Tuesday, July 15, 2008

My First Kinda Finished Project

I am so excited I managed to sew a skirt! I needed to take a break from the dress I was sewing. It was driving me crazy. At the bookstore I picked up

It's a great beginners book to me. The language is simple and it has pictures. The best part to me is that it came with 10 patterns and 25 designs. The first thing I chose to do was the Naughty Secretary Skirt, a pencil skirt. It's a 2 piece pattern and what could be simpler than that.

Excuse the black zipper. I was originally going to do this with black fabric and realized that didn't have any so I used an old sheet that didn't fit my bed.

The entire process was easy and very fun for me. Thanks to the bodice I'm making for my dress I was able to sew my darts better and make my markings correctly. Best of all I was able to learn how to sew a zipper which wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. I did cheat a with the hem and the waistband - I used a fusible web. I couldn't figure out the instructions for the waistband so I fused it down. I also didn't really finish the slit in the back. It needs to stitched across and I can't figure out how to do that. Once I get some help with that it will be totally done.

When I buy skirts I always have issues with the waist being to big. Same issue here. The skirt fits well on my hips and thighs but the waist is way to big. This will probably be one of staple go to patterns but I'll adjust it so it fits me perfectly. I'm excited at the thought of having a skirt that doesn't turn into a hula hoop on me!

My next project from the book is the Flouncy Tank Top.

This didn't come with a pattern but gave instruction on how to make one. I made it out of some old tissue paper I had.

Singing a New Song

When I first decided I wanted to sew I went to Target and got the cheapest machine they had. I figured since I really had no clue what I was doing and what to look for I would get something basic. Since my mom had a Singer that's what I went with, the Singer Prelude.

It retails for 89.99 and features:
• 30-stitch function sewing machine
• 7 built-in stitches, 3 needle positions, built-in storage a free-arm design, front bobbin-load, large screwdriver and a 4-step buttonholer
• Needles, bobbins, large/small spool-caps and 3 feet: zipper, buttonhole/sewing and general purpose
• 13-3/4Hx9Wx17L"Standalone

Sounded real good to me. I bought Singer thread figuring it's a Singer machine so it's all good. Um...no...I think the machine stayed threaded for about 10 minutes if I was lucky. The thread kept breaking. We figured that maybe it was threaded wrong so we tried another brand and all was well. Put the Singer brand back and I was at a stand still. So I got new thread and problem was solved.

While I was sewing at my friend Omega's house we discovered that I am a speed demon. I have a serious lead foot when it come to the foot pedal and it was throwing me way off. Between trying to control the foot peddle, the fabric and backstitching I was seriously overwhelmed. Omega kindly suggested that I get a more computerized machine, or at least get one that had speed adjustment.

I went to Overstock and got a Brother XR 7700 Computerized Sewing Machine w/Free Bonus Feet (Refurb) Cost with shipping was $142.94.

It features:

  • 60 pre-programmed stitches which perform 100 stitch functions
  • One-step, auto-size buttonholes (seven different styles)
  • Free bonus feet: Walking Foot, Quilting Guide and Quilting Foot
  • LCD screen with computerized stitch selection
  • Sewing machine functions include utility, decorative, heirloom and quilting
  • Super-wide (7mm) zigzag and decorative stitches
  • Automatic needle threading
  • Built-in thread cutter
  • Variable needle position
  • Fast, automatic bobbin winding
  • One-step bobbin replacement with quick set drop-in bobbin
  • Quilting features included
  • One-touch start/stop/reverse operations
  • Operates with or without foot control
  • Drop feed for free-motion quilting
  • Free arm/flatbed convertible sewing surface
  • Accessories for zipper insertion, darning, twin-needle stitching and button sewing
  • Built-in accessory storage
  • Electronic speed adjustment allows you to choose the most comfortable sewing speed for your project
  • Quick-change presser feet
  • Stitch width and length control
  • Adjustable thread tension control
  • Safety power and light switch
  • Lightweight (10 pounds) with built-in handle for portability
  • Instruction booklet in English and Spanish
  • Foot Pedal Included
  • 25 Year Limited Warranty Included
I am in love with this machine!! Not only is it a good looking machine but it sews like a dream. It's really smooth. The stitching is really nice.

Most importantly it has speed adjustment so no matter how fast I want to go I can't which has helped my darting a lot.

The Singer Prelude it a good machine also. It's a cute little machine that will get the job done but didn't work for me at all. Now it's sitting in my storage room. I want to sell it but for some reason I have this attachment to it even though I've only used it twice.

First Project

At one of the sales JoAnn's was having I picked up some patterns. It never occured to me to pick something easy as a first project since in my mind I'm a Sewnista Extraordinaire.

My first project is Butterick B5181 since it says easy on it. I thought was a simple summer dress that I could get done in a few weeks and be wearing by the end of summer. Ambitious don't you think for someone whose never touched a machine before. My original choice was the second one but I didn't have enough fabric so I decided to make the first one.

Here is the fabric that my sew idol Omega gave me. It's a really nice black and white print. Once the dress is done it should hit me right below the knees.

Since this is my first time actually sewing we started off with some practice fabric. So far I've managed to make the bodice.

I need to practice my gathering before I sew the skirt to the bodice. To be honest it's not as neat as it should be and I've been really sloppy with it since it's only a practice. I keep telling myself that I'll do better with the real thing. I'm actually proud that it actually looks like something recognizable! The seam ripper has become my best friend. I won't tell you how many times I had to take it apart and put it back together again. Like they say practice makes perfect...I guess...


I have been slacking big time. I started a new job and just couldn't seem to get myself together. But I am back and finding my groove!

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