Groupings, Personal Space, Garden Art, and Color forum: Toni's "I have no idea what I'm doing" sewing thread

 
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ImageSkiekitty
Jan 12, 2019 11:09 PM CST
Name: Toni
Denver Metro, Zone 5
Too many cats!!
I don't want to hijack any more of Arlene's thread although I believe that she would never complain, so I'm doing my own thread to record on my sewing oddysey.

For Christmas 2018 my hubby John got me a sewing machine. I've never owned one before and haven't used one at all since 1991, so I have no idea on what I'm doing at all. I got a "simple" machine, a Brother SM2700. I wasn't planning on doing huge things like quilting or making an entire wardrobe.. I just wanted something to make simple hems & repairs. It looks awfully complicated, tbh.

I had acquired from my neighbor on 1/10/19 a beautiful desk that I'm going to use as my sewing table. It's the perfect height & everything.

Thumb of 2019-01-13/Skiekitty/04475d
Thumb of 2019-01-13/Skiekitty/6b8bb7

I have my desk, my chair, my machine, some practice material, and thread. So unboxed the machine & took inventory. Oops, no scissors, so thats next on my list of acquisitions.

The user manual, imo, sucks. The pictures aren't very clear to a complete novice and it came with an instructional DVD. But what if you don't have this machine set up anywhere that you can watch the DVD? Bad poor planning, imo. But Brother is infamous for this.

After much research, I found some okay-ish instructions on how to start up ... and I've successfully threaded a bobbin! Only problem is that I am a major butterfingers due to stupid carpal tunnel and am constantly dropping things.. and most of the accessories are clear! How doofy is that?

So now I have a bobbin successfully threaded (I keep wanting to call it a bobber), let's see if I can actually thread the needle, and then make a seam! Stay tuned!
Never be afraid of a scar. It just means that you were stronger than something that tried to hurt you.
My new Etsy shop - handmade jewelry by ME!! http://www.etsy.com/shop/OjodelGato
Buy some of my photos! http://www.catsonkeyboards.com
"I've seen better acting from extras in Godzilla movies!" - Calculon
ImageSkiekitty
Jan 13, 2019 12:48 AM CST
Name: Toni
Denver Metro, Zone 5
Too many cats!!
2 hours later, finally figured out to thread the self-threading needle and install the bobbin! But I'm not sure that this looks right:

Thumb of 2019-01-13/Skiekitty/46a32f

Any idea? The Brother website is worthless.
Never be afraid of a scar. It just means that you were stronger than something that tried to hurt you.
My new Etsy shop - handmade jewelry by ME!! http://www.etsy.com/shop/OjodelGato
Buy some of my photos! http://www.catsonkeyboards.com
"I've seen better acting from extras in Godzilla movies!" - Calculon
Imagevic
Jan 13, 2019 5:54 AM CST
Name: Vicki
North Carolina
Toni - I'm so freaking proud of you! Thumbs up Thumbs up
NATIONAL GARDENING ASSOCIATION Purslane & Portulaca ~ Garden Art
ImageArleneB
Jan 13, 2019 6:58 AM CST
Name: Arlene
Grantville, GA
Yes, scissors are a must! Looks like you're making progress there. Keep practicing. I can't quite tell from the picture but what kind of thread do you have? Sewing/all purpose? Good to do black on white so you can see your stitches while you're practicing. Next, draw a circle and try and follow the lines, slowly. Or a swirl, rather, and keep going around . Same with a square and practice ending at a corner, leaving the needle down in the fabric and turning the fabric to contine around the corner.
ImageMuddymitts
Jan 13, 2019 9:46 AM CST
Name: Mary Ann
Kentucky
Good job, Toni -- pretty soon you'll be perking along and you'll figure things out without needing references.

Arlene's suggestions about practice-stitching are spot on. The only thing that I would add is this: when you practice a square and come to a corner, leave the needle down in the fabric -- but raise the presser-foot. Then turn the fabric. Then put the presser-foot back down to continue stitching.

I thought that your practice stitching looked fine. Of course, you can shorten or lengthen the length of each stitch by making adjustments on the machine. Different lengths of stitches have practical applications for different types of fabrics or different thicknesses of what you're sewing. One thing I would recommending is to leave a longer *tail* of thread at the beginning of your seam. I usually pull about 6" of both threads towards the back before inserting the fabric under the presser foot. That tail will come in handy very often -- if for no other reason than to tie a knot when finishing your work.

Good luck -- and have fun! Don't stress about it! Smiling
Every day is a second chance. Every day is precious time.
Imagevic
Jan 13, 2019 2:03 PM CST
Name: Vicki
North Carolina
I just had another idea...A friend of mine bought a sewing machine and had no idea how to sew and took classes where she bought the machine but I think fabric stores offer classes too. Just a thought...
NATIONAL GARDENING ASSOCIATION Purslane & Portulaca ~ Garden Art
ImageSkiekitty
Jan 13, 2019 2:12 PM CST
Name: Toni
Denver Metro, Zone 5
Too many cats!!
Vicki - I have asked at 3 different Hobby Lobbies about sewing classes.. nope. Same with Michael's. I need to go to Colorado Fabrics & JoAnn Fabrics to see if they do.
Never be afraid of a scar. It just means that you were stronger than something that tried to hurt you.
My new Etsy shop - handmade jewelry by ME!! http://www.etsy.com/shop/OjodelGato
Buy some of my photos! http://www.catsonkeyboards.com
"I've seen better acting from extras in Godzilla movies!" - Calculon
Imagevic
Jan 13, 2019 2:19 PM CST
Name: Vicki
North Carolina
I think my friend took classes at JoAnn's - this was in Ohio.
NATIONAL GARDENING ASSOCIATION Purslane & Portulaca ~ Garden Art
Imagemcash70
Jan 13, 2019 3:32 PM CST
Name: Margaret
BC, Can.
Good luck with your sewing, Toni, great tips from Arlene and Mary Ann. Thumbs up
ImageArleneB
Jan 13, 2019 6:26 PM CST
Name: Arlene
Grantville, GA
Hilarious! Good catch, Mary Ann, lift the presser foot and swivel! See, I knew that, just forgot that Toni may not. And I agree about the tail. I can't tell you how many times the needle has come unthreaded because I didn't hold it or leave enough lead. Also, make a habit of turning the wheel until the needle starts to go down, that way it lessens the chance of taking the thread out.

Colorado Fabric? You have something besides Joann and Hobby Lobby? I'm so jealous! There used to be a Hancock Fabrics in Douglasville but I found out they are in bankruptcy and all the stores have closed. I sure wish Joann had some competition. I did see where Hancock has online sales, in fact, there is one in Paducah and they had decent prices (sales). The gal that waited on me yesterday and did my return today was not very nice. Kinda spoils the experience.

ImageSkiekitty
Jan 13, 2019 10:55 PM CST
Name: Toni
Denver Metro, Zone 5
Too many cats!!
Arlene - We had a Hancock Fabric.. at least we did back in November but according to Yelp, it's closed. I have to take John to the airport tomorrow.. maybe I'll run around & see if I can find other fabric places here. 3 days of being by myself and I hate being by myself.

Colorado Fabric is an awesome store. There's only 1, it's not a chain, and that's all it is: fabric. It takes up 2 store fronts in a strip mall not too terribly far from me (about 12 minutes.. 6 miles). It has ALLLLLLLLLLLLLLL kinds of fabrics... shiny fabrics, sturdy fabrics, cheap fabrics, fake furs, upholstery.. you name it, they have it.

http://coloradofabrics.com/

On Feb 12th, they have a class. "Absolute Beginner Machine Sewing". It's $75. Is that about right? The "absolute beginner" part is... lolllllllllll I went & ordered a case for my machine to keep it shiny & pretty and mostly cat-hair free (yea right). But mainly cat BARF free (how do they do projectile barfing?).. or other nastiness (grrrrrrrrrr).

Looks like there's lots of fabric stores.. mainly JoAnn fabrics. Of course NOTHING is too terribly close by.. .I really hate being on the outskirts of town...

Thumb of 2019-01-14/Skiekitty/64a9c0
Never be afraid of a scar. It just means that you were stronger than something that tried to hurt you.
My new Etsy shop - handmade jewelry by ME!! http://www.etsy.com/shop/OjodelGato
Buy some of my photos! http://www.catsonkeyboards.com
"I've seen better acting from extras in Godzilla movies!" - Calculon
ImageSiliolegma
Jan 13, 2019 10:59 PM CST
Name: Karen
Maryville, TN
Whee Toni!!! I hope you are going to have as much fun as we do. We were all beginners at one time and there are no silly questions.
You might want to look into a rolling case if you will be taking your machine for classes. Much easier than carrying and will hold all your other supplies too.

Sign up for JoAnn's coupons.
[Last edited Jan 13, 2019 11:02 PM CST]
Quote | Post #1307828 (12)
ImageSiliolegma
Jan 13, 2019 11:02 PM CST
Name: Karen
Maryville, TN
Whee Toni!!! I hope you are going to have as much fun as we do. We were all beginners at one time and there are no silly questions.
ImageSkiekitty
Jan 13, 2019 11:34 PM CST
Name: Toni
Denver Metro, Zone 5
Too many cats!!
Hmm.. rolling case sounds interesting. I personally like the 18" rolling cases I get at Office Depot. I have 3 of those for my beading supplies.

https://www.amazon.com/Office-Depot-Mobile-Folding-16in-H/dp...
Never be afraid of a scar. It just means that you were stronger than something that tried to hurt you.
My new Etsy shop - handmade jewelry by ME!! http://www.etsy.com/shop/OjodelGato
Buy some of my photos! http://www.catsonkeyboards.com
"I've seen better acting from extras in Godzilla movies!" - Calculon
ImageArleneB
Jan 14, 2019 6:44 AM CST
Name: Arlene
Grantville, GA
Hmm, I have friends in Denver area (Aurora) I have been putting off a visit. Hilarious! Something to think about if we start traveling, checking out fabric stores. We always check out hardwares and grocery stores, seems they often have things we haven't seen before.
ImageArleneB
Jan 14, 2019 6:59 AM CST
Name: Arlene
Grantville, GA
Just checked out Colorado Fabric's web page. They have a QUILT SECTION!!! Toni, I'm coming for a visit!!!
ImageSkiekitty
Jan 14, 2019 8:29 AM CST
Name: Toni
Denver Metro, Zone 5
Too many cats!!
Arlene - c'mon down! You're our next contestant on the Price is Right.

Actually, from what I was checking out, the closest fabric store to me is an actual quilting store.

https://highprairiequilts.com/index.html

That's in Parker itself. Then a little ways away is another one

http://thethreadloft.com
Never be afraid of a scar. It just means that you were stronger than something that tried to hurt you.
My new Etsy shop - handmade jewelry by ME!! http://www.etsy.com/shop/OjodelGato
Buy some of my photos! http://www.catsonkeyboards.com
"I've seen better acting from extras in Godzilla movies!" - Calculon
ImageMuddymitts
Jan 14, 2019 8:40 AM CST
Name: Mary Ann
Kentucky
The original Hancock Fabrics is right here in Paducah, and it is operated by the owners of the company, who live here. I think the store-closure thing is a consequence of the owners being in the retirement age range, and the young Hancocks not being interested in the business.

Anyhoo -- those of you who are planning to visit Paducah for the Quilt Show will be able to shop that store. It's an experience! Makes Joann Fabrics look like child's play. If I remember correctly, it's a half-acre under roof! Blinking

Fair warning -- during Quilt week, it's a mob-scene..... Big Grin
Every day is a second chance. Every day is precious time.
ImageMuddymitts
Jan 14, 2019 8:47 AM CST
Name: Mary Ann
Kentucky
Crossed, Toni. I'm glad that you posted those links. The first one showed patterns for tote-bags. My stall-out may have been solved. Of course - there's still the matter of not having use of the dining room table........I know, I know -- get crackin'!! Whistling

If you can't find sewing classes elsewhere, I'm betting that either or both of those stores either have classes, or know where to send you!!
Every day is a second chance. Every day is precious time.
ImageSkiekitty
Jan 26, 2019 1:27 AM CST
Name: Toni
Denver Metro, Zone 5
Too many cats!!
Well, latest sewing adventure was a lose & win. I have a large fake fur couch pillow that has a huge tear in the seam on 1 side. Half of the fluff has fallen out (thanks to the kitties on that), so I restuffed it and attempted to sew it shut. First I found out that I wasn't threading the machine right, so got that fixed. Yay, ready to sew! I shoved all the fluff as far away from the foot/needle, put the fabric in, lowered the foot then the needle, and pressed the foot pedal. Started to sew! Yay! It got stuck! Boo! So I gentle wrangle the pillow out, make sure that everything is threaded right, & attempted again. Again, got jammed. What am I doing wrong? Come to find out that the fake fur was getting tangled in the foot! Dammit. Guess I won't be using my machine to repair the pillow. Bleh. So I tackled my second project. I had bought some adorable fabric on clearance as I wanted curtains for my new window. I had them already cut to perfect size, just needed to make a bottom hem & a top pucker for the curtain rod. So attempted THAT! First I chose my thread, filled a bobbin (got that done right the first time!), rethreaded the machine, and started on the first seam. It worked! I got a seam, and it was pretty straight considering i was eyeballing it. But i saw that I didn't have a seam from end to end... I had started the seam about an inch inside the fold. So I flipped it over & sewed the other way.. a perfect matchup! I had taken .. jill ?'s advice and left a "tail" of thread from the machine to the fabric about 6". I can always trim it afterwards. So I made the top seam, then attempted the "pucker" seam. The thread kept breaking! Wth? I looked.. I honestly believe that it truly was the spool getting wonky.. the thread apparently was older even though it was still in the plastic covering, and the edge was a little .. I dunno.. not smooth? Stick? *shrug* not sure. But I pulled about 2' off the spool and it worked just fine after that. Made the second seam on the top part of the fabric, then hemmed the bottom. Got the second piece of fabric, matched the width of the top seams, made those, then the bottom. Again, not perfect, but I'm quite pleased with the results. Only problem is that I have help sometimes...

Thumb of 2019-01-26/Skiekitty/52acc6
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Thumb of 2019-01-26/Skiekitty/84c8a5
Thumb of 2019-01-26/Skiekitty/c77055
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Never be afraid of a scar. It just means that you were stronger than something that tried to hurt you.
My new Etsy shop - handmade jewelry by ME!! http://www.etsy.com/shop/OjodelGato
Buy some of my photos! http://www.catsonkeyboards.com
"I've seen better acting from extras in Godzilla movies!" - Calculon

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