When I was in junior high school, wood shop and home economics were combined classes. One semester of wood shop. One semester of home economics. Anyone who registered for one class was obligated to take the opposite class. I hated the thought, when I signed up. However, I wanted wood shop so much, I accepted my fate. In retrospect, I am happy it turned out the way it did.

I discovered that home economics wasn't just mopping and dusting and hanging drapes. I learned how to cook for myself without using boxes, cans, and prepackaged frozen entrees. I also learned how to MAKE things with needle and thread. Yeah, sure I had to make a fluffy throw pillow. But there were a few attractive young ladies who helped me through it. There were a few other sewing projects that weren't very masculine, as well. Bummer - mostly.

When the required projects were exhausted, we were given the remainder of the semester to do whatever we desired (within reason). I first made a sleeve to wrap around the padding on my BMX bike, with velcro and two buckles. Ok, so now things were maybe looking up. I made a nylon sheath for my lock-blade knife. And just for fun (yes, fun), I used the rest of the semester planning and stitching a small tent for my pooch, so I could camp without a smelly wet dog right next to my face.

About 2 years ago, my old White sewing machine finally gave it up. I went shopping and ended up with a Brother SE400. The Project Runway Edition, no less. Unfortunately, the machine is a bit more complex than what I had been using before. I've had some trouble figuring out how to use it, and thus what to do with it.

So, I turn to Instructables for help. I learn best by DOING things. As you may have guessed, projects for the ladies abound. Much visual filtering was required, while looking for what I wanted. It turns out that there's no shortage of manly sewing projects, simply that ours are outnumbered by those of the other team.

"How-To" books are great for getting a grasp of a concept, but they don't help me with creativity or application of what I may have learned. I figured that if I could find something that made a spark in my brain, I could use that to decipher the usefulness of all these features this machine has. While browsing through the sewing projects, I found a few that I intend to use.

For any other guys out there who want some sewing projects to review (as examples or for creative development), I'm putting this guide together so you might find something appealing condensed in one location.