Monday, August 25, 2008

Pure Evil

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.

18 comments:

vanfox23 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
vanfox23 said...

Way to go!! I just tried my first sewing job not too long ago. I made a knitting needle case and the machine wasn't as evil as I thought it was going to be. I ordered one from Amazon and can't wait for it to get here!! Great job on your first sewn FO!!!!

(sorry for the deleted comment--major typos!! lol)

theyarnwhisperer said...

You did good, girl!

CCC (Crazy Cooking Camper) said...

I hear you! My mom sews beautifully and I can barely make a simple skirt. I feel as frustrated as you did when I sit behind the machine, however I believe that one day I'll whip up something cute.

And that bag is very nice! I can't believe you even made a liner!

Heather said...

Would you believe sewing was my first love? It was actually knitting that made me cry for years before it finally clicked. I think you did an excellent job on your first big project! Now that you have all the basics under your belt you'll be unstoppable! :)

LittleWit said...

Congratulations on the bag! :) It looks lovely. Now you can have sewing to fall back on when you want to make something quickly. :)

Turtle said...

sorry, still laughing! My granmother was a seamstress professionally and my mom sewed most of my clothes growing up. I in turn also sewed almost all my daughters clothes till age 3. To be completely honest with you though i will pay someone to hem my jeans before i do them! lol. The bag looks great! It takes time as well to fins a machine you can be "friends" with. I am on the 3rd since we moved 3 years ago...i miss my one i gave away..dumb me! Gonna go look at the site you got your pattern from now!

Hockey Mom said...

You did awesome! Oh, and I met some old neighbors of yours.

Yolanda and Gene Suttle(?) say hi!

Teresa said...

Congratulations! It looks like you are well on your way to becoming quite good with your sewing machine.

Jet LeBlanc said...

OOOH! Well done! I'm still at the code 88 stage. :)

turtlegirl76 said...

Awesome! I've not gotten much farther that that same intro lesson. I cut pieces to make a bag but haven't stitched them together yet. I should really get around to that...

Denyse said...

Well done! :-) I've got a Singer machine that does embroidery too. It even hooks up to a computer. But I don't know how to sew. We've had it for over a year and I've only turned it on twice.

LizzieK8 said...

Congratulations! A new skill! It'll always comes in handy to have skills even if they are only in the back ground!

Calicoknits said...

This saga sounds a lot like when my gran tried to teach me how to quilt. Suffice it to say that it's a miracle that I ever tried knitting.

Toque (Lesley) said...

WOOHOO! Way to go with the sewing machine! I am super super impressed with your bag - and yay for no tears! My first bag looked nowhere near as great and didn't even have a liner. (I didn't get to liners until my second real bag.) FANTASTIC work :)

jennt said...

I'm so jealous! You have a bag that actually LOOKS like a bag. And you didn't even cry once? Did you use curse words? :)

Firefly Nights said...

Your bag looks great. When you send me Mr. Man to finish some of my home projects, could you ask him to bring along the sewing machine since you don't use it much? That self-threading needle is calling my name. LOL

Farmer Jen said...

Bravo on the sewing! It gets easier as you go.