Monday, August 22, 2011

Getting Started!

I was raised by a crafty woman.  My mother made me so many dresses, blouses, pajamas, and even little toys while I was growing up.  Most recently, she started making purses.  My mother owns two sewing machines.  One is at her primary residence, one is "up north."  However, even though she tried to teach me, I was never able to learn.  Oh, and my granny was a home economics teacher.  About two years ago, she was working on a quilt when I stopped by for a visit.  She asked me to help her lay out the quilt and then said, "Jenny, you are horrible at math so I am going to ask this question to Kevin."  Uh, thanks.  So, one would think that I would consult my mother before buying my first sewing machine, but I did not.  I was kind of hoping that I could surprise her with a complete pillow, but after reading the directions on how to thread the machine, I knew that dream was gone.

I bought a Singer Esteem Sewing Machine on sale at Target for about $116.00.  It was on sale just days after Kevin started pushing me to sew.  Maybe this was meant to be!  Initially, I was planning on buying a cheaper model but this one looked like it might be a bit easier to use.  

The next day, I decided to drive myself and two little girls to the sewing department at Walmart.  I hate Walmart for many reasons but since I set myself up to fail, Haberman's Fabrics did not seem like a good use of my money.  The shopping trip did not start out well.  Violet was apparently angry that my diaper bag did not contain a stocked pantry and refrigerator.  When I told her I did not have anything but raisins, she threw herself down onto the floor and had a temper tantrum.  Wow!  I tried to put her in the cart and rigor mortis set in.  Lovely.  Violet screamed throughout the store.  I was one of those crazy people at Walmart!  Finally, we made it to the sewing department and she her angry feelings toward me began to quell.  Instead, she was angry at her sister because they needed to AGREE on a fabric.  Finally, Pooh Bear was acceptable to both.  We picked out scissors, but of course not the right scissors.  The girls thought I should get purple, however, those were made for small hands.  Lord knows I don't have small hands.  They also thought I should get zebra print scissors however, we are on a budget and I don't spring for fashion.  We also got some thread, pins, and a pattern.       

The pattern I purchased is a "Sewing for Dummies" pattern but I am not convinced it was dumbed down enough.  I read it over and over again.  But, I pinned and I cut the fabric thereby getting one step closer to the ultimate goal of using the machine.

Tonight, Kevin took the girls out for a couple hours so I could have some uninterrupted quiet time while I learned how to thread the machine.  I am not going to sugar coat this, it took me a long time.  But, whenever I got a step correct, I gave myself a big Hip-Hip-Hooray!!!  So, the time came to finally lower that pressure foot and start stitching.  However, the pressure was on and I could not remember how I got the stupid thing up in the first place.  I actually started to sweat and ran downstairs to Google "how to lower your pressure foot."  The first thing to come up was a blog from some Australian woman who is a sewer extraordinaire.  Seriously, she sews some serious fashions.  All the other websites told me to consult my manual, as if I hadn't thought of that before.  I ran back upstairs and relaxed and repeated, "I think I can, I think I can, I think I can."  Sure enough, I remembered the stupid lever was on the back.  I lowered the pressure foot, put my foot on the pedal and started to sew my pillow.  But, the thread bunched up.  I started all over again, same thing, thread bunched.  This happened about five times.  I need my mom!!!  Fortunately, she is coming over tomorrow and I can ask for help.  

Once I figure out this small problem, I should be on my way to making a real pillow.  It may not be great, but I am trying, learning, and having a bit of fun.  That is all anyone can really ask for.  And, when the going gets tough, just call it a night and eat some ice cream.  



  1. Great writing! :D Glad your Mom is coming over to give you some tips. I still email my mom pictures of patterns from time to time. I am so spatially challenged.

    It looks like your bobbin is threaded wrong. Try taking it out and reloading it.


  2. Oh Jenny! I can just picture Granny saying that! I hate to sew. Occasionally I've considered taking it up again, now that I have girls. Good luck! That tangled mess looks like how I sew, and Vi would fit right in with us!

  3. Oh my god...I can picture every little step! Hilarious! I convinced myself that I wasn't a beginner and bought some skirt patterns. They are still laying on the floor upstairs, all cut out. I have no clue at all what to do now so I just look at them EVERY DAY. For the past 3 months. So sad. Maybe I'll join your pillow crusade...

  4. Thanks, girls. Yes, Jill you should start sewing your skirts again. We could form a sewing cooperative : )

  5. Jenny Jenny Jenny!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I know you can learn to sew. Threading the machine properly really can be the biggest challenge. I am so used to my 1974 Singer that I have to use the guide book every time I thread my new Singer. If you miss just one step it doesn't work--which leads to GREAT frustration.

  6. Ooooooooh.... a sewing cooperative. I think we should!