i bought books. for my 29th birthday recently my grandpa gave me a crisp twenty (which made both of us cry, he's on a very fixed income). i ran straight out and bought Lotta Jansdotter's Simple Sewing.
first i made the door stop for my husband (a week prior i had gotten locked in his basement office because our 3 year-old son closed the door and it doesn't open from the inside... so problem remedied).
then i made the simple tote bag for for my son, because he was such a good little guy at the fabric store and had picked an elephant print fabric that he liked.
i started to feel pretty good about my skills and made the all day tote for myself, but my sister came over and liked it... so now it's hers.
this book is great. i suppose if you had never seen ANY sewing what-so-ever you'd wish you had more initial basic instructions (luckily i took sewing in middle school... thank you mrs. idon'trememberyourname... job well done because i knew more than i thought). but, the projects are easy, useful and down-right adorable.