Sunday, 28 July 2013

98 Ways to Learn to Sew - Part 2

So - here I am with both my machines set up and plugged in on my kitchen table. I'm not sure I've ever used both machines for one project before. In fact, I'm pretty sure that I've only every used the overlocker for going round the edges of old sheet pieces to make them into dusters...

What's on your Worktable...

So first I decided on the size of the pouches, then I cut up the French sheet (sacrilege, I'm sure).  Then I thought it looked pretty boring, so I went in search of some ribbon-y stuff for a trim.  I thought of trying machine-embroidery on each pouch but came to my senses rapidly.  A girl who is barely competent at machine sewing probably shouldn't attempt anything but the basics!

So I started cutting and sewing.  It was pretty awful work and I was not at all happy with it, but I consoled myself that it was just pouches for safety glasses and I wasn't competing in the Great British Sewing Bee...

(Can you see Claudia's eye make up?  Change it Claudia, please, please!)

But, again, there was something wrong with my machine!  The stitches were all crooked...

crooked stitches 1

...and often loopy too...

crooked and loopy

In the end I had I had to resort to a rare and painful solution...  I had to read the manual!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Something I normally avoid like the plague. (Anyone else as stupid as me?)

Daisy user guide

By this time I had done several pouches and was not at all happy with the results.  The ' RTFM' strategy had only been employed after several practical trials which had resulted in permanent (seeming) lowering of the feed dog teeth (don't ask if you don't already know) which had not helped at all.

So I read that proper threading of the machine is essential (I had the cotton coming off its spool in a clockwise direction instead of counter-clockwise - who would have thought that mattered?) and I also had not placed the spool thread in position correctly. Could I do ANYTHING right?  I corrected these errors.

I read that the normal tension for the machine is '4' and mine was set between 2 and 3.  Not really my fault, this one, as there is a line on the dial that certainly looks as if it denotes the regular tension - between 2 and 3. 

I rest my case.

However, I meekly did as the book commanded.  Unlike me - but I have been poorly lately...

Amazingly, the stitches smartened themselves up and became straight.

Straight stitches!


And so, as if by magic, the shopkeeper appeared (ooh, no, sorry, I was trapped for a moment in the magical world of Mr Ben...) I was able to proceed with my pouch procedures.  So far I have made over 60 cases for the safety glasses and am only waiting for the definitive number (I think it's 98) from my daughter to be able to finish the whole thing.

It's taught me so much, this project. How rubbish I am, for a start.  I just wade in without a thought, thinking I can do it so easily.  I now know I need to think about things and take better care of my equipment if I am going to expect it to perform miracles properly for me.


Elizabethd said...

You know...I have that problem with new things, ie an oven. I always know how to do it, then find that somehow, the book is something that I should have read!
That's a lot of pouches to make!

Annie said...

I have only one thing to say to you....If in doubt just ask!! :-)
Well done you for not letting the machine beat you and for making so many.
A x

Sharon said...

LOL oh Penny, I can sooo relate! Who wants to read the darn manual when all we really want to do is just get on with it! But I'm do glad you're doing so well with them! I think you're very brave to even make so many, I hate doing multiples of things!!! I used to hate getting big orders for tiny little jeans and having to cut out and sew 36 tiny 1cm pockets one after the other until my fingers were sore! But I think the children will be delighted with handmade bags for their safety goggles, made with actual French sheeting! It can't get any better than that!!
Keep up the good work my dear!!
Hugs Sharon x

Twiglet said...

Just think how much your learned just by attempting that task! Well done for persevering - hope you show us the little pouches when they are all done! Good luck. x Jo