Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Overcoming a fear of sewing machines

Ever since I was a very little girl, I've been around sewing machines and fabrics. My mum was a sewing machinist to trade and spent many years working in a variety of different factories, making wedding dresses, waxed jackets and evening wear amongst other things. Times change and there aren't many factories making clothes around here. Although I've always been around sewing machines and have made some clothes in the past (with help from mum), I've always been really a little scared of sewing machines. At school I hated the home economics sewing lessons we had as the teachers expected me to be a natural because of what my mum worked as. Alas I was really very uncoordinated as a child and although I'm a little better now, I'm always scared I will hurt myself on it or destroy the fabric.

In recent years, I've been finding myself wanting to sew more, especially to finish some of my stitching into something. Up until now, most of this sort thing I've done by hand sewing. A couple of years ago, I bought a mini sewing machine but it really wasn't that good so last year I splashed out on a full sized Janome machine with lots of features. At the moment, I'm off on holiday so I thought I would get cracking with overcoming my sewing machine fear with the side effect of trying to reduce my to be finished into something pile.

I started off with some simple cushions with the cross stitch bits hand sewn on to the front of them.


Happy holidays

Happy holidays by Lizzie Kate.

Scatter sunshine

Scatter sunshine by Shepherd's bush

Scatter Christmas cheer

Scatter Christmas cheer by Shepherd's bush.

I then moved on to a cushion with the cross stitch sewn into it.

On the haunt

On the haunt by Shepherd's bush

And a banner type thing.

4 square peep

4 square peep by San Man designs.

Finally and much instruction reading, I put my very first zip in a cushion - normally I either get my mum to do it or just hand sew the side up. Its not perfect, it was a little scary to do but I like it. The stitching is a dragon round robin that I was in a number of years ago.
Dragon round robin

I don't think I'm ever going to be the most confident sewing machine user but it was a little less scary than it was before. I did do some hand sewing based finishing by making Pumpkins by Little house needlework into a pin keep.
Pumpkins


Other than sewing, I've mostly been using my holidays to sleep and catch up with a lot of household things that I've neglected of late. The weather here has been pretty wet, wild and cold so its been ideal. There's also been some knitting but no knitting finishes. There has been a fairly large amount of progress on a variety of projects so I'm hoping for a few big knitting finishes soon. The weather just now is certainly knitwear weather.

22 comments:

Daffycat said...

Wow, Paula! Your finishes are wonderful. I loved the story too. My favorite here is the Shepherds Bush Halloween design~darling pillow!

karenv said...

All your finishes are gorgeous Paula! They look like you've been using your sewing machine for years, great job.

Lindsay said...

It's only recently I've got over my fear of the sewing machine as well although I've yet to try anything other than a simple ornament you've inspired me to try

Sheila said...

Humungous congratulations Paula... you have inspired me to give my little machine a go too. All your finishes look fantastic. And if you, and Joy and Lindsay can all get over your fears - so can I !!!
Like Daffycat - I love the SB Haunting pillow.

Joyus said...

Gorgeous finishes Paula, you certainly have conquered your fears!

Tracy said...

Lovely finishes. I especially like the Halloween one, love the fabric! Nice job...

Margie said...

They all look wonderful! It looks like you are well on your way now. :-)

tintocktap said...

Looks like you're getting on really well with your sewing machine now, Paula - all those finishes look wonderful! I particularly like your dragon RR! You're probably on better terms now with your sewing machine than I am with mine - I haven't been speaking to mine since my one and only attempt at quilting last summer!

Karoline said...

They all look great Paula, congratulations

sari.i. said...

Oh, they are beautiful!!! Excellent!

Cindy said...

Kudos to you for facing your sewing machine fears! Your finishes look awesome!! I can usually manage to sew a straight line, but am still not brave enough to tackle a zipper :)

And, it must feel so great to have all of those wonderful things "finished finished". I put away a couple of my to-be-finished items away the other day and was overwhelmed by what I had piled up, so I quickly put the lid back on the box LOL!

Claire said...

Paula, you should be extremely proud of your finishes. You did a wonderful job with them.

Scully said...

You've done really well Paula. Mine is languishing in the back of my cupboard! The finishes are wonderful.

Maren said...

Hey, your finishes look pretty darn good. I love the dragon round robin!

shakatak66 said...

Wow, you'd never know you're not pals with your machine - your finishes are awesome! Lots of yummy finishes in there, I especially love all the pillows :D

Sonda in OR said...

Wow! I'm in awe of what your hands have made!! Way to go!

gilraen said...

What wonderful stitching!!! I adore the cushion with dragons. :)

Dani - tkdchick said...

Wow! You have been productive and everything looks wonderful!

BESTEX said...

They are pretty!!
Love to see your blog!!
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Cross stitch

kimberly said...

Sewing is a great activity and we can produce any desing just using a machine. I really like it, like this blog.I usually like to read about interesting things, that is why i enjoyed too much reading.

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katty said...

I really like sewing in my free time and I really enjoy this practice, when I get my house through costa rica homes for sale I knew it would many space in my house like to take a room as a workshop. And now I usually invite my friend to sewing in the afternoon. We spend a funny time creating new things.

MysteryKnitter said...

I am sure you will tame that sewing machine yet.