Monday, 13 January 2014

Sewing Machine, little makes and repairs

I never did tell the tale of how I got my first sewing machine last month. While lying in bed one night plotting thinking if I could afford a sewing machine I realised I had £70 of unused Love to Shop vouchers which came as part of my broadband deal. The next morning I realised the vouchers are rather limiting to certain shops but Argos had some entry level machines and after some advice from Jenny our sewing tutor I chose one. Using Argos also meant I could use Nectar points to add the extra AND I'd get a £10 Argos voucher. Very Machiavellian but the outcome was a brand new machine and a selection box of threads for about £2.50 in real money all in.

Minutes after getting the machine home I managed to wreck the spool holder and the whole thing fell apart. Really, I should read the manual at the start instead of using it after the fact to repair the damage! The manual is thick with many languages but precious little useful information so thank goodness for YouTube. I managed to repair the spool retaining mechanism and eventually worked out how to thread it as it was a front loading one compared to the top loading class machines. I got it working and made some little lavender bags out of felt just to get me started, then I made the Christmas Trees. I'm really glad I had the benefit of the sewing class behind me as it was a great primer.
This weekend I decided to make a basket liner tho' the project was nearly scuppered by Magic as I swear she had developed puppy dog eyes when she was trying to claim the basket. I wish I'd chosen a straight sided basket but I got there in the end. Don't look too closely it is as squinty as anything but it will not be noticed once my hand towels are piled on top!
The next little project was a bit of 'repurposing' of fabric swatches. I like this term better than upcycling-what is 'up' about second hand or recycling-sounds worthy, but I associate recycling with dingy looking toilet paper. I had a number of little swatches which were just too nice to bin so I kept moving them around the house. Then I decided they could become lavender sachets and help use up my lavender mountain. Goodness knows how many lavender sachet I can find a use for so I think I might just pop these in a little basket in the hall for friends to take as they visit and it will keep the hall sweet smelling.
The next project was a knitting needle holder and bamboo needles for a friend who knits baby cardigans constantly as folk keep having babies. Technically it is her Christmas present but we haven't managed to meet up yet so I am still in time.
 The picture makes the lines look squint but they are totally straight, and were a gift when sewing as I was able to use the stripes to guide me. These are the same carbonised bamboo needles as I have from sizes 2-10mm and they are lovely to use. It is great to always have the right size to hand.
Then there were the repairs - a small seam rip on a pair of trousers and my handbag zip. I read a blog post describing how to repair a zip ages ago not knowing I'd need it so soon. My handbag zip fell apart on Thursday which counts as a bit of a disaster as I rarely leave home without this bag. Since I started using a handbag I've used a tiny dark Tula leather bag as my everyday bag, this is only my fourth one in 30yrs. For work I plonk this inside a briefcase or workbag and for everything else I use the little bag. It accommodates everything I need - purse, two phones, two sets of keys, hanky, pen, reading glasses in a tube (a sad but necessary recent addition), lipstick, small perfume and small mirror. This sounds like a lot, and it is which is why the leather stretches to the point where something has to give, and this time it was the zip. However I managed to use the stitch ripper to get the end of the zip out, reattach the zip pull then sew and glue the end back on. The zip looks weak but my bag is functional once more and I am so chuffed.
I'm currently working on making a little cushion out of some scrap cotton and will finish it today. I just need to decide if it will be a dinky cushion or a cat beanbag. I haven't really tested the sewing machine's limits but as I am a prolific maker of small things it was never going to be used for major projects but I am enjoying using it immensely. Not bad for a nearly free sewing machine!


  1. Sounds like you've been busy and it seems you've been enjoying what you can do with the new machine - and all for £2.50!

  2. Great job! I like the kitty in the picture.

  3. Wow! You have been busy. I would like to get to know my machine better this year. We will see how that goes xx

  4. Oh my goodness, look at you go. I love everything you have made, it all looks fantastic.

  5. I'm awfully Impressed. My grandma's machine lives chez nous but seldom gets used....

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