Learning to Sew

You may remember the pillows I mentioned I made a few weeks ago. I made those shortly after purchasing a portable sewing machine at (where else, but) Goodwill. After a friend's Grandma showed me where the thread goes, I spent a few hours fiddling with tensions and bobbins and eventually got straight lines down. Of course, figuring out how to sew a straight line though cotton left me self-impressed enough to believe I was ready to move on to clothing, or accessories, or maybe a landscape quilt.

How long could it take? A few hours? I can sew lines! What else do I need?? 

More after the jump...

I've always lacked the discipline to sit down and learn things properly, but I've been that way for years, so I swung by Hobby Lobby to pick up material for a more difficult project. I wanted to make a headboard cover, but I found some pretty remnants with which to make a handbag, instead.
I practiced a few of the lines I know how to do so well, just in case. Here they are, next to the scissors everyone used to get mad were gone from the gallery desk in college. The jig is up, gallery crew; I was the thief:
Almost immediately, I ran into trouble. The bobbin winder on my machine ceased to work. The rubber wheel that moves everything is old and cracked. I spent a good lot of time trying to make it go by hand. Then I tried to wrap Scotch tape around it. Tape is slippery, so that didn't work. Finally, I tried wrapping tennis racket overgrip around it:
I had already made a pattern for the bottom of the handbag and cut out the pieces, so I just needed to sew them together. Again, though, I ran into trouble. Sewing through upholstery fabric and velvet cord is not the same as sewing through quilting cotton. It took several passes. Although I had plenty of scrap material, I (of course) decided to hash this out on the live fabric. One half of my project looks awful from the inside. Ten fingers or one, I suppose. Here is a good seam:
My measurement of the bottom strip was also a little short so I had to add some more material:
I spent much weekend time as a child whining in the family room, amazed and appalled that another New Yankee Workshop marathon was on. You would think, "measure twice, cut once," would have sunk in, at least.
I used to plot this man's demise for making me wait to watch Zoobilee Zoo:
I eventually got the bottom sewn to the sides.
This, of course, has left me self-impressed enough to believe I am ready to move on to a fancy quilted top and maybe some inner pockets. Stay tuned.

Your Sister in Craft,


November 08, 2010

3 responses to Learning to Sew

  1. Stephanie says:

    ha!!! I am the same way with sewing. I'll sew a straight line and then suddenly I'm trying to hand sew an entire birdy mobile.

  2. Proper sewing machine porn involves a front shot of the sewing machine. What kind is that? It looks beautiful.

  3. Haha! It is a Carson Pirie Scott Super Zig Zag. I'll get you a head-on right after xmas.

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