Friday, March 16, 2012

fun fact friday: sewing edition

a few weeks ago i bought a sewing machine. do i know how to sew? nope. am i willing to learn so in the future i can make sweet things for family and friends? of course!

isnt she pretty?
*name yet to be determined... any suggestions?

i had about a 10 minute tutorial from my friend rachel, and i was able to put three pieces of fabric together and called it a cell phone placemat. you all should be so jealous i know how to make those little gems... and many of you may find some in your holiday stockings this year! horray! (now taking orders....)

after the big purchase, i also knew i needed some supplies. i was shocked (and slightly overwhelmed) at just how much stuff was out there, and since im still new at this, i just went with some of the basics.
fancy fabric scissors, a tupperware instead of a sewing box, a cute pin cushion, pins, fabric, a ruler, and some batting. that should be good.

one of the first things to do was prepare my machine with the bobbin...
not quite what the tutorial video looked like...

second attempt (top) went better
(still not sure what happened with the first attempt)

i had decided not to get a cutting board or a rotary cutter (expensive!). i figured my fancy fabric scissors would do just fine.

chips wanted to help

i also figured i could just figure out a pattern of my own. who needs a sewing book?!
yes, the beer is necessary.

the plan.

after attempting to cut the squares and seeing not so straight lines, i went back to the store. (dont blame this on the beer).

trust me, theres a reason these things are made.

once all the squares were cut (and the ones i previously cut were re-cut with the rotary cutter) the real fun began. and one of my pieces ended up like this:

side note: not supposed to look like that... but its underneath, so no one will ever know!
(also, i dont know why thats happening. i adjusted the tension and everything... )

things went well for a few minutes, then this happened:
(incase you are a newcomer to this whole sewing thing too, that means somethings not right)


i eventually got the first few pieces put together (after taking the machine apart a zillion times).

and the blanket started coming together nicely...
just dont look underneath!

sadly, there is a mistake on the front... good thing the recipient of the blanket will never be aware of this little teeny tiny mistake (this probably wouldnt happen if i had an actual plan to work off of... maybe next time)

laying the blanket out to iron it, chips already has decided she loves her new blanket...

yes. the blanket is for the cat. judge free zone here people!

now comes the hard part... the blanket sandwich! mmmm sandwiches. the batting that i got is rather hard to work with (its SO FLUFFY!). im in love with the back pattern i used, obvs. and chips loves zebra print too!

so now im stuck. ive pinned the three layers together and im supposed to be able to sew them all together with fancy swirls on the sewing machine. yeah, i dont know how to do that. so im kinda scared to continue. ive watched tutorials on how to bind the edges too, so maybe ill do that first....

to be continued....


  1. I have a friend who named his dog Sweat Pea, I think it could work for the sewing machine! Blanket looks GREAT! I give you a ton of credit, I wouldn't even know where to begin!!!

  2. I think you did pretty darn well for your first go round!!!!

  3. When I sew - I always have a mess like that! :) Love your pics and love that you are taking on that awesome project.

  4. Holy crap woman... You are like a frickin' Mah Ingalls out on the prarie! I'm seriously impressed- I have ZERO crafty skills so big props.

  5. I am so excited to hear that you started sewing! I dont have much to comment about running these days since it is temporarily nonexistant, but sewing I can talk about! I still want to get a rotary cutter with mat and I want one of those long clear rulers too. I haven't bought it yet because I told myself that I will get it right before I start the project I need it for. So far I have gotten by without it and luckily the edges can't be seen with what I have sewn so far. I love patchwork so I will need those items once I start my project to make a big bag. Ok, I cheated a little and bought the coordinating patches from the quilt store but I will have to cut out a few more to have enough for my project. I used to sew years ago and just recently started back again. I look up info on pinterest and find free patterns there. I am not sure if this is a solution to the problem with the excess threading but it is worth a shot: You thread the bottom bobbin in the machine first. The thread the top spool through the machine. When you crank the knob to lower the needle, it should pick up the bottom thread and it will now come out the opening below the needle. Sometimes the thread becomes tangled at this point. I usually pass something small between the foot (that part that you lower to keep the fabric in place) and the part where the thread is coming out. It helps me to catch the thread and pull it back behind the machine. Hold on to the top and bottom threads when you first start out a stitch. When you cut the threads from the fabric after you are done, check to make sure that the thread hasn't overlapped somewhere in the bottom on the machine. You can test it by tugging back a litte on each spool. Sometimes you can see when it is getting caught in the bottom part of the machine. I tried zooming in on your picture. You may have the open up the bottom piece to be able to view where I am talking about. I have a small clear window to view mine through. This may have made no sense but it was worth a shot to try to explain. I might be a little off with the verbage but I hope you get the idea. The blanket looks great! I am not brave enough to try that yet. :)

  6. You can't bind it until you quilt it!

  7. Oh I am laughing SO hard! But only because all of this has happened to me - including the cat "helper."
    So you decoded to start with a quilt? Adventurous! And it looks great! I'm sure Chips loves it!

  8. finally catching up on some blog reading! Way to go! I'm impressed with the sewing and the running! Not sure what type of thread you used, but I would suggest Gutermann Sew-All Thread- I was having trouble with my bobbin not catching right etc. and found that when I used Gutermann all that changed for the better!