Well, I did it. I finally broke down and bought a voucher to learn to sew with a sewing machine. The funny thing is that I’m not quite sure how I managed to make it for 30 something years without actually learning to use a sewing machine – my mom, dad, grandma, and great grandma all make quilts, clothes and so on. Somehow, however, when it came right down to my learning how to do this, I quite simply didn’t.
Mom would say it wasn’t for lack of trying. I can remember her offering to teach me several times and me just saying no thanks. My grandma, I know she did get me seated at her machine when I was knee high to a rattle snake – we made a pillow – but I was more interested in trying to go outside and play when I was about 5 years old than I was in learning how to sew something together. Dad – when I mentioned about the class, he said I really thought you knew – didn’t you take that as a class in school?
Well, I did take a home economics class in middle school (6 weeks to cram everything in from sewing basics, to cooking basics, to how to balance a budget and a checkbook). As I recall we did learn a few basic stitches – eg. learn to sew on a button, a snap and repair a hole. We also “learned” to use a foot treadle powered sewing machine – there were 3 for 30 students – for about 20 minutes in the basic course. Let’s just say that it didn’t stick. I’m not sure if I just didn’t learn, or if I didn’t remember because I didn’t want to learn – but modern machines are quite different than this treadle powered beast of a machine which we used.
Anyhow, I decided, after seeing a pile of trousers that needed hemmed (and spending 15 Euros each to have them hemmed) that it would be a great idea to finally learn to sew. The voucher came just in time, and was a basic 3 hour course at When Poppy met Daisy to learn to use a sewing machine. Me, H, and J all decided to attend, as a “girls night out” type event. We had to each pick out our fabrics – H chose a pink print with little hearts, J chose a fabric with cats and funny social networking quotes. I chose an abstract big flower print from ikea.
The class covered the basics – from threading the machine, to creating a bobbin and bobbin thread.
Once we learned the basic parts of the machine, the instructor started us out sewing on a piece of lined notebook paper – both a straight stitch and a zigzag stitch. The paper, because of lines, let us learn to sew straight lines. It also helped us to judge if we were going too fast / too slow (the paper would tear) or if we needed to adjust the tension higher or lower. Brilliant idea – as it wasn’t actually messing up any fabrics.
Once we had mastered the straight lines, we moved on to some scrap fabric – sewing a basic hem. Then we moved on to the French Hem.
Finally, we started on our project, combining all that we had learned together. It was a makeup bag, closing with a smidge of velcro. We had 3 happy girls by the end of the class – and I think that I’ll eventually go back and learn some additional stitching – like shirt or skirt making.
On a side note, despite the fact that it was supposed to be a makeup bag, J decided it made a better hat than a bag.
Well, I guess that’s one way to do it!!