I have a (small) stack of books to write about but a general holiday mood is holding me back, not being at work is giving me the time to think about and do slightly different things. One of these has turned out to be sewing. Sewing is something I've never been much good at - not quite terrible - but generally inept and definitely terrified of sewing machines. At school they always defeated me especially when it came to threading the dratted things so it's more than twenty years since I've faced one down.
Despite such a troubled and chequered history I'd been playing with the idea of buying one of the John Lewis mini sewing machines for a while. If the picture doesn't give an idea of scale and you haven't seen one - it would fit in a shoe box, and this is a definite attraction; my flat is small and I don't want to take up valuable book space with gadgets that aren't books. The price was also correspondingly modest and that's an attraction too because sometimes these enthusiasms are short lived.
Part of the reason for wanting a sewing machine at all was because we bought some really lovely tweed in Shetland in the summer and I'd promised the Scottish one I'd turn it into cushions for him - the realisation that it would take me a week to do by hand has been off putting though so it's sat around looking like a tempting meal for moths ever since. Having worked out how to thread my new toy (surprisingly easy, still took me twenty minutes) and messed around with it for a bit I managed to run up a cushion cover - it was a rather quicker process than threading and I'm all round delighted with the result.
I doubt I'll ever make anything terribly sophisticated or complicated but doing something vaguely creative is mood enhancing, as is the mental up yours I'm sending in the direction of the domestic science teacher I had when I was 13 (the one I had before that was actually really good but that's no kind of a story). It's also a chance to tidy up some of those untidy loose ends that are bothering me so much (quite literally in this case, especially when it comes to table cloths).
I am completely incompetant when it comes to using sewing machines so I can't help but admire your determination to relearn how to use one. And what a beautiful tweed that is; I can understand why you were eager to use it! I have only done hand sewing since my home economic classes when I was in my early teens and, honestly, I have enjoyed that. Mending and simple sewing by hand is nice. I do want to learn how to quilt in the not entirely distant future though and relearning how to use the sewing machine would come in handy for that. But my knees still start to quake when I think about having to thread it...ReplyDelete
Claire that's exactly how I felt and if you could have seen the cross eyed determination as I tried to decipher the instructions (and work out my left from my right...) I like hand sewing when I have the time, but haven't had the time for ages. Realising I can do things faster is great and I love that this machine is so toy like - much less pressure!ReplyDelete
Well done you! The cushion looks fantastic. Once my Home Ec Teacher found out who my sister was (she'd taught her some years before in the same class) I wasn't actually allowed to thread the school machines, but one of the competent girls had to do it for me and "buddy" me - I think my poor sis must have Done Something Terrible to one! I nearly got one of the John Lewis ones myself - they're awfully cute!ReplyDelete
They are cute and surprisingly effective for such a small gadget. Oddly threading the machines was my big problem at school but I'm finding it easy with this one. I wonder what your sister did? It must have been spectacular...Delete
Oh, that machine is adorable! Good luck with your sewing projects. It's incredible how many things you can create just by sewing rectangles with straight lines. You can do curtains and placemats and table serviettes and bathmats and table runners and skirts and bags and pillow cases and next thing you know you've redecorated your home and you start wondering what else you can make and by then you're so obsessed that you're keen to tackle making a wool winter coat or a silk blouse. Sewing can become a bit of addiction. Ask me how I know ;)ReplyDelete
You've made a lovely start with the cushion. I love that fabric.
I think you might be right - 2 cushion covers, a scarf, and a hot water bottle cover later and I'm running out of things to sew. I need more!Delete
I am a straight line sewer. Cushion covers, are a speciality! I tend to keep my creative side to cross stitch and all those other thins. Any proper sewing goes to a dressmaker who is a friend of the family,ReplyDelete
Mastering the straight (rather than slightly to very wobbly) line is my first real project. Dressmaking is probably beyond my patience to try, never mind skills, but I'm currently amazed at how fast a machine is compared to hand sewing. My sister is good at cross stitch but it's something else I lack the patience for these days. The last time I tried it I used Fair Isle knitting patterns and I think it would have looked great if I'd ever finished it...Delete