Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Why I am Here

I decided to learn to sew about a month ago. I have always wanted to learn - I have been talking about it now and again for probably the last twenty years. I even played around with a few projects in college without really taking the learning process seriously. Now, I am serious. I really want to learn to sew.

I have most of the tools on hand...the sewing machine that my husband bought last year when he wanted to learn how to sew, some fabric purchased for various projects, a variety of thread. I even bought myself a book about learning to sew, although it seems to be written for someone with a lot more previous knowledge than I have.

As for said previous knowledge, well that would be...almost nothing. I can thread a needle and move it back and forth between two pieces of cloth, though the results look a little like Dr. Frankenstein's monster. I can sew a button back on, though probably not correctly and definitely not with any staying power. But when I was a teacher, I saw how the students with a desire to learn really did make progress, even if they lacked a strong foundation or natural ability.

So, I am starting this blog to create an external motivator, to put myself under some pressure to keep learning. In the last month since I started sewing, I have managed to figure out how to thread the sewing machine and use it for basic stitches. I am learning how to cut fabric based on a very simple pattern. And my current project - a bowling game for my one and a half year old nephew - requires me to learn a slipstitch. My practice runs with this have been truly pathetic...but it looks so easy when I watch the videos on YouTube, so I am sure it will come.

So far, threading the sewing machine correctly has been my biggest challenge. I have now done it about five or six times and each time, I make some huge mistake that leads to disastrous consequences. Once, I simply put the spool on backwards, which caused a surprising amount of damage for so small a mistake. The next time, I missed the slit in the bobbin thread cover and ended up with total mayhem on my fabric. This last time, I threaded everything correctly. I really did...and then I forgot to put the presser foot back down before starting to sew and ended up with the fabric pulled right down into the bobbin cover. Oh my!


  1. i will give you one hint... try sewing something without a pattern. does that still mean that one has learned to sew?? hmmm, not sure, but that's how I've started and I still haven't ventured to use a pattern, but have made some cute things. :)

    also, something I learned the hard way... when first sewing something... keeping your stitch length very wide makes it easier to rip out when a mistake happens. Then if it is "right", you can go back and stitch it with a tighter stitch. anyway... keep on sewing!!!!

  2. Thanks for the advice and the words of encouragement, Jules! You are brave to sew without a pattern. I feel like I wouldn't even know where to start. And great advice about the wide stitches. I will be sure to try that next time!