Thursday, March 11, 2010

Things I Learned Today

1. Sewing is not as scary as I thought. (It is a lot messier, though.)

2. It's kind of like knitting, only someone has already done the knitting for you; all you have to do is finish it. Not really a plus, actually.

3. Should you fail to measure correctly or cut neatly, frogging is not an option.

4. Measure twice, cut once. Not the other way around.

5. I need to invest in a pair of scissors that have not been used to cut packing tape, wet glue, or steel pipe.

6. No matter how carefully you cut and pin, it is possible to sew the same seam wrong four different ways. (I was particularly impressed by my ingenuity at this.)

7. Mistakes not involving measuring or cutting can usually be fixed. (What do sewers--sewers? can that be right?--call frogging?) This almost always involves the use of my new best friend. We spent the whole day together.

8. Pushing the foot pedal harder makes mistakes happen faster.

9. When all else fails, read the manual. If nothing else, you can distract yourself from your woes by trying to puzzle out what the writer actually meant before it was translated by a team of blind monkeys on PCP.

10. Everyone can use a friend like Bertha.


Melissa Morgan-Oakes said...

I love my Bertha. She's ancient, takes forever to adjust, and came from a junk shop in Keene, NH for $12 - I just loved her. Wasn't till we got home that I realized I could actually crawl in there and adjust her.

The mess - this lessens with practice - you learn when the cluttery bits are coming and you control the heck out of them. I have a very rigid system for cutting.

Scissors - IMO, coming from fabric world long before arriving in yarn world, you need a good and comfortable pair of pinking shears and a really really nice pair of straight shears for cutting, and a couple of smaller snips. There is great debate but for the money, value and durability nothing on earth beats Gingher. I am convinced of this. I do have a couple pair of Fiskars cheapie straight shears for things like lame or grease cloth. Anyone caught touching my sewing shears for anything other than fabric dies. It's very simple really.

I miss my sewing machine. (Can you tell? I am ranting about this. I really miss it)

Also, your next project should be a fabric cover for that machine. Not the plastic one that comes with it but a simple pattern-free rectangle maybe with a pocket in the back for the manual and foot pedal if you so desire. No hole in the top for the handle - just a simple personalized fabric-of-your-choice cover.

sheep#100 said...

Get yourself a rotary cutter. Trust me.

I scored mine with the cutting mat and plexi ruler on a 40 or 50% off coupon at the local fabric store and never regretted it.

Steph B said...

And that is why I almost never sew anymore. Just not my gift. Your skirt looks lovely, though!

Jean Baardsen said...

It's called "ripping," like "ripping out a seam." My ripper is well used. Actually, I have several of them. Good scissors for fabric-only are essential. And "deleting" anyone who uses them for anything other than fabric is well justified. I also have several rotary cutters - one of which is only for fabric, and the others I use for paper, etc. BTW, I love the way your new room came out!! I enjoyed the tour the other day.

sophanne said...

You have learned your lessons well grasshoppah.

One that I noticed was missing was that no matter where you lay out the fabric for cutting, you will have a backache if you spend too much time in that position.

Fibra Artysta said...

Oh man...I nearly spit coffee all over my keyboard I was laughing so hard!

I call needing to remove sewn seams cuss words but Jean is right, its technically called "ripping."

Love the fabric you are using, it looks gorgeous!

Wanderingcatstudio said...

8. Pushing the foot pedal harder makes mistakes happen faster.

Yeah I learned that one quick! I don't sew much any more and when I do it's only in straight lines when making quilts.

Anonymous said...

I used to sew a lot, then a full-time job that included travel and overtime happened, followed by children. Now clothing is so cheap that I have a hard time being motivated to make my own, besides the fact that I no longer wear the kind of clothes -- skirts, dresses, easy blouses -- that I used to sew. That may change as I ease into retirement, though. (The not-sewing, that is, not the kind of stuff I wear.)

Words of wisdom: when you buy good shears and scissors, do NOT notify anyone in the household. And HIDE THOSE SUCKERS WELL, in a place that only you know of. This is the voice of experience talking.

Anonymous said...

Your skirt is looking really pretty! Yes, it is called ripping. I am very familiar with that! I have 3 seam rippers - 2 like yours, and one really sharp and scary one that is sort of like a scalpel. I'm a fan of rotary cutters for cutting things out - when I use my scissors I always get uneven cuts, even with my nice sewing shears!

Anonymous said...

I call mine Mathilda. I agree on the sewing being like knitting, in that you just have the putting together. Not as much fun. I have specific fabric scissors and can't recommend them enough.

Love the skirt!

marit said...

I just saw this post now...and had to laugh! Also I agree will all the above-FABRIC SCISSORS ARE FOR FABRICS ONLY!!! NEVER let anyone borrow them! I have two pairs- both ruined by a husband that needed to cut some paper, or kids ditto....
Bertha looks just as good with a skirt as she does with one of your sweaters!

5elementknitr said...

I love that skirt!

And the blind monkeys on acid is just awesome!