Getting Started

If, like me, you’ve just watched The Great British Sewing Bee, you’re probably sitting there slightly bewildered by all of the terminology on some of the ‘basic’ projects. Never fear though, nobody is expecting you to be making haute couture designs the first time you touch a machine. Nor, will every project take three and a half hours. I received my sewing machine at Christmas, and in just under three months I’ve gone from not even knowing how to turn the machine on, into making small bags, cushion covers, carrier bag holders, appliqué, and some free machine embroidery (more on that later, it’s basically drawing with the sewing machine and it’s great!)

I was lucky enough that my Aunt likes to sew, and on Boxing Day she was able to show me a quick run through of how to set up the machine, as I was itching to have a go. If you don’t have a crafty friend or relative around, you could have a look on Youtube. I have the Brother X-5 machine, and there are a fair few set up videos on there, who can explain it far better than I could. Do you want to see the first ever thing I did? Really? Oh go on then….

You're blown away, aren't you.

You’re blown away, aren’t you.

I was thrilled! I sewed some (kind of!) straight lines! Believe it or not, I was really pleased. I decided that I needed some proper advice though, and booked myself onto a Beginner’s Sewing Workshop at The Craft Studio in Nottingham. There, the lovely Clare taught me to thread a machine, sew in a straight line, experiment with some stitches and make a lovely little nautical bag/purse.

Look Mum, I made something!

Look Mum, I made something!

No, really, I made that after a three hour course, from wonky lines to a neat little bag. If you’re not lucky enough to be in Nottingham I’m sure you can find some beginners courses near you, or have a quick search for some basic tutorials (I’ll put some up soon, so please bear with me!). Eager to keep learning, I returned home and made another little bag in a butterfly fabric, which believe it or not is made from some curtains I bought from Primark! Fabric needn’t cost the earth, why not recycle some older bedding or curtains?

Second attempt!

Second attempt!

Coming next time, my free machining experience and some simple envelope cushions. My new header logo is by the fabulous Lucy at Lucy Illustrates


Is this thing on?

I know, I'm a style icon.

I know, I’m a style icon.

Picture the scene, if you will. Christmas, 2012. A very lucky lady receives a sewing machine. (That’s me, btw.) Said lucky lady realises she doesn’t have a clue what to do with it, or even how to switch it on.

Join me in my adventures of learning how to sew; starting with the the inevitable  ineptitude and wonky bits, until we get to where I hopefully end up making things that won’t be received through gritted-teeth smiles from faux-grateful relatives.

Expect broken needles, over-ambitious attempts, and some decidedly dodgy appliqué (“it’s shabby chic! OK, OK, it’s just crap.”)

Oh, and I hereby solemnly promise that I will never ever make a floppy-disc cover again, seeing as that’s the only thing I’ve ever sewed. In Year 10 at school. Which was about 10 years ago. It was rubbish.

Hooray! Bear in mind this picture was taken at 6am, before you judge me too harshly.

Hooray! Bear in mind this picture was taken at 6am, before you judge me too harshly.