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Posts Tagged ‘hand sewing’

Not so many years ago, I sold my car and used the money to buy a sewing machine. It is a fairly simple machine that I thought I would use to make pillows, curtains, and other things for the house (or apartment, at the time), along with some clothing for me. And I have used it for quite a few projects. I have made pillows, all of our curtains, I made all of our crib sheets, a skirt, some pants for a little one, bags to organize toys, and more; it is actually a longer list than I realize when I write it all down. The problem is that when I sit down to the machine, fabric in hand, needle threaded, foot on the pedal, checking to make sure I am sitting square to the machine, I feel tense. My shoulders tighten up, my blood pressure rises a hair, and I turn into the student driver of sewing. I cautiously start each project, occasionally swerve off onto areas of the fabric I shouldn’t, and, if my sewing machine had a speedometer, I would rarely make it over 25. So, I usually save my major sewing projects for when my mom visits. When my mom visits, she always asks if there is anything I would like help with and I usually drag out a sewing project because my mom is as comfortable behind the sewing machine as I am tense. She knows how to fix mistakes, she knows shortcuts, and she understand fabric. With my mom here, I know if I get stuck, make a mistake, or just get frustrated, she will help me out (or even finish up the last bit of a Halloween costume while I get dinner!).

Inexplicably, I continue to buy fabric, look at patterns, and plan sewing projects. My latest project was pajamas for one of my little ones. I had my instructions, we picked out the fabric, and then it sat there. We were in the middle of a backyard project and getting out the sewing machine kept getting put on the back burner. I thought I would get to it in the evenings but never did. So one day I decided to iron the fabric, just to have everything ready to go. After I ironed, it occurred to me that maybe I could hand sew one of the larger, straight seams … just to get the project started. I looked up “how to hand sew clothing” just to be sure I knew what I was doing, and I started working on the one seam.

After completing the one seam, I knew I was hooked. I could work on my sewing whenever I had a spare minute. I used safety pins for pinning instead of straight pins so I didn’t have to worry if one of my little ones decided to check out the sewing project. I also have always worried about losing straight pins in the rug (despite never having lost a straight pin, I always worry I will lose one and later find it stuck in a foot … perhaps a lingering fear from the time I took off my shoe to find a Fred Flintstone pin imbedded in my heel). It took me about a week to finish the pajamas without using the sewing machine and I enjoyed every minute of it. I even learned to hand stitch a hem here. Next up in the sewing queue is Halloween costumes.

What have you learned this week?

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