There’s a long story behind why I decided to take up a new hobby, and hey, this is my blog, so I’ll tell it now.
I’ve already mentioned the boys’ Pixar obsession. So Oliver wanted an Incredibles pillowcase, but since that movie came out 14 years ago (what?!?) it’s not like you can just buy one. And then, we were at Joann buying stuff for our Mardi Gras costumes and the woman behind the counter was talking about how they have a sewing class for kids where they make a pillowcase. So then I thought, Oliver could make an Incredibles pillowcase! (But of course there isn’t Incredibles fabric so that wouldn’t work but by that point I was down the sewing rabbit hole and in the end I just bought him a pillowcase on eBay.)
I posted on FB for simple sewing machine recs for beginners, and got some great advice, but my mom reminded me that I had her sewing machine, an old Swiss beast from the 70s. I mean, I hadn’t forgotten, but it seemed so complicated and surely it didn’t work anymore, and I’d tried to use it and it was a mess and blah I just want something shiny and new.
But I pulled out the old Elna and dusted it off and plugged it in and, you know, actually read the instructions booklet, and voila! It worked fine.
And man, the memories. My mom used to sew clothes for us, and everything about that machine brought me back to my childhood. Turning on the light. The pedal. How you had to turn the flywheel to bring the thread thingy (need to look at the manual again) up to the top before you raised the foot and pulled out the fabric. The knobs that seemed so mysterious then, but after, you know, reading the manual, kind of make sense. (Another reason I wanted a new machine – all the dials and settings and whatnot on this one terrified me.)
I signed up for a beginner class at Joann in a couple of weeks, but I was getting antsy so I went to Joann and picked out a simple skirt pattern on the advice of some friends. The boys helped me pick out fabric. Going through the aisle buying supplies created another wave of nostalgia. (My mom laying out fabric and patterns on the dining room table, the pads down to protect the surface. Her special left-handed scissors. The little wheel she used to mark the patterns and oh! transfer paper! That’s right!)
Last night, I was itching to get started on my skirt, so I did it! I just did it! I made a skirt! Of course, I screwed up – accidentally sewed the casing for the elastic with half of the wrong side showing, so I had to rip that out and start over. The seams are not quite as straight as they could be. I’m sure the hem is totally catty-whompus. I can’t tell what’s the back and the side of the skirt, and it feels a little backwards or something. But I’m ready to start on my next one already! And what’s next? How about pajama pants? That might be a little ambitious. Hmm.
Project Runway, here I come!
PS Any tips on great websites for patterns and fabric and blogs to read are welcome! Turns out the patterns you buy at Joann aren’t vanity sized and I had to make the largest size in the plus size pattern – I mean come on. I’m not a tiny woman, but seriously?
5 thoughts on “Look what I made!”
This sounds like so much fun, and you did a terrific job on your first project!
I am so proud that you tried the Elba. I loved that machine.
Yay – you did a great job with the skirt, and store bought patterns are difficult.
Do pj pants for the boys next.
They are seriously the absolute easiest thing to sew, and my kids will ownly wear home made pj’s bottoms now.
The best tutorial is here:
But skip the part about sewing a top – that is too complicated – just scroll down to the pj bottoms and make those.
Really – it’s easy and fast and super satisfying.
Ooh fun! I’m going to try this!
Check youtube! There are sewing tutorials for pretty much anything you can think of. I learned quilting entirely from Missouri Star Quilt Company and Sew Very Easy.
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