Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Thank you for your sweet and encouraging comments and e-mails about sewing.

Once I had the heart garland under my belt I was game to try more.

Jacquie suggested I borrow her sewing machine for a week or so and see what I could do. Isn't that so nice? I was afraid I might mortally damage it or something but she said she didn't see what I could do to it to hurt it really so I said okay.

I remember reading a suggestion that if you want to sew you should set your sewing machine up where you can leave it out and then sew everyday.

The photo above is my little temporary sewing station where I can sew even when my little guy is sleeping. I made the heart garlands on Sunday, didn't manage to sew anything on Monday being busy with some Valentine's celebrating and all (more on that later, looks like that post that I hinted at yesterday with the rice chex in the hearts isn't going to happen quite yet), sewed several things yesterday and need to figure out something to do today.

Here is the first thing I made yesterday.

I know it is far from perfect but I am just happily experimenting right now. I loved Ashley Campbell's post about crafting and sewing more like McGyver than Martha Stewart. I feel like that is me exactly. I like things to look nice but at the same time I don't have a huge amount of patience for figuring out "the right way" to do something. I just like to strike out and see what comes out of my effort.

All that said, I really would like to figure out this sewing thing a bit better. I don't envision myself taking a class right now or sitting down to read a book but perhaps a painless way for me to learn a thing or two would be to get some advice from you.

See all of those knots and things above? Is that machine error or my error? What can I do to help that not happen?

So, I'd like to know, do you sew?



Penelope said...

Hi Kelly- I met you at Amy's baby shower, and I read your blog fairly regularly. I have gotten into sewing quite a bit in the last year and a half, and I went about it the same way you are now; I just learned as I went. As for your knotting problem, when my machine does that, I completely re-thread it. I take both the regular spool and the bobbin and and redo it all. That usually fixes my problem when I've got knots like that or my stitches don't look quite right. It also might be that your tension needs to be tweaked a bit. I hope that helps!

mindy said...

Sweet Jacquie!! I'm not much of a sewist either, but I really want to learn! I wish I'd have listened when my mama tried to teach me way back when:/ I'm the same way, I don't think I can learn from a manual. Leaving it set up and experimenting sounds like a good idea! Enjoy playing and learning. Maybe I'll join you before too long:)

Erica said...

I would play around with your tension settings, first. Don't waste thread by rethreading, yet. With the zig-zag stitch, the pattern should be very different on the right (front) side of the fabric than what's on the wrong (back) side of the fabric. I'd be willing to gamble that your stitch looks similar on both sides of the fabric. Correcting the tension will pull the "knots" to one side of the fabric or the other. Another thing about the zig-zag stitch is that you need to sew your lines smoothly, using the same speed or amount of pressure on the foot peddle the whole time without a bunch or starts or stops. This will also help with the knots and bunching up of the stitches.

It's tough the first few times out there, but I know you can do it. Try practicing on some scrap fabric with different stitches and tensions. Can't wait to see all of your awesome projects!

Lana said...

Kelly, I've sewed forever, I think. One thing you might try to learn control is to draw some lines & curves on some lightweight paper, then practice "sewing" on them with an unthreaded needle until you can follow on the lines. And, as with anything, practice makes perfect. Enjoy!

Kori said...

Yea! Yes I sew, and I remember wanting to learn because your mother sewed for you! :-) I would agree to look at the tension - there is tension for top thread and tension for bottom thread. Tension requirements vary - depending on the type of stitch, type of fabric/paper, speed, needle, etc. So basically fiddling - or a computerized machine like mine that thinks for you. ;-) Sometimes if tension and rethreading does not fix it, get a can of spray air (like for computers) and clean it out really well. Certain types of threads leave lots of lint and that can build up, especially in the bobbin area.
Have fun!

Jacquie said...

It looks adorable!!

AshleyAnn said...

Yeah for MacGuyver sewing! I think your stuff looks just perfect.