I had resolved that August would be the month that I learned how to use my sewing machine. I got a sewing machine for my 25th birthday and I have never actually used it. Given that three years have passed, I figured it was high time that I took it out of the box and gave it a go.
I had imagined that using my machine would be really easy. I have several friends who are brilliant at sewing who told me that they found it so simple to learn to use a sewing machine. I even have one man-friend who brags about making a dress for his girlfriend entirely on his own using a beat-up old Singer. I’m pretty clever and I’m good at crafts, so I figured that it would be a snap.
Oh goodness. I have to shake my head at how wrong I was.
I was so eager to get my machine all set up and begin sewing. I followed the instruction booklet to the letter and managed to get everything plugged in and looking great. I wound a bobbin with no troubles at all. Then I went to thread the machine. After several attempts, I felt satisfied that I’d done it right. But when I began sewing, I was greeted with a grinding noise and a broken thread. On my next attempt the needle snapped. I called my Mum, who has been sewing for forty years. She informed me that she didn’t know how to fix the broken needle because she had never broken one. Apparently I have a special talent for destruction.
After a cup of tea and a lie-down, I consulted Youtube. I found an awesome video which helped me to replace the needle and also showed me how to thread my machine properly. The reason the needle had broken was because I hadn’t threaded it correctly in the first place. Feeling pumped up and full of confidence, I sat down to sew once again.
After two hours I had to walk away before I threw the machine through the window. I kept running into problems in every direction. My thread kept breaking, huge wodges of cotton were getting caught in the mechanism and forcing the machine to a halt, my stitching was loopy and uneven and I was terrified of getting my fingers jammed under the needle. In short, I utterly sucked at sewing.
I think I definitely need some lessons from somebody that knows how to use a sewing machine and is patient enough to teach me. It was very optimistic of me to believe that I’d be able to teach myself using just a couple of internet videos and the machine manual.
So I haven’t yet learned how to use my sewing machine. But I wouldn’t call this resolution a total failure. I know more about the machine than I did at the beginning of the month. I know how to set it up and how to thread it. I can replace a broken needle and I know how to un-jam it when it stops. But I still don’t know how to actually sew. At least I’m part of the way to success.