Thursday, May 3, 2012

The Struggles of Sewing

So, once upon a time, I was a seamstress.
Not a good seamstress, but adequate.
I made halloween costumes, theater costumes, cosplay costumes, renaissance costumes....pretty much anything that was designed for costume-wear as opposed to real-world wear. Costumes can have a wonky seam here and there, plus you're only wearing them once or twice.

Mainly, the issue with me is that I HATE ironing. And "press seam flat" is every other step in making an actual garment. Bleh.

Anyways, I finally got my new sewing machine set up at the new house, and I decided to sit down and play with it. WHAT A NIGHTMARE!!!! It has been absolutely terrible getting the tension to cooperate, and the only solution I have found is to scratch the bobbin completely and spool up a new one. When it works, it works great, but the littlest thing seems to set it off into "top thread tension" land, and I'm stuck making up a new bobbin. Did i mention that I hate that part too?

Anyways, whilst fighting the tension and getting used to the machine in general, I decided to make up a couple of "I don't care how this actually ends up looking" projects, that are more about function than appearances. Ya know, something to play with stitches and tension before actually making something to show to the public. (despite the fact that i'm totally posting pictures for the whole wide internet to see my shame)

Project #1 - Old t-shirt turned rice pack. I used this pattern which I found on pinterest. Obviously mine didn't turn out half as nice. I also couldn't get the tension right on my machine to stay correct for a single freaking seam. Argh. I did plan to top-stitch the whole thing before I started adding the rice and seams, but I was so frustrated!

Project #2 - Yoga Pants refashioned from a t-shirt. Finally got the tension working right, and these guys even looked good. Used this tutorial to make the pattern from an existing pair of yoga pants, and this tutorial for how to use a t-shirt as my fabric. Problem: My t-shirt was nowhere near as stretchy as the pants I used to make the pattern, and the finished product was about 4 sizes too small. Boo.

Project #3 - Pincushion. And yes, I know how godawful it looks. I wasn't exactly concerned about it at the time. I wanted to start working on my swimsuit cover up, and my pin container dumped itself out, so I made this out of frustration. It is a strip of 1" elastic to go around my wrist and a remnant of t-shirt sleeve from the yoga-pant fiasco. It may look ugly, but it serves its purpose.

Project #4 - swimsuit cover-up. At least this one was a success! Pictures and details to follow whenever I actually get a chance to wear it!


  1. sewing is super hard! this is why I havent yet unpacked up my sewing machine I got for christmas :(

  2. I'm so sorry your machine is being so finicky! I'd take the darn thing back & get a different model, preferably one without an evil computer component. Seems like the older and simpler the machine, the more reliable it is. (There were 5 machines at my mom's house for a good long while. The old cast-iron one from the 40s was an unstopable beast!)

  3. The machine was a birthday gift back in november. Can't take it back, but I will learn to work with it!