Last week my final Christmas present arrived: a brand new Singer Curvy 8763 sewing machine. My first sewing machine.
My mom and aunt are sewing goddesses, creative and with all the supplies and knowledge it takes to make whatever they want to make. Me, I haven’t touched a sewing machine since high school home ec…or was that junior high? Anyway, I’m pretty much a newbie at this point but had it in my head that once the machine arrived all the necessary knowledge would somehow flood my brain and I too would become a sewing goddess. Just like that.
I finally got a chance to open it and spent a decent amount of time looking over the manual, trying to figure out what stuff does what and what to push to get it to do what its supposed to do. Eventually I turned it on and decided to just dive in. How hard could it be, right?
Well, turns out I may not quite be the sewing goddess I hoped to be. Yet. More than once already my husband has cautioned me against “beating my head against the piano”, a reference to Sesame Street’s Count, who, upon getting something wrong would bang his head against the keys, crying, “I’m never going to get it, I’m never going to get it…” Of course, he did, he just had to stop banging his head and instead practice a bit. I’ve never been good at that; to my thinking I should be excellent at whatever I try to do the very first time I do it. Make sense? No. Do I expect that of anyone else? No. But for some reason I do expect it of myself and have since I was young enough to watch Sesame Street. The “piano” reference came from my mom and has followed me into adulthood. One day I’ll be rid of it…hopefully.
Anyway, I had a couple of rough starts (boo!) but finally got the bobbin wound. I got the needle threaded correctly the first time (yay!) and set to sewing a silk eye pillow (pattern from Handmade Home) for my first project. The girls have been sick all week and I love the idea of a “healing basket” such as Soule mentions in her book.
Cutting the silk fabric was interesting – how in the world do people cut fabric in a straight line? I definitely didn’t, but the pinning and folding luckily took care of those rough edges. In order to move forward right away, I made due with the needles I had (instead of the #9 called for) and used a #11/80 instead. (No idea what those sizes mean yet but the #11/80 looked small and was the closest number to a #9 I had. That’s gotta mean something, right? Hopefully?) Anyway, the sewing is imperfect and not completely straight but all in all not bad for a first project. I was happy enough to make a second one right away, using a stretchier (read: more challenging) fabric. I haven’t stuffed them yet as I’m having a hard time finding dried lavender to include in the mix but here’s a peek at the covers. I can’t wait for my little ones (and maybe even this mama) to use them.
Oh, major sewing lesson learned that first evening: It’s a lot easier to get the fabric to move through the machine if the FOOT IS DOWN.