Saturday I had to be on the pool deck so I didn’t have a command center post, but Sunday, I packed up a bag of supplies and headed down to Schoharie County for a crafting day/demo/instruction day.
A bit ago, a friend of mine mentioned that she wanted to make a quilt and that her mother in law had given her a sewing machine to help this along. A sewing machine that she knew very little about other than that she had one now. Being that I adore spending time with her, I’m a helper, and I love spreading the crafting love (and love of crafting) I told her that I was happy to help her figure it out.
From what I understand about quilts (I haven’t made one yet although I’m considering a tshirt one…), they can be simple or complicated and it all depends on what you’re trying to make. They are not all that forgiving though if you want one with straight sides so I suggested that we choose a project that we could do together that was easy. I offered headbands, jammie pants, or bow ties (the last not being easy, but fun to make!) We could have made crayon rolls, tote bags or many other projects.
We decided to make jammie pants for her boys (one little, one big) because they’re not complicated to make and if it’s not done “just so”, they’re incredibly forgiving. I had some fun fabric on hand that I thought her boys would like so we picked a day and I headed down to her house to get our sew on!
(By the way, I highly recommend pj pants for first time projects. :))
A few things to keep in mind if you have a new machine and are just learning to sew (which I am totally willing to come help with):
- Have the instruction manual handy. I can thread many different bobbins and machines by looking at them, but each is slightly different and some of those little differences aren’t actually so little in the long run. Also there are a LOT of handy tips in there. Your machine may also have a helpful hint or trouble shooting page. Feel free to keep that with your machine, on the wall by your machine or depending on it’s size, taped right to the sucker.
- Read the instructions on the pattern and get all the supplies you’ll need. I failed to bring a safety pin so we had to get creative with my coffee straw to get the elastic in the pants.
- Have a small piece of extra fabric that you’re working with for test sewing is really helpful if you’re having trouble getting the tension right. You might need to play with stitch length and tension to get it right.
- Have a sense of humor and a seam ripper handy. Sometimes you sew the wrong seam or you realize that it’s all messed up underneath and needs to be redone. These things happen but they can be really frustrating. It’ll be okay. So long as you don’t destroy the fabric by just ripping things apart, you can generally undo anything you do.
Although there were some hiccups with the machine itself (that ended up with us taking a field trip to the store to get a different machine because I’m not entirely sure the first one she had actually worked.) we had a lovely afternoon of cutting, pinning, reading, chatting, and sewing and if I’m not mistaken, she might have caught the sewing bug!