New Years resolution update: August 2014

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.




  1. I suck at sewing. Which is sad, I come from a family of sewers. My mum is great. My grandmother was a seamstress & my grandfather a tailor. They helped sew parachutes during the war. Me however, no talent in it what-so-ever. I couldn’t get my sewing license at school and was told I had to drop my elective subject of Design&Textiles for Computers, cause I sucked that much 😛

    • That’s so awesome that you have a family history of brilliant sewers.
      I never did textiles at school, because i had a choice between that or Bakehouse (a home economics class entirely devoted to cakes and cookies). I stand by my choice. 🙂

  2. It sounds like your MACHINE sucks at sewing honey. You might need to take it to the repair man and get it tuned and lubed before it’ll sew properly. That loopy threads problem is very familiar and means your machine, NOT YOU, isn’t working properly. When I first got my machine, it hadn’t been used for 30 years and was all gummed up. I had to get it fixed and now it works fine. Don’t give up!!

    • It never even occurred to me that there might be a problem with the machine itself. I will definitely look into having it serviced before my next attempt. Thank you!

      • Also, it’s just a matter of practice once you do figure your machine out. It’s not any kind of magic or ninjutsu. I still make things that suck and I’ve done a certificate 3 in clothing production!

  3. When I come to visit we can sit down and I will help you out. I never learnt to sew as a kid – mum never had a machine, she hand sewed everything. I did sewing in year 7 and made a kite (way better than hubby who made a jumper). But I had forgotten everything. But we had a friend come over and teach the girls and watching them use it so easily made me a bit more frustrated. But I really learnt more at tafe when we did flat pattern hats last year (which is sewn on a machine instead of blocking) I snapped 7 needles on the first day. I got my bobbin jammed. I had to unpick over and over until I literally had to get more material as I had destroyed it all. Now I can sew. So one weekend I will visit and I will show you the basics and sit paitently with you (or swear at the machine along with you) until you get the hang of it.

    ps – fuck those who say its easy. Like breastfeeding or running or working a tv (I still have trouble with tvs made these days) just because one person finds it easy does not mean it is universally easy. We all have things we find easy and things that we struggle with. I hate that ppeople think just because they can do it, it’s easy. Fuck them.

    • That would be awesome. I reckon you’d be a brilliant teacher.

      You’re totally right about it not being universally easy. I think I was just disappointed because I normally do so well with crafty things, and I had expected that I would just “get” it right away. Oh well, if at first you don’t succeed…

  4. I’m not a very good sewer so I am soooo thankful my mum is great at it and can talk me through my many mistakes. If you can get some lessons I think it’d make the world of difference 🙂

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