Monday, 4 May 2015

Some Basics and Lots of Learning

Mid-way through my first sewing attempt last weekend, the bobbin ran out of thread. After a few attempts over the past week at re-threading the shuttle and being frustrated with the bobbin thread not catching, I finally realised what I was doing wrong. I need to hold the top thread while I move the hand wheel, then the bottom thread will come up. Dear me, I spent far too long staring at it moving while it didn't work and the loose threads moved round! On the plus side, I'll definitely remember how to do that in future.

So now I've got it working again I got some practice stitching done, using this youtube tutorial, strangely enough by another Amy! The finished results are below. On the left is last week's practice, pivoting round corners and getting my lines straight. On the right is partly last week's work, up until the bobbin ran out in the middle, then finished this morning once I'd got it going again.
It might look simple but it actually involved a lot more work than meets the eye. During the process of stitching these, I re-wound the bobbin, I changed the needle (and then changed it back to the old one), I changed the upper tension to stop the fabric bunching (which it did a lot of on the left piece), then back a bit to stop it skipping stitches. I also changed the stitch length very minutely to make sure the dial still worked, and got my speed up to about double what it was when I first started. Phew!

So, after finishing the straight stitching and testing everything I could think of on the machine, today I also managed a french seam on my practice fabric, using this youtube tutorial from Lizzie Lenard. I love her voice, she makes everything sound clear and practical.
I managed this on the second attempt; the first time the tension was too loose and it skipped too many stitches. The front of the work is above, and the back below. The pattern matching isn't perfect, but it's my first practice seam, so I'm happy.

I'm pleased with the progress I've made and I keep trying to remind myself that I need to practice all this before I dive headlong into complicated projects. The amount of complications and adjustments that I needed to learn about just on these practice pieces have reminded me to take small steps, and learn about the machine fully while I'm trying things out, rather than ruining something because I'm not ready to sew it yet.

So, what to do next...back to youtube, I think. :)