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The pointier needles

September 18, 2007

Sometimes you just need to know when to pack it in on one craft for a little while and work on another. And after that day of failing miserable at all of my knitting WIPs, I was lucky enough to be able to turn to sewing…which was terrifying.

Let’s be clear. I didn’t call this blog “Art Class Failure” for nothing. I’m not good at most traditional “artsy” things, but when I’m put to a craft that produces something of obvious function, I’m usually pretty good: Knitted hats – you wear them, Crocheted blankets – you sit under them, Tatted Lace – ….Okay I’m still working on that one but the point is I’ve always felt sewing was my big exception.

I can cook, I can knit, I can crochet, I can TAT, I can make friendship bracelets…but my big Home Economics final project mishap of almost 10 years ago haunts me to this day. I tried to make a dress. My mother fondly remembers making her first dress at about the same age I was…Mine was a disaster. My seams were practically zig-zag, the material was bunched up and I EVEN managed to sew one of the pattern pieces to the material. I got a B for effort on the project (most other people in class had just made another apron), but I got it in my head I’d never bother with a sewing machine again.

Fast forward to these years in academic limbo (trying to get in to law school), yet unable to stop learning new thing. I decided to give sewing another shot. After all, there was some pretty cool material out there. Why not make some skirts? And then I got on the “need new apron” train of thought and the deal was sealed.

I already blogged the cutting out process, but last night I got down to the actual sewing. I picked the easiest possible pattern to start with: A skirt that consists of two pieces of fabric sewn together with a little tube at the top for an elastic waist. After spending the whole day consulting the internet for tips (google searches for “I am terrified I’m going to break my sewing machine just by looking at it” returned nothing useful), my mom taught me how to use her old Singer. It’s a great machine. Winding the bobbin is easy and even threading the needle wasn’t so bad.

The pinning of the fabric was a little rough. I stabbed myself twice, but never drew blood (the same cannot be said about my knitting or my tatting). But I must have gotten the pins in mostly straight, because seaming wasn’t bad at all…after I got finished nearly breaking the machine, of course. I went to backstitch at the beginning of the piece and made a royal mess of the thing. Eventually got it squared away, but the act of nearly killing the old warhorse within 4 seconds of sitting down at it (not an exaggeration) made me queasy.

Still! The pieces are all seamed together and I’ll be doing the sewing on the elastic case this evening before I go out to dinner. Sewing is fun! And soon I’ll have my Yellow Rick-Rack Nightmare Apron! Mwahahaha!

Lastly, here’s a look at the pretty fabric I’m making the skirt out of:

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One comment

  1. Funny, I was just contemplating some sewing-machinery today, myself. Not for an apron, though. Although I could use one. As I don’t have any. I actually have some fabric that could do quite well for one…yeah, ok, I should make one. But not today. 🙂



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