To me, it is slightly wondrous even that I got the thing unpacked, threaded and working within a short time. If you'd told me that would be the case, I might have thought sewing machines had moved on a bit since the dark days of my school's home economics lessons - but it turned out to be the opposite. They've barely changed at all, and I could remember it all.
I'm coming at the art of sewing with an adult mind, now, though, so things make a little more sense. The sequence for threading, for example, is not just a random, easy-to-forget list: it makes mechanical sense. It's important that, these deeply-embedded memories aside, I forget those classes and my own incompetence, forever bringing the heavyweight red-faced teacher's wrath upon me. Well, the same teacher taught us cookery, and I've moved on with confidence from the days when she castigated me for not knowing that adding stock to the risotto didn't mean just crumbling in a dry stock cube.
The first sewing project was an urgent one: a hammock for Item's toy cat, Chococat. I made it the first night, sewing together stripes of old pillowcase and threading ribbon through each end. This was a reminder of my modus operandi when it comes to making things, a method which can work well with painting or drawing but is disastrous with an exact science such as sewing. In my mind's eye, I can see it perfectly; it doesn't occur to me that the steps between conception and completion could go anything but perfectly. I believe they call it a gung-ho attitude.
Unthought-out, the hammock does at least work, but it's best not to look at it too closely.
Today, The Boy, Item and I visited our local fabric shop where I was delighted to discover their 50p offcuts and the remnant table. I made a rookie mistake, though - I bought several beautiful pieces of patterned fabric, but nothing plain for linings.
This afternoon, using this pattern for an iPad cover, I have made a pouch for my graphics tablet. I have also learned a lot - why, Chococat hammock #2 will be a massive leap forward.
This has been my first introduction to quilting, and, I think, my first to sewing inside-out for beauteous seams. Not everything wet to plan: the 'batting' bunched up and I had to unpick a few rows of stitching; I broke a needle and I discovered why, just as with baking, it's best to follow the instructions at least the first time you do something. "Why is the flap a separate piece?", I thought to myself, and decided to make it the same piece as one of the sides. So when it came to turning the whole thing cleverly inside out, I was a little scuppered. A bit of bias binding came to my rescue, phew.
I am glad I wasn't making the pouch *for* anyone (I'd have to be some kind of imbecile to do that, admittedly) as it has several imperfections. But I do feel I am moving forward already.
I have plans to try this (slightly unconfident though), perhaps this (how hard can it be?) and to collect old teatowels for this.
I have a feeling that my slap-dash approach might lend itself to something along the lines of this a lot better. Oh, and I found a remnant of black velour so I'm hoping to make this for Item's Christmas present. Well, you know her and moles.
One day, I'll have the skillz to try this.
If you're on Pinterest, you can see all the sewing projects I bookmark here, and I'd love to see yours too. Please do point me in the direction of anything you think might suit a beginner; even better if it teaches me some new skills very simply.