A fling with a Sewing Machine

Or how I threw a wobbly when my daughter didn’t like the trousers I’d made.

About a year ago I decided it was about time I knew how to use a sewing machine. Random I know, but when I get a thought like that I tend to usually see it through. I’d got a book out the library (library and sewing machine, how cool am I?) and a lot of the craft ideas I was looking at could be made faster and better with the use of a sewing machine. I thought on that basis maybe it would expand what I could do, and on some level I thought as a life skill maybe it was good for my son to see me using one, mending things, challenging stereotypes etc. (He actually showed very little interest apart from pressing the pedal, but the thought was there).

I had a look on the internet. I nearly had a heart attack at how expensive a new one might be and realised perhaps I wasn’t as committed to this idea as I thought I was. I then had a look on ebay, and lo and behold a woman a couple of miles away was selling one. Excellent news! She’d badged it as pretty new on the basis that she’d bought it and not really used it. Ha ha, I thought, what a bargain, and what a fool buying one and not using it; that would never happen to me! (you can probably see where this is going).

I’m not saying that woman was lying about whether she had used it very much or not, I’m sure she probably hadn’t. However, what I suspect was also true, is that it was a rubbish machine in the first place, and she’d neglected to mention that.

Anyway, I got it home and between You Tube clips, my library book and phone calls to my mum/sister, I managed to get it going. I darted down to Hobbycraft and bought whatever material was on sale in order to practice. Judge for yourself whether the material was a wise purchase from the pictures!

I completed two projects in the time I used it:

A pillowcase:

This was relatively successful, and to be fair, my daughter still has it now. Essentially you just cut large rectangles and sew each edge, leaving a gap on one side to shove the cushion in. Maybe one day I’ll try another one and do a visual on how to do it.


Emboldened by making the pillowcase relatively easily, I then thought I would use the same enthusiasm to make my daughter some trousers. I only had the same material as the pillowcase, but that’s cool in a kooky kind of way, yeah? Anyway, she was too young to notice, I thought.

So, I cut two trouser shaped pieces (one front and one back), sewed them together and put some elastic in. I was really chuffed. Problem was, she absolutely hated them (even at two years old!) and I basically had to beg her to put them on so I could take photo. I haven’t included her face below, but rest assured, you would be in no doubt that she was not happy!

Pretty cool? Or not?

That put me off a bit, and ruined any thoughts I might have of never having to buy clothes for the kids again (worked okay for the Von Trapps?).

Since then, something has happened to the machine, and if you do know how to fix it I’d be keen for you to let me know in the comments. Basically, the top and the bottom threads get knotted up literally every time I press the pedal. I’ve googled it, asked family etc, but I have come to the conclusion that the machine is just rubbish. That, combined with my shattered dreams of making clothes, meant that I threw a wobbly and shoved it in the attic. At least I didn’t sell it to some other unsuspecting ebay buyer!

So that was my brief fling with a sewing machine. I wouldn’t be able to bring myself to buy another one, but I still think that its a good skill to have so, if you can identify the problem based on my fairly minimal description then let me know how to sort it!