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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Coming Out of the Crafter's Closet--Lesson 1.1

One quarter of 7th grade home ec was almost enough to drive me away from sewing machines and other household skills for good. My class had the boys that probably ended up at the alternative school, as they were determined to make all kinds of trouble. One day, they stole all of the sewing needles from the machines so the classes after us had nothing to work with when they were trying to sew up their school bag projects. Lovely. So, well, junior high...

My grandma introduced me to the sewing machine but other than actually SEWING on it, I was...well...intimidated by the machine. Threading the machine, threading through the bobbin, it was just too much for my confidence and I never spent much time trying to conquer my fear of the sewing machine even though deep down, I really did want to be able to sew.

When my aunt Jil passed, I adopted/inherited her machine. It lived in the closet for over three years...sad and lonely while I embraced all of my other crafts.

A good friend and fellow crafter over at "hidden in the hem" sews beautifully. She generously offered to teach me. I saw a tote bag on her blog that she made and it didn't seem too difficult. Finally, last weekend, I got the sewing machine out of the closet, found the foot pedal/cord and the bobbin case and headed to her house for Sewing Lesson #1.

I picked lightweight fabrics, a little too lightweight for the strength the bags will need to hold all of the books my nieces check out from the library. We added an inner lining, which made keep the edges straight a little more difficult but gave it a really nice touch.

I bought fabric for four bags, one for each niece and picked patterns that I thought matched their personality. M has a serger, which she used to help strengthen side seams. We used "French seams" on the bottom, for the same purpose.

The night wasn't without it's newbie flaws. I cut one bag out incorrectly, which M said she'll figure out how to fix. Looks like G will just have a slightly smaller bag, lol. I got about halfway through I's bag, considering I had to rip out three seams, that wasn't too bad. M of course, finished A's bag. It's so incredibly beautiful! I can't wait for Easter to give the girls their 'Easter bags'!

I have some on finishing I's bag and to start on E's...instead of being intimidated, I'm excited. And of course, it helps to know M is just a quick drive away if I completely mess things up! I might not have finished my bag but I still have that pride in learning and making something new and different. Perhaps you'll see some more sewing projects on here soon!

In the meantime, happy crafting!

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