Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Bekah Learns to Sew (Part 1)

I warn you, this is an epic tale of fabric... and not a lot of sewing... read on at your will.

As many of you know, my Mom is awesome at patchwork, meaning that I have always grown up around fabric and sewing. And yet, try as I might, I've never been able to work a sewing machine without supervision. I find it incredibly intimidating!
I can manage handwork - templates and hand-piecing? Yep, I can do that. Curved piecing? Yep, I managed to figure that one out too. Paper piecing hexagons? Yep, done that too.

Working a sewing machine? Still a mystery to me.

So a few weeks ago, I decided to have a go. "How hard can it be?", I asked myself. After all, I am my mother's daughter, and so must have inherited the natural ability to do it, right?

Umm... not so much.

I'd already had some strips of batik scraps sewn together to make some cuffs for a pair of jeans that were too short, so I decided to carry on with that. I'd decided to make them a bit like crazy-patch, with a foundation underneath, as this would give them the weight they needed. I figured I already had the pieces for the top, I just needed to cut some fabric for the foundation.
I cut out a couple of pieces, the way I thought I should (I had completely forgotten about the internet - I perhaps should have looked it up first...oops!) and ended up with what I thought was the right size and shape - yay!

Then it dawned on me - I'd forgotten to allow enough room for seam allowances! Nooo!!!

Out came the cutting mat and the ruler again, and this time, making sure I made it the right size, I cut out some more fabric. I thought it was perfect this time - I then layed it out on the floor, and... well... I saw that I had ended up with a rectange of fabric with an elbow.
(I have no pictures... I was too busy weilding my rotary cutter, thinking "how can I fix this?")

I must have stared at it for about 10 minutes, and could come up with nothing. Next option? Phone my mother. "Sewing is really hard!", I complained. And of course, in her motherly way, she gave me some sage advice about measuring twice, cutting once, and to remember to line my ruler up. I'm sure it was more technical than this, but I'm not that technically minded, and so can't remember.

So after battling with my little cutting mat and my ruler, I tried again. This time, I ended up with something the right size and less elbow-y.
By this time it was lunchtime, so, throughly exhausted, I left it at this:

Two foundations with two rows of batik scraps each, and then a band of white that will only be visible from the inside of the jeans...
I didn't dare get out the sewing machine. I'll save that adventure for another day! 


  1. I think patchwork sewing and quilting and all things related to that is so brave! You've done a great job already with the cutting I think!

  2. I can't wait to see what happens next! Your post did make me smile though and I think it's worth mentioning that my first bits of sewing have long since gone in the bin. It takes practice to get good at it ☺ so keep going!

  3. Quilting is not as easy as it sometimes looks like....but you are very lucky to have such a great mom who can help you :o)))

  4. Oh Bekah! Sewing was terribly difficult to me too! I'm 100% supportive! And I can't wait to read part 2.
    Good luck Bekah!

  5. oh, I hear you on this- I'm not much of a sewer either, but I really wish I was! Sometimes I think I should take a class or something. I hope that your sewing runs smoother when you go back to this project!


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