Sewing for Boys: part 1

Well I have survived my first lesson. I have done a couple of night school classes before, and I used to run one on web design at the University in Reading so the administration and setup of the course was not a problem. The stepping into the complete unknown of the sewing world was making me a bit nervous though. There weren't a lot of details on what it would entail and my wife had packed me off with a small bag containing some bits of fabric, a couple of reels of cotton and some hand sewing needles!!

There are about eight of us in the class, all with slightly varying expectations but it seemed that I wasn't out of my depth and didn't need the class on sewing for 'real complete absolute novices who haven't a clue'. Our teacher leapt straight in and showed us the sewing machines we would be using, basic but good quality Bernina Bernette machines, showed us how to put thread on the bobbin, how to load the bobbin, how to thread the needle and then said off you go!!

We had a machine each and after a few false starts and conferrings between us after twenty minutes bobbins were loaded and we were ready to sew. Now I am sure this seems very basic stuff for many of you. But I have to admit that a sewing machine is quite a daunting beast and I have never known how they work. Then with a scrap piece of fabric we were off and trying to sew. First off was a straight stitch, then lifting the foot and turning corners, fancy stitches and varying stitch width and length. You can see my first trial piece below. I have to admit it was really good fun.

My first practice piece.

Getting used to the foot control and trying to vary the speed took some getting used to. I hadn't realised how fast you could go. Also a complete surprise to me was that they have in effect a reverse gear. I certainly wasn't in control but I was making progress.
We had a short break and then we were told what we would be making. A tissue holder. Now from the practical side of things this is not something that I will be using everyday, but from the sewing side it looked very daunting. It was lined, there were seams, points to push out, you had to sew it inside out.... You can see my effort below. My first finished piece

It isn't that straight and the stitching doesn't go all the way across at the front but I was really pleased for a first attempt. I think everyone was really surprised that after only two hours we had gone from complete novices to being able to produce a finished piece.
The whole experience was really good fun and enjoyable. Supposedly next week we are going to make a cushion cover. Which seems to be a huge and very rapid leap. We need a half a metre of fabric so I will see what I can find in the shop and I need to dig out my mum's old sewing machine, get some thread...


glamlawlib said…
You did really well, sounds like a good class :)
sewali said…
How quickly we forget what it's like to be completely new to something. You'll be whizzing along like a pro in no time at all, and having a shop like Cotton Patch to plunder at your will - I'm pea green :o)

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