Thursday, October 4, 2007

Straight line sewing

Al bought me a sewing machine for Christmas last year (at my request, not in a fit of 1950s patriarchal present buying bastardry), and I had visions of learning to run up idiosyncratic and stylish things for myself and the girls while on mat. leave. It didn't happen and my confidence and motivation slowly drained away. It doesn't help that I don't really care about sewing, I just want to buy beautiful fabrics on the internet and collect retro pillowcases from op shops. I packed away my sewing machine so it didn't stand as a silent reminder of yet another thing I'd failed to do.

But my friend Tamsin gave me a pep talk the other day. She sews but only in straight lines, and she makes lovely, lovely things. So I dragged everything out, found an old skirt pattern for a little girl in my Grammy's stuff (indeed, I think she made it for me when I was tiny) and then figured it's all just common sense and spatial concepts, like a jigsaw. And I did it - I made a skirt. Behold, its glory.

It's very, very wonky, with not much straight line sewing at all. But since Lu never stands still it doesn't matter - it passes as a skirt from the distance.

Pehaps the best thing about the whole process is learning a new skill (except I haven't really learned much, and I'm not at a level to be described as 'skill'). I'm really good at some things and I just keep getting better at them; it's rare to master something new. It's a bit confronting too, because I don't like being a novice, I like to be if not perfect then pretty damn good. In sewing I am neither.

However, I picked up a few things, and I'm listing them here for future reference:

* Ironing paper patterns and materials is probably not just being overly-pernickity
* It's important to know where all pins are at all times
* Straight seams come from straight cutting
* Blunt nail scissors don't facilitate straight cutting

Armed with this knowledge, I'm about to embark on a bag for the deli shopping. I expect to open a store on Etsy by the weekend, and very soon shall be making huge amounts of money selling my wares.


Tamsin said...

In the words of Cat Deeley, well done, you!

Lost in a reverie... said...

Major kudos for the fabulous skirt!

Do you remember when we bought those skirts made from vintage material at Glebe markets? I do believe they used the same pattern.

"It's important to know where all pins are at all times" - are you and/or Lu okay?

Kez said...

Well done! I have trouble sewing a straight line! I remember doing sewing in Yr 7 or 8, and we had to practice on paper until we could sew a straight line - I think I only progressed to material because she got sick of me :)

Oh, and did I mention my mum is a seamstress??! :)

Hello From The Daisy Patch said...

Hi there, I'm new to the world of blogging and have stumbled across yours. I had to have a laugh cause I too wish I could sew but can't operate any sewing machine at all to even attempt to have a go. My sister made a beautiful quilt for my new son (first attempt, damn her) and then a bag for myself! I'm so jealous of her as Spotlight have the most beautiful materials and I don't have the skill to flirt with them! We should just stick to what we know but good effort on the skirt as your daughter looks cute in it. I look forward to reading your blog in the future. Happy Days to you.

Kate said...

Great job on the skirt. I have never sewn a single item of clothing for any of my four children, so you're waayyy ahead of me!

Victoria said...

You're funny!(you and your etsy shop you're startng on the weekend..)

Suse said...

Your comment on your friend only sewing straight lines reminded me of when I first learnt to drive and spent a month driving everywhere without doing righthand turns, or reversing. Just straight lines. Everything else was too terrifying.

zose said...

go forth and purchase thy first pair of "sewing scissors".
label with masking tape and black textas in large print "FABRIC".

From then on, thou shalt bellow at random moments "Not with my FABRIC SCISSORS!".
Thy children shall carry on this great sewing tradition with their children and sew forth.