Jun 22, 2011

New Sewing Machine

After almost a year of wanting a sewing maching, I finally bought a basic Brother model.  I did some online research and I decided on this machine because it had over 200 positive reviews, the majority were from beginners like me.  My basic Brother machine was only $94 with shipping at Walmart.com. 

I've never sewn anything in my life but I knew that I could do it and I've always wanted to sew my own curtains and pillow covers.  Here's a picture of my Brother:

The first thing I did when Brother arrived was take it and all of its parts out of the box and lay them across the table.  Then, I read the entire manual from front to back.  Again, I'm a beginner, so reading the manual was an absolutely necessary step.  After I read the manual I learned all the basics such as winding the bobbin and threading the upper and lower part of the machine.  I took about an hour to read the manual and then I thought I was ready to roll.  

Was I nuts?   
sorry for the crappy iPhone pictures.  my phone was all I had to work with because the camera died and the charger was left in san francisco.
Ugh. I wanted to throw Brother across the room and smash it into peices against the wall.  Just when I thought I was ready to rock out with my new sewing machine I COULD NOT figure out how to draw up the lower thread.  I was so freakin' close and it was the only step keeping me from sewing.  After an additional HOUR of reading and re-reading and re-reading the manual, a VERY STIFF vodka drink (which I promise wasn't the cause of the problem) and a half of spool of thread, I gave up for the night.  I was too tired to read the small manual print another time and it was approaching midnight. I threw in the towel.

Of course the next day at work the only thing I could think about was my failed attempt at sewing.  What the hell was I doing wrong?  I talked to a friend at work who has been sewing for years and told her how I was having a hard time drawing up the lower thread.  She drew a diagram for me explaining how I should pull the thread through the machine.  My work bud gave me hope again.  She lifted my morale up and I was feeling like I could definitely do this again.  So the second I got home from work I sat down in front of Brother with my work bud's diagram in hand, never thinking to kiss Rob or Roxy hello, and gave it another shot. 

Fast forward an HOUR.  Fu*#!!  Breath.  Sh*&.  Ugh. Really? What the hell am I doing wrong???  My frustration was taking over at this point and I was border line crying.  This is when Rob sat down next to me and asked, "Babe, do you want me to pull up YouTube videos for you?"  This was super sweet of him to ask, especially since I hadn't said hello to him yet.  But what did I do?  I freaked on him.  I didn't want help. I wanted to punch Brother. And why the hell didn't I think of YouTube???  Goodness.

Several minutes passed and I chilled out.  I watched bits and pieces of "how to draw up the lower thread on a sewing machine" videos.  I finally figured it out.  I'm so glad I watched YouTube videos because I was so off on what I was doing from what actually needed to be done that I would have never figured it out on my own. 
Now, I was ready to rock with Brother.  Crossing my fingers.  I didn't have any swatches to test stiches.   Only people who know what they're doing have swatches of fabric to test different stiches, not this chic.  So I grabbed an old rag from the kithcen and started sewing for the first time ever.  I was so excited.  I couldn't wait to pick out fabric for pillows. 

The follwing day (this is now two days after I took Brother out of the box) I went to Joann after work and found an outdoor fabric on sale for $6 a yard.  And just like that I decided to sew pillow covers for my outdoor patio set.  I still had no idea how to sew a single thing, I just knew I'd figure it out.  I snatched up four yards of the fabric for $24 and four pillow insert at $11.99 each for a grand daddy total of $72.  I was so excited to start sewing that I didn't care I was paying full price for pillow inserts.  Now that I know better I'll never buy them again unless I have a coupon or they're on sale.  I could've bought four pillows at HomeGoods, already covered, for less than $72.  I was starting to think Brother wasn't a good idea. 

i turned my back for a second and roxy sprawled across my fabric.  she always gets involved in my projects.

When I got home from Joann, I YouTube'd videos on "how to sew a pillow cover."  I found a super easy tutorial on how to sew basic envelope covers.  

here i'm folding the ends for the hem.

i stuck pins in the folds to hold the hem in place while i sewed.

i used a basic straight stitch on the pillow covers.
Two hours after I watched YouTube videos on how to sew envelope pillow covers, I had myself four outdoor pillows for our patio set.  Not sure if two hours is a long time - I'm guessing it probably is.  But for an amateur I'll take it. 

Stay tuned for the final product and pictures of how I revamped our patio set...coming soon!

Have a good night.


Comeca Jones said...

Good for you for trying! Me I got two not one but two new machines and have yet to lift a finger!(SMH)

Anonymous said...

Congrats! I pull up YouTube whenever I can't figure out something...there's usually a video for it. I used to sew all the time when the kids were little and then quit when they grew up. Now that I have a granddaughter, I'm sewing again. You can do anything!

Katie said...

I'm in the same boat. I bought a sewing machine on craigslist to use on paper crafts (cards, scrapbooking.) I am convinced it's cursed. It will sew on any piece of scrap paper I feed thru, but as soon as I try to stitch on my actual project it tears it to pieces. I get so mad, I could just toss it out the window.
Maybe I should check out youtube :)

Jami Graham said...

HAHAHAHAHAHA! I SO know what you're talking about! Those pillows are already on way better track than anything I would be coming up with!