Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Sew Crafty

Because I don’t already have enough useless hobbies that are expensive and require a lot of equipment - baking/photography, I’m looking at you – I decided to add one more to the mix. Sewing! What’s that you say? We aren’t living during the Great Depression and I don’t need to sew my own clothing? Nonsense. I got excited after seeing some patterns on Etsy, and I thought to myself, I can totally do this. Grade 9 Home Economics was only about 15 years ago, and I don’t imagine the actual technology of a sewing machine has changed dramatically in that amount of time, so why not go buy a sewing machine and 3 metres of fabric? Amiright?

Well. After watching You Tube video, after You Tube video, I still could not, for the life of me get my bobbin (seriously, when is the last time you heard that word) threaded properly. I would make a few stitches and then everything would get all tangled in the needle. SO frustrating. Finally, I realized my problem (I hadn’t locked the bobbin into position, and it kept popping out. That's what she said.) and got started. I cut my pattern for an apron, for when I never do my other hobby, baking. The irony of the situation is not lost on me. So anyways, I’m cutting my fabric, realizing that maybe 3 metres of print fabric isn’t really necessary for one apron, probably just 1 metre would have been enough, but, c’est la vie.

So I finally got to the ‘meat’ of the project – actual sewing, and I was doing okay, if I do say so myself. My speed could use a little fine tuning and some more consistency, but overall, it was an okay job. I read along the next set of instructions, and it calls for an iron to press the seam down. Is that shit for real?! I said I want to learn to sew, but now they want me to pull out an ironing board on top of everything else? Come on.

I already had to dismantle the computer that was sitting on the desk to make room for my sewing machine, I had pieces of thread all over our living room floor, not to mention scraps of paper from cutting the pattern and a tomato pin cushion thingy just waiting to be stepped on (I’m not necessarily into the whole ‘clean as you go’ process), and now they want me to pull out an iron and ironing board to add to the chaos? So I can sew an apron, that in reality, I will never wear. Oh hell no. That is where I draw the line in domestic duties. Anything that needs to be ironed is sent to the dry cleaners. I hate it, and if you'll induldge me for a quick side note, I think I know the reason why.

When I was younger I was running urgently into the family room for some reason, not realizing that my sister had started the ritual of Friday night chores we (mostly she, because she is the oldest) were assigned to with the ironing. I was in such a rush and apparently running at the speed of light that I ran right into the ironing board, clotheslining myself, and knocking the iron, ironing board, and my sisters glass of Orange Tang that she was resting on the ironing board on to the floor. I didn't burn myself, but I was literally clotheslined by an ironing board.

Since I can’t exactly return the sewing machine, although I am tempted, I’ve decided to reevaluate what my first project should be instead. I’m also thinking that I need to get over the whole ironing thing as I’m sure it will be unavoidable when sewing in general. So, crafty people, what are your ideas for an easy first time project? Currently, I’m thinking of a reusable shopping bag, a) because it seems easy and b) I’m starting to get a little sick of all the judgment when the cashier asks me if I’ve brought my own bags, to which the answer is always, no. Let me know your ideas for an easy project. Projects with a lot of ironing need not apply.


  1. I find sewing fairly enjoyable, I learnt a fair bit through a fashion design course I did. I think what we started off with was making a bag, really large simple tote. There's some tutorial blogs all over the web for that sort of thing it it takes your fancy. The only bit I hated was pushing the straps back inside out. Also, in our home ec class in high school we made beanbags. That was pretty easy, since you just sew large pannels together and put a zip on it. Maybe you could try something like that?

    I think it's like any hobby, the more you do it the better you become. Especially with learning how to thread a machine or finding out why it's not working. Unfortunately almost everything you sew with a seam should be ironed, to get a sharp straight edge. And it also makes it easier to pin. You could try it without ironing, but it might make the seam twisted.

    Good luck with your sewing :) it comes in handy sometimes!

  2. Oh man, that is terribly exciting! YAY sewing!!

    Here is my sewing tip you: don't disengage the feed dogs that feed the fabric into the sewing machine. Well.. do disengage them if you plan on quilting.. BUT if you do disengage them, watch your fingers! Or you could sew through one and the needle could break off and get stuck in your finger.. and that's not fun.. because when you go to the ER, they'll be too busy making Wolverine jokes to properly assess the pain you're in and hilarity will not ensue!

    Also, I have a super cute reusable bag pattern that I can email you, if you want :)

  3. @ sophie - thanks for the tip re: the straight edge. I figured ironing would be inevitable. I think I will do some more 'studying' on You Tube.

    @Julie - of course you like sewing - it's right in your name :)) Yes please to the bag pattern if it isn't a hassle!