Sunday, September 14, 2008

Learning To Sew

My niece Nicole has been wishing she could learn to sew for a long time...so today was the day! She came for lunch (big bowl of gumbo) and brought along her own material and her little sewing machine she got for Christmas. I don't know if the gumbo called her name or the idea of learning to sew.

We got the machine threaded and sewed a bit on it, but I think it needs to be used for "fixin" stuff (hems, easy seams, slow sewing.) As long as you sew along at one speed it works great - but with Nicole's learning curve (press the pedal and sew fast) we decided she needed to move on to my machine. (I also didn't want her to be frustrated on her very first project!) She had already settled on making pillows for her couch...so we cut her material to fit the pillow forms and she sewed up the edges, leaving just enough room to shove the pillow in! As she turned to check what the next step would be....DREAD! She was going to be required to "HAND SEW" the hole closed. She didn't like that and told me she didn't hand sew very well. In fact she kept insisting she ONLY knew how to sew on a button and that she didn't do that very well. Her first issue was getting a small knot at the end of the thread...I'm not sure she ever mastered that skill.She put her head down and persisted with the task...but as she stitched across the fabric she created a ridge along the edge and kept knotting her thread (and crossing over her stitches!) At first I couldn't understand what was giving her such trouble... I took the pillow to figure out what she was doing to get the little ridge along the edge and we ended up pulling out the stitches and flattening out the fabric so it would look more professionally finished.She did an excellent job!
BUT...there were two pillows. Once again she ran into problems with the thread and creating her little "ridge." I had to take the pillow to see what she was doing that was creating such frustration. It was at this point I realized she had a knot in her thread at the eye of the needle. I asked her how she got a knot up that far in the thread? Her comment, "I tied it there."
Her mother and I both looked at her in shock! Why? What would possess her to tie a knot at the top of the needle? Matter of fact from Nicole, "I don't want to loose my thread!"

We had to ask her at least 3 or 4 times if she meant to tie the knot there - we couldn't believe she had done it on purpose. Come to find out...that's what she's ALWAYS done when she's sewn on a button. It makes her mad when the thread comes off the needle, so she just ties it on to keep it in place. We laughed! What a goof!
Now that she had mastered a simple covering for a pillow form we tasked her to make another pillow with a little different look. We gave her bare bone instructions on what we wanted her to do with the fabric. (She even used the serger!) Once she got it turned right side out, she stitched the ends together. At first we thought we'd tie a ribbon around the ends like a big tootsie roll, but Nicole decided to look for some Fancy grosgrain ribbon to put around the end stitching (not sure if she'll be hand stitching it on) to give her new pillow a finished look.All in all I think she did a GREAT job. She accomplished what she set out to do and even went home with a third pillow! I think with more practice she'll be able to move on to sewing.....hmmmm, I'll have to think about what she can make next! Great job, Nicole...you're ready to "steal" your mother's machine!

1 Cowgurls said:

The Consumer Queen said...

Cute pillow I really need to learn how to sew LOL