machine – so this book will help you make sense of all of that and have you sewing in no time!  I must say that even as I’ve read through this I’m still not sure what I’ll do with all 50 of these machine stitches or of the even more stitches that came on my machine – but it’s nice knowing how to use the stitch and what fabric to use, so if I ever become able to experiment I’ll be able to figure out how to use a different stitch besides the plain old straight stitch.  I’d have to say I do recommend this book for the sewer who isn’t in the know – Nicole does a great job in denoting what is a basic/beginner stitch and which are for the more advanced sewer – so it’s easy to know where one should start in their sewing journey.  I’ll definitely be keeping this one near my machine and I may not need to call a friend every 5 minutes while sewing!




(c) 2014, Sarah Bailey/Growing for Christ, All Rights Reserved, Unauthorized Duplication is a Violation of Applicable Laws




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Christmas Present – if you are my 7 year old daughter quit reading NOW!

We decided to break down and buy her the new Kindle, well we didn’t buy it, but she is getting it for Christmas.  I should write another post on how we’ve managed to buy Christmas presents for our children for almost nothing.  I will say I’m thankful to surveys that has allowed us to ‘buy’ items that if we were paying for it ourselves rather than earned gift cards  the children wouldn’t get them.

Well after convincing my husband that a Kindle would be a great gift and that she can use it now as well as when she’s an adult, he couldn’t argue that.  I presented the facts and he agreed it would be a good gift.  If he had said no I’d have to be okay with that but I’m glad he agreed.

So I made her a cover for her Kindle (I just have to be sure to give her the Kindle first before the cover).  Using the same pattern I used here for my sister in law.  I’m thinking I may have been off on my seam allowance because it’s still big but I’ll fix that once she opens it and the Kindle so I can fit it real good.

She loves penguins.  I think she’ll like this what do you think?

Oh and at the chance of a shameless plug – if you’d like a cover for your Nook, Kindle or iPad I can do that.  Nook and Kindles are $15.00 plus shipping and the iPad is $20.00 plus shipping

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Christmas Present – if you are my SIL please don’t continue reading

I like to try to make homemade gifts for people and this year the first one I made was a cover for my SIL’s Nook cover (my hubby’s sister).  I’ve been making my Kindle covers and a cover for my friend last year and a cover for a favorite librarian using the pattern from Birdiful Stitches which is easy peasy to do.

Well my SIL isn’t a frilly, girly girl so we had to come up with fabric that she’d like and my children unanimously voted for skull and cross bones.  Now my children know that this isn’t fabric I’d normally choose but for my SIL it works.  So I made her a Nook cover – and inside she’ll find a $10 gift code to Barnes and Noble.  I’m happy to say this cost almost nothing to make as I found the fabric and buttons on sale, and the gift code I got from doing surveys.

To me, there is nothing better than giving a homemade gift that is useful and cost almost nothing to make!

I added an iron on label with my initials but once the Nook goes in it’ll be hidden.  I’m going to make a trip to an electronics store to check the fit but I think it’ll be good.

Oh and at the chance of a shameless plug – if you’d like a cover for your Nook, Kindle or iPad I can do that.  Nook and Kindles are $15.00 plus shipping and the iPad is $20.00 plus shipping 😀

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More Christmas Presents (if you are my SIL don't read any further!)

This is a set of two bibs, two burp clothes and a diaper wipe holder that I made for my SIL and brother.

Now for Bethanne, I finally completed this baby doll bunting.  I found it last Christmas on the Moda Bake Shop site and couldn’t wait to make if for her for this Christmas.  The baby doll bunting was easy to make the only part I didn’t do was the quilting (I tied Bethanne’s) and instead of sewing up the closure I used hook and loop closure.  The bulk wouldn’t fit under my presser foot and the hook and loop works just fine and now she can use it as a baby doll blanket if she wants to.

I can’t wait for her to open this on Christmas morning.

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Another Christmas present

If you are reading this is on any site other than Growing For Christ you are reading stolen material.

I think by now my readers are probably realizing how much I’ve come to enjoy sewing – especially presents for others.  I have a friend who is going to be getting a Kindle on December 25th and I wanted to give her a beautiful cover for her Kindle so I’m excited to get together with this dear friend and her children – you can see their gifts here about Crayon Rolls.

The button is a cute little gold colored Victorian woman’s shoe.

**This content is copyrighted 2010 by Sarah @ Growing For Christ


Christmas Presents Post 4

If you are reading this on any other site other than Growing For Christ you are reading stolen material.

I found this cute pattern at Keyka Lou Patterns for her Half Moon Handbag and the Easy Envelope Clutches and my daughter asked if I would make a set for her friend and I agreed.  I have never sewn a dart or on a curve and so this was a new thing for me but I actually found it fun.  The pattern was so easy to follow and I completed a beautiful purse and clutch set for my friend’s daughter.  My daughter picked out the fabric and button (a cute old fashioned looking metal heart) we used for the closure.  I’m so excited to see my daughter give it.

**This post is copyrighted by Sarah @ Growing For Christ

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Christmas Presents Post 3 (DO NOT read if your name is HANNAH and your my daughter.)

My blog has been scraped.  If you are reading this on any other website other than Growing For Christ you are reading stolen material.

If you’ve read my Christmas Presents Post 1 or Post 2 then you’ll know we are doing more of a homemade Christmas this year both for our children and others so now this is a post of a couple things I’ve made for my children.  If my daughter (she knows who she is) is reading this and continues on then this won’t be a surprise so DO NOT continue reading.






This is the crayon roll I made for Christian:

Crayon roll I made for Hannah:

Christian and his friend (who is in the picture with him) will be getting these matching frames:

All content is copyright 2010 by Growing For Christ


Something for me!!!

*If you are reading this on another site other than Growing for Christ then my blog has been scraped and you are reading stolen content.

Usually all my sewing and crafting are given to others so I rarely make things just for me, which isn’t bad but since I’ve found a wonderful pattern for a padded e-reader cover I couldn’t resist making another one for winter/Christmas.  Since I found a sale on the fabric I bought enough to make two, one for me and one I’m selling.  I added a cute Merry Christmas button and while it doesn’t match the fabric I like it and since I’m using it then it doesn’t matter LOL.  My husband and children are teasing me that I’ll have one made up for each season and occasion, maybe just maybe, a girl has to accessorize right?  LOL

*All content is copyrighted 2010 by Growing For Christ

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BirdifulStitches: Padded e-Reader cover (Review)

My blog has been scraped. If you are reading this post on any website other than Growing For Christ you are reading stolen material.

Do you have an e-Reader?  It could be the Kindle (2 or 3), Nook or the iPad – but if you have one but don’t want to shell out the money that is being charged for the ‘designer’ covers then I have the thing for you – a pattern for your own designer cover from Birdiful Stitches.  She has some wonderful patterns at her Etsy store – and she was wonderful to provide me with two (the other I am currently working on and will post another review) patterns. 

I have never used a pattern written by a person like me, usually my patterns come from a major pattern company, but I wanted to step out and I’m glad I did.  The pattern came with 3 pages of step by step pictorial directions – this is great for the both the novice and beginner sewer.  The pattern pieces are included and if you print them off on good quality paper will last you much longer than the major companies will.  The pattern pieces are also color coded so if you are making a cover for the Kindle 2 (like mine) you’d cut on a certain colored line to ensure the size is correct.

The directions could not have been easier to understand and if you’re a visual learner the step-by-step pictures are a major plus.  The pictures are clear and sharp and provide clear answers if something isn’t clear to you in the written directions.  The seller is also available by email should you have other questions after receiving the pattern.  For way less than the cost of a designer cover you can make your own that is suited to your preferences – color, pattern, button, etc – it will be designer!  All it takes is 3 fat quarters, interfacing, batting or fleece (I’ve used both and prefer the fleece), thread, a button and sewing machine if you don’t want to sew by hand.  For my first cover I think I spent less than $10.00 and it took me right around an hour to completely finish the cover from cutting the pieces to inserting my Kindle. The pattern is $6.00 however you are allowed to make others to sell and the best thing is to give them as gifts.  Oh and those are pockets on the left side – two small and one large – how cool is that?

**I was provided a copy of the Padded e-Reader cover by Birdiful Stitches in exchange for my honest review, no other compensation was given.

All content is copyright 2010 by Growing For Christ


Christmas Presents Post 1

My blog has been scraped. If you are reading this post on any website other than Growing For Christ you are reading stolen material.

Yep, post 1 😀  This Christmas we’re aiming to do more of the homemade thing, we started doing this a few years ago but I’d like to keep doing it so we eventually give all handmade gifts.  I know not everyone appreciates the handmade gifts but so much love and time goes into each gift that, to me, these are the best presents to give and receive. 

These are the Crayon rolls I made via a pattern I bought at Adam’s Blankie Etsy store  These are being given to my friend Micki’s children who just happens to have two girls and a boy and are close in age with my two girls and boy!  Christian got to pick out her son’s fabric and each girl got to pick out her girl’s fabric.

Please don’t mind any paint spots or other crafting materials behind the completed gifts – during the Christmas season my kitchen table is turned into craft central.

All content is copyright 2010 by Growing For Christ


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