Tuesday, September 1, 2009

I can sew!

When I got to Italy, we found one sewing machine in the BX. I was surprised to see it there, so I bought it before anyone else noticed it! I thought I would be stuck at home everyday and get bored, so I wanted to have something to keep me busy. Well, I've been so busy with working out and volunteering for ACES that I've actually barely touched the sewing machine.

Multiple times during my childhood, Mom tried to teach me how to sew. I would last maybe 30 minutes and then lose all interest. I don't think my problem was that I couldn't sew, but that I would get frustrated anytime the machine was working properly. So, each time we had a lesson, I would learn the basics: how to put the bobbin in the bottom, thread the needle, pull up the bobbin thread, and sew some article of fabric in a straight line. Then the machine would jam, the bobbin thread would get lost, or I would get bored, and I would quit.

Today, with my sewing machine manual by my side, I decided to give it a go. I used the instructions in the manual to fill the bobbin, insert the bobbin (Mom, I remembered what you told me to make it look like a 6!) thread the needle, pull up the bobbin thread and I was ready to go! I did practice on some scraps, no problem!

Then I cut out some fabric to make a clothesline bag. It probably wasn't smart of me to make my first project with no pattern, but I saw the idea in a book and wanted to make it now. I got the cut out circle on the front piece sewn with a facing (I had to look that up when I couldn't figure out how to hem the cut out!) then ran into my first problem. No matter how much I ironed, the facing just wouldn't stay flat. Then I remembered the Stitchery Witchery stuff my mom mailed me a few weeks ago. I ironed a strip of that under the facing and it now lays flat. (Thanks Mom!)

Then I started stiching the perimeter of the bag. About 4 stiches in, the machine jammed! AAAHHH! I tried turned the wheel both ways and it wouldn't budge! I didn't have mom here to unjam it for me, so I tried everything I could think of to fix it myself. Finally, I started turning the wheel to change the type of stich. I don't know why, but it worked! I continued on and completed my bag.

As I was ironing the bag, I remembered that with the pattern I created in my head, I would have to be able to put a hanger through the top, but I had not left a hole to put the hanger through. Simple solution, I made a button hole at the point where I should have left a hole So, I got to practice using my button hole maker!

Haha, I'm sure you are incredibly bored by this very in depth story, but I was sure Mom would want to here all of the details! Right? Anyway, here is my finished project! It will work perfectly to hang on our clothesline and hold the clothespins for me! (Mom, I know you will probably say that you would have taken the time to line up the stripes of the back with the stripes of the front, but I didn't think of that until just now, oh well!)

As an added bonus, I thought I'd show you a picture of my sewing room.
Yes...it is the living room. Mom has always complained about her sewing rooms being to small, cramped, cluttered, etc. Well Mom, I would love to have your sewing room right now! Jake and I look everywhere but can't find a cheap table to serve as my sewing table, so I'm using the coffee table for now. I can't wait to get to Montana, to have an actually sewing table, and hopefully a full sewing/craft room!


  1. Your bag looks awesome! I'm glad that you got something accomplished while I slacked on the gym.

  2. I am soooooo proud. I sewed on the dining room table for many, many years. The Hoover Avenue house was the first house where I had a designated sewing room.

    I love your clothes pin bag. I could use one. (Christmas hint!)

    I have to ask, that lovely flooring, is it carpet or vinyl or what? That is just pretty interesting. And such nice decorator colors.

  3. Looks great! I hope to start back sewing soon and am taking a smocking class next month!

  4. I want one too. It looks wonderful. Great job. I can not use a pattern. I usually go by what I can visualize. Maybe that is why I do not do much.

  5. The floor is tile. And impossible to keep clean!