Posts Tagged ‘sewing machine’
The vintage Singer I’ve got (sewing machine, I don’t have an old crooner locked in my shed) is beautiful, and works perfectly but it’s heavy, and as I don’t have a permanent table for sewing at yet it means I have to haul it in and out of its case whenever I want to use it.
Cue the little Brother. It’s lighter, and although nowhere near as pretty as the Singer it makes up for the lack of aesthetic appeal by having lots of different functions.
A variety of different stitches, all available just by sliding a switch or turning a dial. Marvellous! Being so new to the world of sewing machines this is actually incredibly exciting for me The machine has another trick too (which excited my mother):
Apparently this is A Very Good Thing because it means you can sew things like bags. Who knew?
So, that’s a little tour of my second sewing machine (which was another boot sale bargain at just £10). It’s not pretty, but it is very useful and I suspect it’ll get a lot more use than the beautiful Singer. From a practical point of view it also sews more slowly than the Singer, which means it’s less scary for me (despite spending a full day on the Singer last week I still have that irrational fear of sewing over my own fingers).
Do you have any sewing tips to pass on to me? This machine only came with the one foot, and I might invest in some others if I think I’ll get some use out of them – but, being a complete novice, I don’t know what I might need!
Back in September I bought a rotary cutter and took my first step towards quilting. I cut up a load of my old pyjamas into neat squares and then stashed them away. A couple of months after that I got my first sewing machine, and last week I finally learned how to use it.
I don’t have a proper workstation for sewing at yet so I had to set up shop temporarily on an old drop-leaf table in my mother’s room. Not ideal, but it did the job. Now, I’ve not been taught how to quilt, just given advice by people and looked stuff up on the internet. Pretty much all the instructions I found said to sew my squares into long strips and then sew those strips together. Hmmm. As a complete novice with a sewing machine straight lines aren’t that easy… I can manage to sew straight for a short stretch and then it all goes a bit pear-shaped.
So I decided to sew the squares into small strips, and then turn those small strips into a larger square.
First one was a bit wonky and the seams didn’t all meet up, but yay! This seemed like a good way to proceed as it would be easier to keep track of how the pattern was going (I only had 9 different types of pyjama fabric, so it was definitely fate), and I’m hoping it’ll be easier to sew the larger squares together than to sew lots of very long strips.
Now, I’d thought that my squares were all nice and neat. Nay nay. I made the mistake of not ironing the fabric before cutting out my squares (yes, I’m a lazy moron), so they were all a bit on the wonky side after I ironed the cut squares. So I made myself a template out of paper and used that to help me sew them together at the right spacings (the template is 5 x 5 inches). First I’d sew two squares together thus:
Then I’d get my next square ready, line one edge of the template up with the seam I’d just sewn, pin the whole lot together and sew along the opposite edge of the template.
That photo’s a bit blurry isn’t it? Sorry about that. Anyway, that’s how I got around my wonky squares, and I’m sure there’s a technical term but I don’t know it!
My confidence grew as the day wore on (although I did get confused at some points and sewed the squares together in the wrong order, leading to much swearing and unpicking of stitches) and my large squares got more even.
See, the seams line up! I’ve now got 20 of these larger squares all sewn together and that my friends is how they’ll have to stay for the time being. The next step will be to sew the big squares together (probably using another, bigger, paper template) but that will have to wait a few weeks. In the meantime I’m very proud of myself for finally conquering my fear of sewing machines, and will be posting details of another, smaller, sewing project very soon…
A friend kindly told me about a giveaway that Very Berry Handmade are running, and as it happens to tie in perfectly with my resolution to learn to use a sewing machine I thought I might as well have a go at entering!
Last year I decided that I really wanted to do some quilting. I had an idea in mind: to make a quilt using old pyjamas, so that it’d be lovely and soft and snuggly (as well as holding lots of memories). So I got myself a rotary cutter and, after a small accident, got my tatty old pyjamas cut up into neat squares ready for sewing together. They’ve been sat in a box ever since (although I have added more squares…).
In terms of learning to use a sewing machine I have a few options now. Firstly there’s the industrial machine my mother’s got, which is scary. Secondly there’s the vintage Singer I got a few months ago, which is beautiful but lacks an instruction manual. And now there’s a third option:
Another boot sale bargain, but also lacking an instruction manual. What I need to do is sit down with my mother and I’m sure that between the two of us (she’s got experience with sewing machines, and I have logic…) we can get one or the other machine threaded so that I can start using it. I should stop procrastinating and just pin my mother down for an afternoon, I really want to learn the basics so that I can get going with the fun stuff!
If you’d like to enter the Very Berry Handmade giveaway then click here to visit their website. Closing date is Thursday 26th January.