More experiments with the new sewing machine

Did I mention I have a new sewing machine?

Well, having done some worthy straight lines, I decided I would do something more frivolous. Rather than being completely aimless, I thought I would make a cover for my over locker. Leaving it out all the time isn’t sensible, as dust can’t be good for it. On the other hand, putting it back into the cardboard box and lifting it back onto the top shelf each time is just a bit too much effort.

So I cut out some suitable rectangles of calico, drew on some shapes of about the right size in pencil, and started sewing random patterns in a variety of colours of thread. And I it didn’t take me long to find that, although I liked the results, there was a bit more to it than I bargained for.

Firstly, there was a vast difference in the width of the stitch, which wasn’t apparent from the instructions. Then there was the placement of the stitch. Some of them start in the middle of the band they produce, while others start at side, leaving either an unexpected gap, or going right over what I had just done. And the final problem was that, even with my glasses on, it is difficult to be sure of the difference between some of the stitches. Indeed sometimes it turns out they are the same stitch on two vastly different scales.

So I got another bit of fabric, and worked down the menu, marking the number of the option with a Sharpie from time to time. That turned out to be a very good idea. Not only do I have an easy reference for the main options, but also I have some streamers to hang over the ugly pipes and wires in the corner of the studio. All it took was an off cut of dowelling, slotted into two cup hooks of unknown origin that are in the corner of the ceiling.

Then I went back to the cover. Once I didn’t have any more room for experiments, I set about sewing it together. I had this theory about using a fold for the bottom, to avoid messing about with a hem. As I suspected might happen, the sewing changed the dimensions of the pieces, so the arch of the cover isn’t quite as symmetrical as I had planned. But that didn’t matter, as I had taken the precaution of not bothering to cut out accurate shapes. And anyway, as Mum used to say, a proper pressing session does wonders when you are shaping fabric.

Which lead me to the final discovery of this project. I had been merrily using up scraps of thread, with no regard for anything on the label. Let’s face it, some didn’t actually have a label. Some of it must have had more man made fibre in than I normally buy, because it melted. I now have:

  1. Some interesting dotted patterns near the seams, where I have melted the thread that touched the iron.
  2. Some scruffy unpressed seams, where I chickened out. Which means the finished article is a bit more of an amorphous blob than I had planned.
  3. A chance to test that infallible iron cleaner someone recommended.

So overall, I have gained from this project. I have learned how to use my new toy. I have bitten the bullet about getting a set of samples I can follow in the future. I have recycles some left over materials into something useful. And I don’t have to feel guilty about not bothering to put the over locker away.

I am thinking of it as a one off piece of abstract artwork.

Well, it keeps me amused…


About The Proof Angel

I am a freelance editor and proofreader, working with a wide range of clients from large companies to individuals. I can help you to communicate clearly by carrying out a final check, or by suggesting ideas get your message over. I am an Advanced Professional Member of the Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading. I also have a sideline in textiles, as The Rainbow Angel.
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2 Responses to More experiments with the new sewing machine

  1. Susan Rosina Escreet says:

    What a lovely work of art and you now know what your machine is capable of – onward and upward as they say.


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