Thursday, March 12, 2009

Sewing 101

I grew up with a mom who could sew anything. She made dresses for me, maternity clothes for herself, quilts, clothes for my Barbie dolls, doilies, afghans and more.

When I was in fourth grade, I decided to enter the 4-H apron contest. I can still remember the pain and torture I experienced as mom and I worked on that red and white apron. Every day I just wanted it to be over. The sewing machine and I were not friends. I finished my apron, entered the contest, came in dead last, and moved on with my life...right after taking a vow of abstinence when it comes to needles, thread, and sewing machines.

Well, I have broken my vow. Over the past year, I've become more and more intrigued by mixed media art (and no, that's NOT a fancy word for scrapbooking). Typically, I consider myself a minimalist when it comes to design and art preferences. I love white space. I crave a simple Picasso sketch. But, I also love collages. Combining textures, colors, and artifacts in unique ways thrills me.

In my pursuit of mixed media art creation, I realized that to fully embrace my new love, I must pick up a needle and thread. Funny how one mention of this, and on the next gift giving occasion my mom thrusts a Pixie into my lap. I played around with it some, and I must say I've enjoyed getting to know the machine. I've also learned that I can make nifty things to use for my aromatherapy and household cleaning. I even made a pillowcase in about 10 minutes one night.

But, when I do something, I gotta go all out. My mom lives in Wyoming right now, so I signed up for a class at a local sewing studio.

The first session was tonight. After three hours of fabric, snips, scissors, needles, thread, and bobbins, I've come up with a few basic rules for surviving a first sewing class.
  1. Don't remove the screw that holds your needle in. Just loosen it. After I mistakenly removed mine, the instructor looked at me and said, "That is not God's will for your sewing machine."
  2. The needle lives in its oval and cannot bite you. For some reason, I really think it will, even though I know it won't. I held my shoulders tense and watched that little booger go up and down and side to side and imagine it eating through one of my fingers. It did not. Instructor: "See that oval? That's where the needle lives."
  3. You have to actually press down on the pedal to get the motor going. I suppose I'm a little afraid of the pedal, too. (Probably because it controls the needle.) I spent most of the night barely pressing the pedal, causing my machine to make a pained half-groan, half-whir sound. The woman sitting next to me kept looking at my machine. I'm sure she wondered if I had broken it. So, I decided to press down. Instructor, with her hand on my left shoulder: "These kinds of stitches require a slower speed. Easy on the pedal."
  4. Bobbins aren't really that bad. Ok, yes they are.

1 comment:

Erica said...

Try flipping the pedal around backwards... makes me feel more comfortable at controlling the speed.

Good job! :-)

 
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