Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Adventures in Sewing

I got a sewing machine for Christmas.  It's the only thing I asked for.  I just know that deep down I am a fantastic  Wait ~ sewer?  That can't be right.  I just looked it up and sure enough, that's a word.  But I can't look at it without thinking about the place where the Ninja Turtles live.

Oh man, when I was looking for that picture, look what I found.  How amazing is this?

If you want one, you can order it here.

But I digress.  So anyway, I just know I'm going to make amazing things with my sewing machine even though I've never even touched one.  I mean, I'm pretty crafty.  You should SEE my "Projects" board on Pinterest.  I am always pinning the cutest stuff! Anyone who pins so many awesome things has to be super crafty.  I just had to figure out how to use my machine.  But lots of people sew - how hard can it be?

It took me about a dozen 5-minute cleaning sessions over 3 weeks' time to clean my craft room enough to make a space for the machine.  I tried to read the manual over the next couple of days while doing other tasks, but I am a hands-on person, and I just needed to sit down and try it.  So fresh off of having conversations with both my father and my husband about how I want to open an etsy shop to sell all the cute things I'm surely going to make, at 9:30 Saturday night - after all of the kids were in bed - I went upstairs to sew something.

I opened the manual and spent just 20 minutes on the first step.  Not too shabby, right?  The first step had something to do with putting thread on the bobbin, which was awesome because I kept hearing about bobbins and I had no idea what they were.  Turns out they are like tiny plastic spools that the thread goes on.  Oh, wait.  So I just spent 20 minutes wrapping thread around this thing?  Hmmm. . . Okay, so maybe that wasn't the greatest use of time, but now I know!  I'm not frustrated.  NOW we're in business.

First step - got thread off the spool and onto the bobbin!

After I got the thread on my bobbin, I tried to load the thread in the bobbin holder thingie - under the part that actually sews.  Except, I couldn't quite figure out what the instructions were saying.  I had to keep flipping back to the start of the manual to see what all the tiny parts were named.  But the diagram is so small, and I still couldn't understand.  I flipped ahead in the manual and found "upper threading" which looked easier than the lower threading (with the bobbin), so I tried that instead.

I tried the upper threading for another 45 minutes, in addition to the 20 minutes that I tried the lower threading, still not frustrated of course!, then resorted to pulling up a YouTube video on how to do it.  (In which the lady starts by saying, "If you read the manual, you should have no problems, but I'll show you anyway."  Gee, thanks.  Apparently I'm a moron.)

After watching the video one or two. . .or 14. . . times, I finally got the needle threaded!  Yes!  Now I can sew!

I read the next part of the manual - Sewing a Straight Line - and it seemed, well, straightforward.  Except my foot plate (or whatever it's called) seems a lot harder to move than the lady's in the video.  But I can't find a way to simply adjust that, only take it off completely, so oh well, let's sew!  I found a cute piece of fabric in my supplies (I have no idea why I had it) and I cut in into two squares, just so I could practice sewing two pieces together.

I put the fabric under the needle and very lightly press on the foot pedal.  Nothing happened.  I pressed a bit harder.  Nothing.  A little harder - movement!  I'm sewing!  I sewed a line and got near the end of the fabric and realized I didn't know how to "end" the line or get the fabric out.  So I looked at the manual.  The next part told me how to reverse.  Oooh, fun.  So I hit the reverse button and pushed the foot pedal again.  Yes!  I'm sewing the other way.  Man, this stitch is going to be really strong.  I got to the end and decided to sew back the first way again (I can't remember why I thought this was a good idea).  Halfway through sewing the line, it stopped.  I pressed the pedal harder.  Nothing.  Hmmmm....the 3 lines I sewed (forward, back, forward) look pretty good. . .

Then I flipped the fabric over.

Uh oh.  That's probably not what it's supposed to look like.  And then I noticed that the plate thingie had come off.  Also not good.

Still not frustrated, I cut the strings and freed the fabric from the machine.  Okay, so this wasn't a good start, but it was just my first try - I'll just try again.  Good thing my husband also got me this for Christmas.

So I pulled out all the string and gave it another go.  This time I only did one straight line (no reverse), and it looked awesome!  Until I turned it over again. . .

Yes!  At least I'm consistent.

By this point I really was frustrated.  And tired.  So I did the logical thing.  I Instagrammed it.

The caption read "After an hour of trying to thread my new sewing machine, I finally sewed my first straight line.  #nailedit"

Then I turned off the machine and went to bed.  I guess I have to read the manual a little more.

**Update**  I have since learned that you have to thread BOTH the upper and lower parts.  Who knew??  Oh, everyone?  Okay then.


  1. Haha. This is awesome! I'm impressed!
    One line sewed (straight or not) > no lines sewed.

  2. My friend. The sewer! Thanks for the entertainment. Happy sewing!

  3. I'm pretty sure your machine will wind the thread on the bobbin. ;o) - Mary Kropiwnicki

  4. And...your sewing area is awesome! = Mary K, again

  5. This had me rolling on the floor. Nice work.

    But I didn't figure you for a hashtag user...

    1. I don't think I use them correctly. Just when I want to add something snarky or sarcastic. (Imagine that.) Like after I did #nailedit, I actually looked at all the other pictures tagged with that, they were all pictures of people's manicures.

  6. And this is why my sewing machine rests in a spot next to the coffee table. I get upset if it is moved but I haven't messed with it in ages. Mike can sew better than me with it. If it wasn't for all that mechanical stuff on the under side of the little uppy downy thing, it would be much easier, lol.