Saturday, 4 April 2009

Conquering the Sewing Machine

The best part of making the sock monsters was giving them a face and adding embellishments, this is what gave them their personality. I decided to learn how to use my Mum's sewing machine and got very excited about how much time I would save on the basic sewing - more time to spend embellishing and embroidering! More time to spend sewing buttons and ribbons! Yay!

Full of enthusiasm I dragged my mum's machine to the kitchen table, declaring to my parents that I was going to teach myself to use it. Surely it couldn't be that complicated. I looked at the machine. It looked at me. I looked at the instructions. Hmmmm. This looks confusing. Bobbins....feed dogs.....zipper feet.....what??! No, I must be able to do this - when I was young I had a cute little kid's sewing machine which my Grandma taught me to do patchwork on. Somehow it didn't seem so complicated then.

Back to the instructions. The problem was that these seemed to assume a certain degree of knowledge which I didn't really have. I puzzled over the instructions. I had a mini tantrum. Then I went to fetch my mum! Mum is hardly an expert on these things (she only bought the machine to take up trousers which are always too long for her) but I thought she might know more than me.

Between us we managed to get the machine threaded, break and fix the bobbin case and FINALLY do some basic stitches. Some of this started to seem familiar again. I stopped sulking. Maybe my plan would work after all. Ooooh, those funny decorative stitches were pretty cool. I could use that when I was making faces for my monsters.... Hurrah! Excitement regained I spent some time practicing the different stitches, experimenting with different stitch lengths and widths and had a go at sewing a curve - wobbly!

I pretty soon got bored with practising and wanted to have a go at actually making something. I grabbed some felt, sketched a quick pattern and got started. Ta-da! My first machine sewn monster:

Ok, I know he isn't too great but not bad for a first attempt? I sort of forgot that if I sewed on the line of my patten then when I turned it the right way out it would be a bit smaller than planned! I also didn't have any suitable lavender coloured thread to stitch up the stuffing hole so I ended up having to do a kind of decorative stitch all the way round the outside. I know, I know it basically made the machine stitching pointless and it turned out a bit messy! Ho-hum. All good practice anyway!

Undeterred I decided to make another felt monster. I liked the basic pattern but he needed to be bigger. I also decided to make him double sided - different colours and expressions on each side. I did this partly because I thought it would be cool but mainly because I didn't have enough felt to do all of the body in one colour!! Take two:

Yay, that's better. Still not perfect but a great improvement. Plus I added dots. I love dots :o)

I was starting to enjoy myself now! I raced to the shops to get more felt with lots more ideas for things to make.

A week or so later I was getting pretty proficient with the machine and had made a few different things but I did go back to this design and make one more monster for my friend Vicky who had inspired me to start crafting again a few weeks earlier. This is her monster:

Bright enough for ya? Hmmm, maybe I did get a bit over exited in that felt shop! Still loving those dots though.

I will post more photos of the things I have made next time. I've got to get back to the machine now....


Dotty xx

1 comment:

Bagladee said...

Hi thanks for leaving a comment on my blog....I love your sock monsters they're fab! These strap covers are the first ones I've made but I'm planning on making some more....I'll drop you a comment when they're in my etsy shop. x

design by