Get Crafty!

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!