That's generally what I think of when I think about this:
I have never learned to sew. My mother TRIED to teach me when I was younger but I think she quickly discovered I was hopeless. She tried to teach me to hem a pair of pants once. She got me started, walked down to get the mail and by the time she got back I was in tears and had sewed the pant leg together. Totally traumatic.
So, a few years ago, what do I ask for for Christmas? You got it, a sewing machine. I really WANTED to learn to sew. The evil being pictured above is what I received. Now, it isn't really an evil machine - it's actually quite a nice machine that can do all kinds of fancy things that I know nothing about. However, I know next to nothing about using it. It has been in our home collecting dust for about the past 3 years and I have never used it other than to try a few practice stitches, cuss, cry, drink and then quit.
Fast forward to Blue Ridge. Our totally awesome neighbor, Liz, loves to sew. She is even GOOD at it. So good, in fact that she spent several years WORKING FOR SINGER! Wooooo hoooo!! There may be hope for me yet! She came over one evening and helped me with some basics (ummm, like turning it ON and making the thread go where it is supposed to go and trying to make me believe that bobbins aren't really as awful as they seem).
Liz sits down, shows me all this basic stuff, is totally impressed with my machine because apparently it has a self-threading needle, can do embroidery stitches, has an automatic back stitch button and other sorts of thingies. She shows me how to thread and do the bobbin and everything is working great. Then she says "Now you try!".
I sit down at the machine, carefully place my fabric knowing that I am going to impress her with a short jaunt of stitches. HA! As soon as I hit the footpedal the machine completely jams up and the code "88" starts flashing on the display. Great. Liz starts looking through the book and says "Oh my gosh! Code 88 isn't even IN the book!". It took us about 20 minutes to get it all fixed and back the way it is supposed to be. Thus continues the saga.
Determined, I did take what she taught me and practice. I made a couple of little baggie things just by sewing some edges together. Then I decided that I should get an actual pattern to try. I purchased a triple pattern (project bag, knitting bag and needle case) from Wired Up Designs. I don't know much about patterns but I knew when I got this package that it was extremely well put together and professional! She has pictures and good explanations so, I was all excited!
I tried to be patient and if I screwed up (which I did) I took the time to take out my stitches and redo the work. I pressed all my seams and did (almost) exactly as instructed. The only thing I really messed up was the topstitching but that was totally my fault - had nothing to do with the pattern. Long story short (well, not really) - this is what I ended up with.
I think it turned out pretty darn well!!! It has a liner and everything (see, now I know fancy sewing words like liner and backstitch and press).
Know what the best thing is about this bag? I didn't cry ONCE during the entire construction! That, my friends, is a victory.