Thursday, 25 April 2013

Day Zero Project: Make something with my sewing machine

This is something I've wanted to do since long before I made my list of things for the Day Zero Project. Many, many years ago, when I was in Year 9 at secondary school, I studied Textiles for a term and I LOVED it!

It was my first experience using a sewing machine, though being the only girl in a house with a much younger brother, I taught myself to sew by hand at the age of 11. Before that my mum had taught me the basics of cross stitch so sewing has always been a craft I quite enjoy (unless it's sewing up something I've knitted and then it's a different story).

My first and only project on my sewing machine!
Our first project in Textiles class was to make a cushion and once we'd mastered the rudiments of sewing in a straight line with the thing we were allowed to design something of our own. Most people made another cushion but some of us were more adventurous; there were aprons and bags, I made a rag doll. Her neck was a bit long but the teacher showed me how to make hair out of wool and a dress for her, I was so proud.

I wasn't able to take Textiles for GCSE because only nine people signed up for it. I was lumped into Home Economics which meant cooking and I hated it. I wasn't too bothered about moving to Scotland and having to take up German again. But I did miss the sewing.

So I was pretty thrilled I receive a brand new sewing machine several years ago. A local shop gave me some scraps of fabric to practice on and I made a little clutch type bag after much fiddling and messing things up and restarting.

And then I put the thing back in the box and haven't really touched it since.

I have all these dreams of dressing my children and myself in cute little homemade clothes, making my own cushion covers and curtains. I have plenty of books with ideas and tips and patterns.

So why don't I do it?

Well, for one thing, I'm not very confident about setting the machine up. At school the teacher used to make us all gather round and watch but we weren't allowed to do it ourselves. I think it was probably because there were only ten machines and they didn't want to risk them getting damaged. I know my machine is different to the one I used at school but the principle would be similar enough and if I could do it without someone else's help, I'd definitely have used it more.

The other reason is less of an excuse now I have my own place, but I never had anywhere to leave it set up. I could work on it for a while, then I'd have to pack of all up and put it back in the box. That coupled with the complicated threading and everything just meant it was too much of a chore and I didn't get to use it as it was intended.

Now of course, I have my own house. And more importantly, I have a spare room with a desk in it. The desk was supposed to be used by Mr Click for ham radio stuff, but that's not really worked out for him. Part of me thinks perhaps it would be worth giving the old machine one last shot and seeing whether I can work out how to use it, after all, I do have a home which I can furnish with it.

But if all else fails, it might end up being added to the list of things getting sold to pay for a baby. I mean, I'd rather be the mum who knits cute clothes and toys than the one who dresses the family in misshapen clothes!

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