Selvage the Interface

Posted 2010.09.08 11.24 in Hobbies, Pointless Blather by Stephanie

First time in a couple years, I blew the dust off the sewing machine and had at it.

See, I wanted a sort of purse. I’ve been using these little pouch/purse things, and I quite like them, but I’ve never found one that’s perfect. I’ve bought 4 or 5 of them, but they’re always the wrong material, or the wrong size, or the wrong colour, and so on.

Then yesterday, it struck me. Why not just make one? I mean, how hard can it be? It’s just a little pouch, with a couple pockets.

I made a sketch, to help visualize what I wanted. I put it together in my head, then took it apart to see how to shape each piece. Actually I did that a few times, but was having some trouble getting all the pieces sorted out in my head.

Finally I just figured heck with it, I’ll just wing it. I mean, if I can make a camera without any plans, surely I can make a little purse without a pattern.

So I dug up all the fabric I bought back when I was excited about sewing. Interestingly, the fabric that I had in my imagination did not exist in my cupboard. Still, I found one that was good enough – black denim.

I measured out what I wanted, added a bit extra for mistakes and sloppiness, fired up the sewing machine, and got to work.

Or at least, I tried to get to work. I literally fired up the sewing machine. I mean, I pushed the pedal down, it made a noise that translates as “Gosh I’m really trying quite hard but no, I’m not actually going to move.” Then to ensure I did not miss it’s point, it let out a big belch of smoke from it’s back end.

Huh. I’m betting that the motor is burned out. Or maybe there is a belt that just got stripped. It occurs to me, part of the whole “sewing machine” thing is the “machine” part. Maybe it needs to be like, maintained… tuned up…oiled?

Anyhow, I discovered that I could turn the wheel by hand without much trouble. So… yeah. I unplugged it and blew away the last of the smoke, then sat down and started winding the thing by hand. Right hand cranking, left hand guiding the fabric.

Crank, wind, twist, turn. It crossed my mind to add a handle to the wheel so I could crank it more, but I didn’t want to get distracted. Like, I was here to sew, not do sewing machine repair. Crank, wind, twist, turn.

My estimate is, what would normally take 10 seconds if the motor worked, was taking me about 2 minutes of hand cranking. On the plus side, the turtle’s pace meant there weren’t any huge screw-ups. I could see if I was going off-course or anything, before things went too bad.

Except when the bobbin ran out. It ran out about 3 stitches after I started a 4-inch run and I didn’t notice till I finished. ¬†Grumble grumble grumble. And let me tell you, winding the stitchery thing is not bad, but setting it to bobbin-mode and hand-cranking that just about made my wrist bleed. That doesn’t seem right.

Anyhow, wrapping this up, at long last I got my new purse / pouch thing about 90% done. It’s the right size, has the right number of pockets, the colour and fabric are acceptable, but the workmanship is just bad. It’s like it was made by someone who’s only touched a sewing machine once before, and that was two years ago, and this time they didn’t use a pattern.

So in other words, it’s up to my usual standards. If I manage to finish it up and it doesn’t look too embarassing, I’ll take it out in public, and take a picture of it.

One Comment

  1. Stephanie says:

    And as an aside – sometimes I forget how to spell stuff. The word “wind”.

    I can’t tell if that’s the word I want. I want “wind” as in “I am going to wind up the thread onto the bobbin.”

    But when I read it, it reads like “wind” as in “The wind is blowing really strong.”

    Are wind and wind both spelled the same but pronounced differently? Or am I spelling wind wrong?

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