Sunday, November 24, 2013

J is for Janome

Have I ever told y'all about my sewing machine?

When I left Germany and got stationed at Ft. Huachuca, AZ, I had a friend that was very good at sewing.  My grandma was a master seamstress, and I'd always wanted to learn. 

I found out that there was a company that would come to our little town (Sierra Vista, AZ) every few months and rent a conference room in the Holiday Inn to sell sewing machines for very low prices.  I had my friend go with me, and she helped me pick one out. 

I got a Janome Home for about $100. 

As is my way, I let it simmer for about two months, then finally took it to my friend's house so she could show me how to use it.  She got it all threaded and started it up.  It made a very disturbing sound, and it didn't work.

We opened up the casing and saw that the engine was.... sideways.

I called the company and explained the rather obvious defect.  The saleswoman (who was the actual seller at the Holiday Inn) simply said, "Well.... buyer beware."

I was boggled.  For about two whole seconds.  Then I said, "That's fine. You're right.  But you should be aware that I will be notifying my base commander so he can restrict the entire base from doing business with you.  I'll also be outside your conference room every time you come to this little Podunk town.  You'll easily recognize me as I'll be the one handing out flyers saying "Buyer Beware.""

She replaced my machine and even paid for all the shipping to send me the new one and to get the broken one back.  (I still notified my base commander.)

I am not one that takes failure easily.  It's best to avoid it altogether.  Which is why I let my machine simmer for another... 18 years? before I gave it a shot.

I have a basic working knowledge of machine sewing.  I did take a class or two here and there along the way, but never completed a class or a project on the machine.

Last year, my knitting group had a sewing night.  We brought our machines to one house and set about making a project bag that one of us knew how to make.

I ended up in tears.  I was SO frustrated.  THREE other people used my machine with no issues, yet when I tried it, I got yarn barf on the bottom side and a mess on the top. 

My machine is... quirky.  It sounds like it's trying to start sewing and you keep pressing and pressing on the foot pedal and then all of sudden WHOOMP, it takes off at top speed.

After giving up that night, I let it sit for another year.

At our annual knit-group swap, my friend (and master seamstress) Tina gave her partner a really cute project bag she'd made.  She was explaining how it was made, and it sounded so easy (all straight lines!), I thought I'd give it another try. 

I'd had an idea for awhile in my head about bags I wanted to make.  Her style fit in perfectly for what I had in mind.

I tried one.  It was SO easy!  I made 15 bags.

I have pictures of them in this previous post.

I bought a Craftsy class on basic sewing techniques.  I highly recommend this class!  The teacher, Diana Rupp, is spectacular,  and the projects are so doable.  I learned SO much!  I made two pillow covers for the boys. 

(Picture two of those.)

I haven't yet made the skirt, but I bought the book, and once I pick it up from the post office, I'll try the skirt.

I took another class at the ever-lovely Fabric Bliss in Denver.  This shop is gorgeous and the owners and staff are SO friendly!

I made this super-cute little bag.

Yes, the fabric on the back is upside down.  I folded wrong before I cut.  Lesson learned.  (Theoretically...)

I took the class because I wanted some hands-on help learning to put in a zipper.  I didn't know if I had a zipper foot, but I remembered there's a little hidey-hole drawer in my sewing machine and I was pretty sure there was a foot or two in there. 

I opened that space for the first time in several years, and there were eleven feet in there!  After a little research, I found that it's all the feet in this set.  I'm glad I found this set online because I took the feet to my knitting (and now sewing) guru at knit group and she didn't know what some of them were.  Neither did the sewing teacher at my class!

In the class, I got to use a darning foot.  My foot set doesn't have one, so I'll definitely need to get one of those!

I plan on making many more of these for gifts in future swaps.  I also have ideas for other bags I want to make to sell in my Etsy store!

The Fabric Bliss store also had adorable hanging towels in their bathroom, and tons of people are getting those for Christmas this year!

I've got the sewing bug.  I have no desire to quilt.  At least not yet.  (Like I have absolutely no interest in spinning, even though I'm obsessed with knitting!)  I want to make bags, and I want to make skirts and dresses.  I want to sew fun, stuffy things for the boys (although, they are probably getting a bit too old for that nonsense).

I almost bought a basic serger class from Craftsy, but then I remembered I don't own a serger.  (Although that didn't stop me from getting a basic rigid heddle loom class!  Must buy rigid heddle loom....)

Because I need another hobby, Ruth!

1 comment:

kmkat said...

Hobbies. Such fun, such time-sucks.