Sunday, 4 August 2013

Adventures in Sewing, part 2

I recently got given two sewing machines, so what's a girl to do but learn how to sew?! I already had my first lesson with Fran in which I made a book bag. Today, I had my second lesson in which I made a purse. When I say I made a purse what I really mean is that we spent at least half an hour looking at the second sewing machine (a Frister and Rossman Cub 4 - she is now called 'the Cub') and having a good nose around. She was doing alright for a while - we had a good practice and went through the various stitches, and I got the zip done, and then for whatever reason she decided that this was enough palaver (or pavlova) for one day and she was having a rest. I get the feeling she might be slightly tempremental, that or she just wants a good clean - either way I'll take her to the sewing machine man at some point I'm sure. In the meantime, we decided to switch over to Fran's machine (a modern Janome) to finish off the purse I was working on. It should have been much bigger but she had a remnant of fabric that was just gorgeous so we used that instead. Once I was on a sewing machine that worked, the whole thing took less than half an hour. The fiddly bit is the zip, which I shall have to practice at, but rest of it was pretty straightforward. I am now the proud owner of a handmade purse - made by me! It's all very exciting.

After we finished making the purse, I pulled out some fabric that I have had for a while. It's a gorgeous blue waxed cotton batik-y thing, with some red and yellow flower patterns over it. I have no concept of spatial awareness at the best of times, but especially with fabric I have no clue how much you need for a dress, a skirt, a blouse or anything. It turns out that I have more than enough there to make a dress, so this is going to be our next lesson: we are going to cut out fabric so I can learn how to read patterns, I'll learn how to seam well, practise putting in a zip and how to do button/loop closure on the shoulders. The other day I ordered some patterns from McCalls (I need to stop ordering things on the internet in the middle of the night honestly! In my defense they were on sale and the shipping charge was the same from 1 - 3 patterns so naturally I bought 3 because it makes more economic sense. Alright?!) The pattern we decided on using is Vintage Vogue V8789  - I am soooo very excited! I'm going to make my own dress! So next time I will have something that approximates to the dress below with the boat neck. (Maybe.)

Vintage Vogue V8789 - you will be mine!

Fran is very lovely. We ended up having a cup of tea and chatting for an hour afterwards, talking about dresses and sewing and all manner of things, and she is getting as excited about this dress as I am! She has sent me off with a shopping list - and frankly, any shopping list that involves buttons is alright by me.

I will put up photos of the bag and the purse as soon as my camera will let me. (Maybe it's jealous of the sewing machines? or maybe it's just old and falling apart...) I'm trying very hard at the moment not to dash off and buy loads of yummy fabrics... someone stop me!


  1. I can totally relate to this! I've had a sewing machine for a few years, took a couple of classes, learned how to make a reversible grocery tote and pajama pants (sorta), and I have a stack of patterns far too advanced for me that I'm just aching to try :) It's wonderful to have a new hobby!

    1. It is wonderful to have a new hobby, indeed! I really like having a teacher too because I'm better at learning things by doing them rather than videos etc so this is perfect. I'm really excited to see where this all goes!