Sunday, 28 July 2013

98 Ways to Learn to Sew - Part 1

...with a Sewing Machine.

I'm fine sewing by hand, and I USED to be OK with a machine.  My Mum had a Lion brand sewing machine and I used to make nearly all my own clothes on it when I was a teenager.  Mind you, in those days, clothes were dear and fabric was cheap.

I remember going to Bobby's in Folkestone with my mother, to buy material.

This picture, by Raymond Godfrey, shows the exterior in recent times, but inside in the 1960s it was much more exotic.  Two curving staircases swept down from the upper level to the ground floor, one on the left, one on the right right opposite the entrance doors.  How I wish I had taken a photo then!  Apparently it used to be a ballroom...

Since those days I have sewn almost no clothes for myself, though I did manage a few articles for my two sons - I made a little romper suit for the first one out of a shirt of my husband's that had a worn-out collar, and I made most of their school trousers.  Something I have not had the nerve to tackle since!  (Nor would they want me to, I suspect!) Once my daughter was born in 1975, the last thing I remember trying for her was a pair of jeans that came out enormous and just served to prove to her that buying clothes was totally better than having your mother try to make them!

I have had a succession of sewing machines, but seem to have a love/hate relationship with every one.   I have reluctantly concluded that it must be me who is at fault rather than the machines.  Still, I used my machine from time to time but it seemed that every time, I had a problem.  I guess sewing machines are a bit like like cars - they like a long run sometimes and regular servicing.  I am such a BAD machine owner!!!

But to come to the subject of today's post...

My daughter (who is a Primary School teacher) asked me if I could sew some protective pouches for the safety glasses that her pupils have to wear when making various things.  I found it hard to refuse and ended up agreeing. ( I really don't know how - after all these years - I have ended up being such a pushover...)

So today I decided I would make a start.  Better sooner than later. I could not let this Sword of Damocles hang over me for any longer.  I had some material in mind (an old French sheet - a 50-50 mixture of cotton and linen) so I would 'bite the bullet' and get on with it. 

This is the story of how I did it, and how much it taught me about my sewing machine and me...

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