So, you can probably figure out for yourself that I'm learning to sew. Call me domesticated if you will, but I'm doing this for purely practical reasons. The Craftsman is so big with SO many windows that if we don't make the curtains ourselves we'll spend upwards of a thousand dollars just on cheap curtains. This way I figure we can use nicer fabrics that will actually fit the type of windows in old houses (TALL). I love floor-length curtains, especially those that pool on the floor, so now I'll be able to have them for cheap. Plus, I can make everything matchy-matchy (or at least coordinate-y) from the curtains to the pillows to the upholstery fabrics in each of the rooms.
Aside from the monetary aspect it's just nice to have an additional skill. In case you ever need it, ya' know?
Our gracious friend Diane is teaching me (for free!). She's been sewing for sixty years, so she knows a thing or two. She's a big-time quilter and made this wonderful quilt for the Little One.
The baby woodland animals in it are my inspiration for the theme in his bedroom in the Craftsman. More on that later.
Diane is the one who recently oversaw the sewing of my first seam. (Say that five times fast!) She also took me shopping at Edward's Sewing Center here in town. The women there are super nice, knowledgeable, and helpful. Edward's mainly carries Janome, which I had heard previously is pretty much the best brand of sewing machine...as in they'll last forever, so that's what I got. They showed me the ins and outs of how to use the machine, including a demonstration of how it "will sew tissue to denim." (When I first heard this I got a mental image of someone lining their jeans with tissues and thought "why in the world would anyone want to sew tissues to their jeans??" Come to find out that the machine is good enough to go from sewing something as delicate as tissue to something as sturdy as denim without a hiccup.)
When I picked up the Janome Magnolia a few weeks later (it had to be ordered) they showed me how to thread it and all...surprisingly easy after a few tries. I brought it home and immediately sewed this:
A sort of miniature pillow case?
I bought the fabric at Jo-Ann's in the clearance bin. You can see my practice stitches.
See that red and white fabric in the background? It's a shirt I got at St. Vincent's Thrift Store for 50 cents. I didn't like it as a shirt, but I thought it might look cute as a pillow. So, the next day:
I just used the fabric to sew a pillow-casey thing with which I covered one of the two teal pillows I got for the Victorian's living room. Before and after:
I really have nothing bad to say about this sewing machine. It has tolerated me forgetting to lower the foot many times without freaking out on me. I've even knotted the thread up, and it didn't seem to be bothered. It's computerized and has around 30 different stitches that it sews, including button holes, with each having adjustable length and width. The other features I really love are: the drop-in bobbin, a little razor-blade thingy on the side so that you don't have to use scissors to cut the thread, and an automatic tie-off (you just push a button and it ties the thread for you when you're done sewing).
The needle up/down, tie-off, reverse, and start/stop buttons:
Actually, there is one thing. It makes a weird buzzing sound after it's been going for awhile. I suspect it's the light bulb.
Also, a piece of purple and cream fabric followed me home which is going to look great in the new dining room under a centerpiece maybe:
Sewing machine: $350
Assorted fabrics: $4.50