I'm Sew Clueless

So ... I have a sewing machine now.

It belonged to my grandma. My grandma who sewed my wedding dress without a pattern, just by looking at a picture from a magazine. My grandma who supplied countless years' worth of doll clothes and Halloween costumes for me. My grandma who, unfortunately, did not seem to pass her mad sewing skillz on to me.

I can't explain why I wanted the sewing machine in the first place. Me having a sewing machine is like a remote Amazonian tribesman having a cell phone: neither of us know what the hell to do with this contraption. But I have this vague idea in my head that I'm going to, like, sew stuff. Like maybe ... a baby quilt? Or ... a placemat? 

Okay, I've got to be honest. I actually have fantasies ("fantasies" being the key word here) about discovering some kind of latent talent buried deep within, and whipping up all these fancy things. Being as crafty as my bloggy friend Kim and making awesome stuff like this.

But in reality? I'm the girl who got a D in my high school Home Economics class. I once tried to hem up the legs of a Halloween costume for Colin, and he ended up with cow-print capri pants. I also tried to hem a plaid skirt, and ended up with a hoo-ha baring schoolgirl number that looked like something I picked up from an adult store. And in the process of sewing up a hole in Curtis's jeans once, I accidentally stitched part of the pocket shut. So you see? I don't know what I think I'm doing, but I'm pretty sure it's going to be disastrous. At least initially.

Right now, the sewing machine is still intimidating me from its box. But soon, I'll get the courage to get it out and take it for a test-sew. Any advice from you crafties out there? Where should I start?

I hope I don't sew my finger to something. That would really suck. But it would also be unsurprising.


  1. Start with a couple of throw pillows. Those are easy (and very forgiving if you mess up). :-)

  2. The only thing I've ever successfully sewed is a rice pack. And even with that, the stitches were off lol

  3. I'm of no help lol BUt will gladly oooh and ahhh over anything you make :)

  4. Practice with just the needle on a piece of lined paper to start. That way you get the feel of the machine and practice straight lines. And if you wish to continue take a piece of paper and draw big circles to practice on. Once you actually want to thread the thing, yes a throw pillow or a pillow case is your best bet to start with.

    Happy sewing!!

  5. Yeah, I feel the same way. Scares the crap outta me. My Mom was/is a brilliant seamstress that made all our clothes. Tried to teach me, but I just got too scared I'd mess up. I did however pass home ec and make a mad cool lightbulb pillow. hahahahahahahaha Anyway...good luck my friend. Here's hoping you find that hidden talent.

  6. Every few years I think that I've got what it takes to be an amazing Seamstress. I go to Spotlight, spend a few hundred dollars on fabric and buttons and projects, the come home and get all uninspired within minutes.

  7. Look here, Woman, you can totally sew! You just have to start small. Baby steps. :)

    My Grams is also gone but she too was a sewing GENIUS. She sewed my baptismal gown and dozens of gorgeous, tiny baby dresses covered in lace and frills for me when I was a baby.

    She gave me a sewing machine, unasked for, for Christmas when I was 14. I cried the entire hour-long ride home, I was so mad.

    But I ended up falling in love with that sewing machine. The first thing I made was a really easy quilt for a school project. A little quilting store by my house offered classes, and they had an Open Class for an hour on Saturday mornings; you paid $8, brought your project in to class, and the cute little old ladies that worked there helped you make it. It was awesome, and I was hooked. I definitely can't make clothes or anything crazy complicated though... I know my (time and sanity) limitations.

    Good luck! Your Grandma would be so pleased to know you were sewing with her machine, whether you sucked at it or not. :)

  8. Actually, I used to sew a little (before I had five kids and no time), but I never liked it much. Some people sew to relax, which would be great if it works that way for you. I made a couple of quilts, some baby clothes for Amy, and some hippie smocks for me. I always loved to pick out the material and pattern, and cutting out the fabric. The actual sewing? Not so much. Here's hoping you got Grandma's talent and just haven't discovered it yet!

  9. I had a sewing machine. I'm actually not sure what happened to it. :-/ I'd love to sew (my mother made ALL my clothes...yes, weird childhood), but I'm pretty much useless.

  10. Jessica Armstrong LasaNovember 10, 2011 at 10:06 AM

    Hahahaha! I was never in Home Ec. My mother-in-law just gave me a sewing machine last year and, like you, I have these wonderful dreams....of sewing this jean quilt like one my husband had. SO!! I have piles of too small, holy jeans in my closet and piles of cut out jean squares and absolutely no idea how to use the damn sewing machine..... :)


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