Confession: I Am Afraid of My Sewing Machine.

20 July 2010
In keeping with yesterday's post about a letter pillow and my subsequent buying of the pillow cover, I have a confession to make.  I am afraid of my sewing machine. 

About a year ago, my GramCrackers gave me, out of the goodness of her heart, a sewing machine.  It needed to be cleaned and fixed, but it was in great shape otherwise.  So I had it cleaned and fixed.

It has been in its box ever since.

I don't know why I am afraid, but I am.  I have no idea what I am doing, but sewing is something I have always wanted to do.  I've taken just a few lessons years ago... nothing to last me this long though.

Want another confession?  When I have to sew something, my husband does it.  He was in the military and learned just enough to get him through fixing small tears or being able to sew a button on.

I suck as a housewife.

My Crackers?  She is a world class seamstress.  She made my graduation dress after just a quick, "this is what I want" discussion from me.  She also made my confirmation dress, decorative pillows for our bed when we were little, all the dresses in my dad's second wedding, and has hemmed so many pants for me that I can not even count.  She is going to give me lessons, if only I would actually schedule them.

It's daunting.

My mother in law?  She sews too.  One of the first things I think of is watching her piece together these elaborate curtains with tucks and folds and pleats and all kinds of tricky shit.  Um, she has to be terribly disappointed in her son's choice of a wife for a multitude of reasons, not the least... I am a big sewing FAIL.

My friends?  They sew too.  Emily traded me sewing party bunting for my severely lacking graphic design skills.  She really got the short end of the stick in that deal.  Jen rocked my world and brought me the CUTEST ruffled camera strap that I love.  Just because that is Jen and she is awesome.  Bea sews up things like baby dresses and Monty's cute dog collar and all kinds of crafty stuff.  Jaime sews anything you put in front of her, the cutest bags and dresses for her girls and all sorts of other things.  She even has an Etsy store, she's that good.

So tell me how to start.  How to take that first step because I don't even know what a fucking bobbin is or how it's used, but apparently it's pretty important.  What should I do for a first project?

19 comments:

Ashley said...

Dude, you can do this. It really isn't hard once you start. Just get a book, with illustrations and start sewing. The first thing I did was a few pillows for the kids and then I wanted one of those cute shabby chic aprons so I made a bunch of those.

Now go visit the library or Amazon and get your ass a book.

Jen said...

You must learn! And then you must learn to quilt so that you can do block swaps with me (because now that I've figured out what brand of thread my machine likes, I love it, and it's made my sewing techniques SO much better)!

Lots of people do pajama pants for their first project, but there are some really simple bags out in blogland that could work, too. I think my first project was a pillow. Just use easy fabric (cotton, not knit) for your first few projects. Do you have the manual for your machine (if not, see if you can find the pdf)? Between the manual and youtube, you can figure out all of the technical stuff. sew4home.com has great information about terminology (and also some great tutorials).

DO IT!

Michelle said...

OMG ASH, you sew too??? Ugh. Damn it.

~*Jess*~ said...

I SO wish I could sew. Oh wait but I don't even have a sewing machine to practice on :(

Katie @ On the Banks of Squaw Creek said...

If I had friends and family willing to sew for me, I'd leave mine in a box, too!

michele said...

just DO it. dive in. start with something simple....and if you get stuck just google it, i learned a LOT from watching you-tube videos when i would get stuck on something.

Jessica @ Acting Adult said...

I can't sew a button. My husband has to do it for me, or I take it to the tailor. I fail at housewifery, too.

enal222 said...

i've been wanting to learn too!!!!!!

Meg said...

I sew with my mom on my grandmother's sewing machine from 1920. They mean it when they say they don't sew like they used to. I'd pick a really easy project that only involves a straight line. I'm actually going to be making a kitchen rug with some cute fabric that I purchased recently. Something like that would be the perfect beginner's project.

You don't suck at sewing; you just haven't tried yet! Seeing at how talented you are with everything else, I know you'll be a natural!

Meg said...

*They mean it when they say they don't make sewing machines like they used to.

Mommy Lisa said...

I am same. Mom gave me super nice machine and I have sewn two pillows on it and then nothing.

Emily said...

You definitely need to learn! It's really not that difficult or intimidating. First, follow Jen's advice about getting to know your machine (she's right, as usual). Then, use notebook paper to practice sewing straight lines. After that, try making some bunting (SUPER easy - it's just one big, long straight line!) and a pillow. You'll get the hang of it in no time!

Holly said...

I sew...no I don't...OK yes I do, but I was a fashion designer so I had to. Get a bunch of scraps and practice - see what your machine can do. Pillows are easy to play with, so are tote bags.

Some of the new machines scare me - so many buttons. My machine is like 20 years old and not too many gadgets - just does the job! Once you get the hang of it...you'll be off and running.

Meg said...

i could have written this post. seriously, i have a brand new sewing machine that's been sitting dormant for four years...i get anxiety attacks when i look at it. but i REALLY want to use it and make cool things. but i get overwhelmed just looking at it. good luck!

Alexis said...

I am right there with you! My sewing machine is still in the box, I even took a class at a local Jr. College and had to DROP OUT because it was too hard (even though it was a "beginner" class EVERYONE had experience and I couldn't even thread the bobbin!) My kids think we should send all of our things that need buttons sewn on etc. to my mom who lives 500 miles away. You are not alone!

Susie Ligman said...

I started with pillow cases. Straight sides, easy, and no closing up an opening after you stuff, like regular pillows. If your machine has a manual, use that for sure. I was constantly checking mine for a while and still do sometimes, if I'm doing something new. After that, I went to Halloween costumes. More complicated, but they only have to be worn once or twice and it doesn't matter what the inside looks like. Good luck!!

Lori said...

Definitely give it a go! I got my first sewing machine for Christmas from my parent's. I had never sewed before I got it. After getting a book and looking around at tutorials on the Internet, I've taught myself. I may not be the greatest, but it is a lot of fun...and that's all that matters!

Foof4e said...

I am a sloppy sewer, but I don't care & I make my daughter clip all my loose threads. But I get the job done & just don't look too close. I'd get a bunch of fabric from a rag or give a way pile of clothes & just start sewing pieces together. After you are comfortable with that try a simple skirt. Straight lines are our friends ;)

Anonymous said...

I know I'm reeeeeally late here, but I'm just across the street if you want bobbin help. I'm not fancy or an expert, but I am now confident in my bobbin-winding abilities. :) I also have a backup machine in my closet that I am an expert at, if we can't figure out your machine.

Also, super excited to be referenced in the blog. :D

Bea

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