The sewing machine was bought years ago on sale, left in its box unopened, survived moves and came with me from one city to another before finally, last spring, I opened it up, looked at it, and signed up for a beginners sewing class at a local sewing studio.
I loved it! I had wanted to make stuff with a sewing machine for so long, and I finally listened to the calling and learnt to use the sewing machine. I had to not care that as a beginner I wasn’t that good at it yet and to not care that the first items I made didn’t look like the professional skill level that I naively expected but rather looked very homemade….by a small child. In celebration of homemade and trying something new, I thought I’d write this post and even include a few pics of my first clumsy attempts.
The class was an intensive one held all day each Saturday and Sunday for two weekends. I was very surprised that although I loved it, I was physically tired at the end of each day. I was working hard and concentrating and the instructor was a professional trained as a costume designer…..and a bit of a slave driver. But for me that was great because I felt that I was really learning a lot fast. Just the way I like it.
I was initially confused about how to even use a sewing machine and so taking the class was very good for me. The coaching to use the machine was invaluable for me as I broke a needle, forgot obvious steps and somehow turned into an Amelia Bedelia, although some of you will have no trouble teaching yourself off of YouTube videos.
My first projects included a pencil case style makeup bag, a simple cotton navy and cream tote bag and a raincoat for my dog. For the raincoat I used a light blue water-resistant material with a cherry blossom print. It came out looking a little feminine and that wasn’t my intention because he’s a boy dog but he won’t care.
A year later I’m about to get the sewing machine out and put the finishing touches on the Velcro closures. Yup that’s right, I put it aside for a year instead of finishing the closure tabs but he doesn’t wear a raincoat in the winter (that’s when he wears his winter coat instead) and I somehow forgot how to work the machine again and kept putting it off. Now I’ve pulled it out to write this blogpost and finishing the tabs on the coat is a TO DO item on my radar again.
Getting crafty means getting outside your comfort zone and not being too hard on yourself when your first attempts at learning a technique don’t look the way you expected. You’re learning, that goes with the territory. But like anything else, keeping at it will bring improved results. Even though I’m not a professional seamstress, at least I can do one of my favourite things with my new skills ….. MAKE STUFF!