Sleepy, Achey, Accomplished

I never, in 100 years, ever would have guessed I’d be spending hours hunched over a sewing machine, completely engrossed in what I’m doing. Never ever. But I am, and it’s ok.

I’m still entirely flummoxed by some of this stuff, however… like guiding fabric properly. I’ll see the needle drifting one way or the other, and I’ll correct by turning the fabric slightly, and the needle stays in the same spot relative to the edge, despite the now-at-an-angle fabric. Don’t get it, not at all. I’ve learned some useful stuff this week, but by the time I get these things done, it’s 1am in the morning and I’m too exhausted to write about it (one thing that comes to mind? Triple-stitching will tear through an entire spool of thread in about 8 seconds.)

At any rate, two projects done at this point, neither of which involve quilting.

I found myself entirely daunted by the prospect of squaring up all those little blocks and arranging them into an attractive pattern, so I put all the quilting stuff into a few drawers and took a step back. Before I attack the squaring and the whatnot, I’d first better learn how to sew. Thus, I found myself a few easy little projects. I managed to finish each in an evening, remarkably enough, and while they both definitely have their problems, I’m pleased they weren’t complete disasters.

The first item I undertook was this cute little sewing machine cover. Here is how it is supposed to look:

Cover, As It Should Be

Cover, As It Should Be

And here is mine:

My Cover

My Version

There are definitely a lot of imperfections on mine, but overall, not too bad, right? Kinda cheery and bright. Go team! Other photos of the process of the project are on my Flickr account.

That was a few days ago, and today, I got a bug up my behind to put together the “classic tote,” also from Sew, Mama, Sew’s tutorial section. This project had more structure, but on the whole, it wasn’t difficult. I learned how to do French Seams, gussets, attach handles and make a hem (sort of.) There are janky bits on the finished product, I did a couple of things completely backward and I broke two needles and bent a third in the process (eight layers of home-decor-weight fabric make my sewing machine cry on triple-stitch,) but the final product looks pretty ok (thanks to a ridiculously busy fabric that hides stuff well, and well-matched thread.)

Thus, here we have my first homemade Grocery Tote (with front pocket:)

Eco-Friendly Grocery Bag

Eco-Friendly Grocery Bag

When I was attaching the handles, I had to call in Mike Neir for a consult, as my 3D relational brain was off-line. “If I attach it like this, is it going to be twisted when I turn it right-side out?” Mike, in sewing as in all things in life, serves as the go-to guy for such questions.

In theory, I had enough fabric for two, although I may have dorked up the cutting part again and end up short. Still, I’d change a few things the next time around, like making the front pocket a different fabric, so it contrasts and stands out more, and make a larger, squarer bottom. I’m not entirely sure how to pull off the “squarer” part, but the “larger” should be easily enough accomplished by simply stitching the gussets farther from the edge… right?

Later in the day today, despite a raging head, I found myself at JoAnn Fabrics for their Labor Day Sale… what a mixed blessing that was. On the one hand, I got a ton of free and/or reduced-price stuff, saving myself $100 in the process. On the other, there were all these other, crazed women there. Line at the cutting counter. Line at the cash register. Fortunately, everyone was behaving civilly and I wasn’t forced to eviscerate anyone with a seam ripper.

I obtained a metric honkload of towels for another series of projects and sundry other items. (PS – why does everything in the sewing world have to be a “notion?” It’s not “stuff,” it’s not “ideas,” it’s not “trinkets” or “necessities;” no, all of those things are lumped into “Notions,” a catch-all phrase for anything that might have something to do with sewing.)

As I was looking for home decor fabrics for the next project, a yard and garden tote bag, I found a fabric that, no shit, is the exact same color as my blog theme:

Blog Fabric

Blog Fabric

Well naturally, I had to have it. I found a matching material for the liner and I’ll be off to the races… at some point.

My sewing machine started clicking and clacking tonight, which I’m assuming means it wants oil, but I’ve completely misplaced it. Thus, the next project (a slightly more advanced take on the same theme, really) is on hold until I either find the stinking bottle I already have, or run out and get more tomorrow.

It’s late, I’m sleepy, good night.

Gaiam.com, Inc

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2 responses to Sleepy, Achey, Accomplished


  1. Stacey Krusac

    I absolutely love that blue and brownish pattern! And the bag!!! Soo cute Erin–you are rockin this sewing thing! 🙂 I know what I am asking for, for Christmas 😛 A cool new bag–if my brother’s cool GF will make me one 😉

  2. Erin

    Lol – lady, if I get any good at this, I will make you whatever your little heart desires. 😀 I actually found some stuff yesterday that made me think of you for stocking stuffers, too!

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