A little over a year ago, I purchased a sewing machine with the thought of making clothes for the (then only) boys. You may have wondered where that idea eventually went. Truth is, it didn't go terribly far. No, not far at all...maybe around the block or perhaps just to the corner and back...
I took a sewing class through Community Education that was somewhat helpful, although most of the class time was spent getting everyone's machine threaded. Turns out that sewing machines are a lot like people: they're all basically
the same, but not exactly
the same. I did a little practicing/experimenting on my own, but didn't create much other than frustration. Sewing doll clothes is frequently described as 'fiddly work', and now I understand why. It's all of those sharp little curves--sort of like trying to maneuver a tank around a miniature golf course. I think part of the problem has to do with my temperament. I tend to get frustrated when I don't feel proficient at what I'm doing. Unfortunately, proficiency in sewing doesn't come overnight. After some abortive attempts, the machine just sat there and collected dust for a bit.
A few weeks ago, I dusted it off. We were doing our Easter post and needed sheets and pillowcases for the bunk beds. It turned out to be a project I could handle! I do a fair job at long, straight hems and square corners. It was nice to be able to make something and actually be reasonably satisfied with the end result.
Anthony: Very nice. Perhaps he's finally discovered where his talents lie.
Gavin: Otherwise, he could always take up a musical instrument.
As a newbie, here are a few random things that I've learned about sewing (often the hard way):
1. Fabric has a 'right' and 'wrong' side. When you sew, you need to be mindful of which side should be facing up. The first project we made in class was what the instructor described as a 'little thing to put under a plant or candle.' As you can see, I got one of the pink pieces facing the wrong way. Whoops...
Kaveh: I think it looks nice. It's not even noticeable.
Thanks, Kaveh. You're a sweet boy.
2. Ever seen one of these? You need to use it. A lot.
John Martin: It's called an iron. When you plug it in, it gets very hot and flattens fabric.
Luke: Well, fancy that! All this time I thought it was for propping open doors.
3. You'll need to use one of these a lot, too (especially when you're learning).
Benjamin Roy: Stupefy!
Blake: Dude. That wand only reverses spells.
4. While you're sewing, it's a good idea to periodically check to make sure that you really are sewing..i.e. the needle hasn't become unthreaded or the bobbin hasn't run out. Sewing without thread is basically just poking holes in fabric.
Giancarlo: Aren't they supposed to stick together?
Robin: Well, that's the way it looks in the book. Wait, do we have thread?
That's all I have to report for now. At this point, I'm not sure where (if anywhere) my little sewing adventures will ultimately go. One thing I can say is that this experience has given me tremendous respect and appreciation for all of those folks who create beautiful clothes for Gregor and Sasha!