Sunday, December 5, 2010

Misadventures with a Sewing Machine

I've been thinking about making some crafty dog stuff lately so when I saw this great idea for making dog beds on, I thought it was perfect.  I can totally make a dog bed from up-cycled wool fact, I can probably make a whole load of them...piece of cake.  My mom made all of my clothes when I was growing up...sewing skills are genetic right?  Probably as genetic as the construction skills inherited from my father.  I can put together a decent plan and measure the hell out of crap, mostly...but putting it together?  Let's just say I'm not known for being straight or level or staying intact.  Nevertheless, I jumped into this project confident that it would be different this time.  Spending a month as Suzy Homemaker should definitely have brought forth my mad crafty skills and so I ran out to Goodwill to get me some sweaters, Joanns for the yarn, thread and eco-friendly fiber stuffing and grabbed some old pillow cases from the closet. 

Me, being me, isn't the sort to start a project without a plan.  So I created a pattern.  Yes, it was labeled and everything.  Yes, I wrote down the wrong dimension for a couple squares and forgot to add extra inches for the overlay on the back to insert a pillow.  Which I didn't realize until I had cut all the pieces.  No problem.  Pattern-making mistakes were easily corrected with the addition of a few more patches.

Nice work!  It was time to break out the sewing machine.  Except that I have not touched my sewing machine in two years.   Last project was the cornhole bags I made for our wedding tournament of lawn sports that fell apart halfway through our reception.  But I had totally learned the importance of double-stitching, y'all.  This was going to be a piece of cake.  Thank god, the instructions told me not to worry about a "little bit of wonkiness" - I kept repeating that....A LOT.

I laid it all out, pinned the pieces together, navigated sewing machine setup and was off!  I had never before filled a bobbin and threaded the machine...correctly...on the first try.  This was totally going to be easy!

Two strips of dog bed in and it happened.  My finger slipped or I wasn't paying attention or something and disaster!  Yup, I sewed my fingernail.  A big puncture in the center and split to the top.  And I was doing so well (sort of, for me and my mad inherited sewing skillz).

After running around the house searching for appropriate bandaging...or just a band-aid...seriously why don't we have any freakin' band-aids! and attending to my injury, I got back on the horse.  No silly split fingernail that will likely turn some nasty shade of black and fall off was going to stop my sewing project!  It took one more super-wonky seam before I decided I was done for the day.

I spent the rest of the evening getting as many sympathy points as I could possibly collect from my husband, who had been napping through the whole ordeal.

Day two consisted of sewing patches with the seam-side on the wrong side.  Twice.  And lots and lots of cursing at the sewing machine, who was trying its damnedest not to cooperate.  After 2 hours struggling through assembling only about half the back side, I gave up.   I guess this is going to be a 3-day project?

Quitters never win.  And besides, the instructions TOLD me to expect a bit of wonkiness so I trimmed as I went and paid close attention to the placement of my extremities.  Surprisingly, day 3 was a piece of cake!  I breezed through the rest of it, hardly fought with the sewing machine at all and only caught a few strange looks from TJ and one "are you done yet?".

Success!  It only took me the better part of three days. 

The girls approve.  And it's completely green.  A few wonky seams aside, I think it turned out pretty well.  On to Bed #2 and hoping this time it won't take me 3 days.


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