Saturday, 14 January 2012

The Nuns and the Sewing Machine , my early days of crafting

Hello there,

I am a fairly recent convert to the world of crafting and creating. But I take any new phase seriously (just ask my husband!). Lots and lots of phases, trust me.

In order to take my new hobby to the next level and actually sew properly I needed a sewing machine and they aren't cheap. Not shockingly expensive but dear enough that you'd want to use it to justify it.

Of course I haven't looked at a sewing machine since secondary school when the nuns insisted we should all have this talent (from age 12). At the time we thought it was the most old fashioned and sexist thing in the world. Now I understand!! At last. Sorry Sister, forgive me I was young and arrogant!!! I no longer want to rule the world!

We spent the first year of home economics sewing class (there was cookery as well) making a pillowcase which was proudly displayed at the end of the year. Mine is still going strong today. The second year we advanced to making a bathrobe.
My dad entrused me with a ten pounds to buy the required material and dropped me at the door of the fabric store in Dundrum, Dublin and I bought the cheapest cotton from the bargain bin and used the rest of the money to buy a book and chocolate. (It was the late 80s, ten pounds was a decent amount).

The next home economics class all the girls pulled out their bags of towelling material and I took out my hideous cotton fabric (I said cheap not stylish). Pattern cutting and sewing began, I was finished within the month and bored. Watching people get this huge towelling material jammed up in the machines was only entertaining for so long!

We also had a little copy book where we would attempt each type of stitch and then glue it in to the copy as we learnt it. The problem with learning stitches was the nun, Sister F (being discreet here) would hide it under the desk as she did it and then tell you to go off and do it yourself. You'd ask for a demo of the blanket stitch and she'd sigh and grab the needle and material and hide it under the desk. A minute later she'd produce the specimen with a glare. As she was sewing under the desk we could fill her hair with all the little cut off threads. Ah yes, we were hilarious. I still don't know why she hid the sewing though. 

So that was the last time I sowed anything, except the odd loose button.Half price sale on sewing machines so in I went to town and returned with my new machine. I followed the manual diagram by diagram and sewed happily for an hour. Till it jammed. And then it looped all the thread underneath the material. The top was prefect but the bottom, enormous loops. I threaded, rethreaded, changed thread, adjusted tension. Cursed a lot. Rethreaded, changed bobbins, cursed some more. This went on for nearly a week and I considered returning it. Then I remembered youtube. Two minutes later I had the answer. I missed slipping the thread through a little hook near the needle. Sorted. And its been working since! How we survived before youtube I don't know.
Next instalment, the beaded braclet business (primary school)

Good night and take care!

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