Ok, clunky heading I know, but sometimes I spend more time thinking up a title than actually writing a post. So there ya go - big clunky heading and I'm just going with it. So anyway, what does it mean? Well, I've been having myself a few 'learnin's' of late.
Learnin' number 1.
Lots of hand stitching leads to a sore thumb and a sore finger.
I'm sure if I was a better hand sewer I would probably get a sore thumb OR a sore finger, but given my probable lack of technique, I get both.
This was the first bag that started the problem. I love how it turned out, and it's now in the shop. All reclaimed/recycled materials except for the thread, and fully reversible.
I really enjoyed making it...even the hand sewing..apart from the pain bit, that became gradually worse by the time the last buttons were being sewn on.
The second bag (not finished yet - not even 'blog finished' as Jodi would like to say) is being done in little spurts as I attempt to build up a callous. So far, it's not working, and this morning I remembered this post about thimbles from The Purl Bee, and decided I need to get myself some thimbles asap. I think the goat leather one is the one for me....in fact, I'm wondering if I could just make one out of a recycled piece of leather clothing...or suede...I have some thrifted suede fabric in my stash. Would that work???
Learnin' number 2.
Trying to make a low-end Janome domestic sewing machine sew through 11 layers of fabric (including upholstery fabric) leads to much machine jumping and needles flying in all directions.
Also much unpicking and double stitching to ensure durability and fastness.
This is the last bag I have subjected my poor little domestic machine to. It all worked out well in the end, but that last lot of top-stitching around the top took a LOT longer than it should have. This bag is also now in the shop, and I really can't mention it without also acknowledging the lovely Bianca from Hollabee and her gorgeous fabric. The hand screen printed Autumn leaves on the natural linen/cotton blend was a dream to work with. Even my husband noticed it and commented on how nice it was. So textural, and it washed and sewed up really well too.
But anyway, back to the bag, and the beast it has led me to. I finally found a second hand industrial walking foot machine.
And boy can it go!!! If I want to, I could now go into the horse saddle-making business. Saddles anyone? No? OK, I'll stick to bags then. Once I learn how to tame it that is. I am still at that 'break into a little sweat before I actually start sewing' stage. I can't believe a sewing machine can have so much power - at the moment it feels more like riding a motorbike than sewing...but I'll keep you posted on how I'm going. Oh, and if anyone has any tips on using an industrial sewing machine I'd love to hear them. I have learnt how to 'feather foot' the pedal, and I have also learnt (the hard way) that I have to hold down the threads every time I start to sew (because of the walking foot action), otherwise everything gets tangled in the hook. But any other advice would be gratefully received :)
3 days ago