Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Sew in Love



It's been a long and arduous courtship. We both thought it would never work out. You thought I could never make a serious commitment to you, and I had my doubts as well... We actually stopped interacting completely for a period of about three months, pining for each other all the while. We've had our fights. Some of them physical - I hurt you, broke you, and then there was the time you stabbed me, and I thought I'd never go back to you. But I did. And it's been a lot of hard work on both of our parts, but I am finally willing to declare my love for you...

I love my Brother CS-6000i sewing machine!

Oh, it's so freaking fantastic! We've finally been making some cool stuff together, despite all of my initial sewing fears. My excitement over wanting to learn to sew has finally overpowered my fears of it. And check out my cool new stickers that adorn the machine, made by my lovely blogging friends Megan of MooganCreations and Lauren of LaurenSmash! (Thanks so much for sending me stickers!! I love them!)

See, this is my very first sewing machine, and I'd never sewn *anything* in life before purchasing this machine from that local shoppe called Wal-Mart. I felt like I was doing rocket science the first time I threaded the bobbin, but I can finally say I no longer need the manual and can change thread colors at whim! That is a big accomplishment for me.

I know some of you have asked about the sewing machine I use and if I like it, and I have to say, this machine is SO user friendly and perfect for beginners. The instruction manual is clear, has tons of pictures, and can help diagnose any problem while teaching you about needles and threads, too! I am also a big fan of the Brother company in general, since their customer service was beyond awesome when I needed help with a rebate on my 4-in-one Copy/Scan/Fax/Printer (which, by the way, works like a dream). Seriously, I love their products so much, I should be their new mascot!

I didn't buy the cheapest machine, I spent as much as I was willing to spend ($250) to get a good machine, and I'm so glad I did. It has a zipper foot, buttonhole foot, free motion quilting foot (one of the major things I wanted), and tons and tons of decorative stitches! I did a lot of research before buying and asked around a lot, and everyone said to forego the stitches, but really, they have become my favorite thing about the machine, and I used them a *lot*. So that's my advice for the beginning sewer, which I definitely still am, but I've been more adventurous and confident in my abilities lately - yay!



I've been screenprinting a lot of little patches to sew onto things, and the picture above is me going crazy with my free motion quilting foot, straight stitches, and a zigzag stitch. I initially made this tanktop to go in my Etsy shop, but I feel in love with it and decided to keep it. It was way too big, so I used the "pinch & pin" method to alter it easily. I put the shirt on inside out and had a friend pin off the areas that were too big, stitched it up, and cut off the excess. I've also been learning a lot about machine needles and the proper threads to use, and if you're sewing jersey (t-shirts), the proper needle to use is a ball needle (size 11) and polyester or poly-blend thread.

If you're curious how I made the mottled pink and white fabric that the patch is printed on, it's a funny story... If you saw a few posts back, I had a massive spill of hot pink ink on my carpet. Cleaning it up (or attempting to) was so bad that I used up two rolls of paper towels, a kleenex box, then had to resort to using fabric scraps of old t-shirts (which I usually use as rags when I paint). They started to look good, so I started dipping everything in the watery ink puddle on the floor - fabric, watercolor paper, even canvases! Not a very effective way to clean a floor, but I did amass a pile of cool pink-dyed stuff. Since it was textile ink, I heat set it into the fabric before printing on it, printed on it, then heat set the whole thing again before stitching it on. I made some lemonade out of that spill! :)

So to those of you who are thinking about buying a machine, do it, do it, do it!! It's so easy and fun, and the payoff is fantastic. I am still so proud of myself every time I finish a project, even if it's just hemming someone's pants.

8 comments:

  1. hehe Your sewing machine is awesome with all this stickers. :) I'm not sure I have the same affection for my little singer as you do for your brother because deep, deep down inside I want one of those machines that can do everyting...EVERYTHING...but they cost about as much as a car! :)

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  2. cutest post ever :) I love it!

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  3. I am complete crap when it comes to sewing so I don't have much to say about that, but..

    a. I am in love with the stickers on your machine.

    b. I am also in love with patches. So I cannot waaaaaaaait to see your new creations.

    c. I am also in love with you. teehee.

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  4. what an endearing, love/hate post!
    can't wait to see more lovely sewing projects and hear more about your sewing bouts, they are bound to happen

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  5. Thanks for the sewing love, guys! I worked on a bunch of stuff last night, and I'm pretty excited to show you when it's all done. I even brought a little sewing project to the art museum with me this weekend...don't tell my boss! :)

    a. I'm in love with the stickers too!

    b. Eek! Something patchy will definitely be on it's way to you next time we trade...

    c. Me too! Me too! I am stupid-excited about our latest exchange... Let me know when it gets to you! :)

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  6. i am just new to sewing also. a friend gave me her old machine (early 70's)because she got a fancy one and it does need to be tuned up, but i think at the time it was a pretty decent machine. it isn't fancy, but it has all of the different feet and stitches, so what more do i need at this point. anyway, your machine looks awesome, and i am excited to see what you have made! i got "sew what! skirts" book and it shows you have to make all kinds of different skirts to your specs, and how to draft your own pattern. it is good, as easy or fancy as you would like to make it.

    pop by!
    n.

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  7. Oh yay! You wrote about your sewing machine, and it sounds like a fabulous one! I was thinking of trying to find a machine like this on craigslist.org to maybe get a price cut on it :). I appreciate the recommendation; it truly helps.

    It's also very encouraging that you'd never sewn before in your life and now you are sewing so much and are being creative. That's what I hope will happen to me when I get mine one day. Of course I have sewn before but it's been quite a long time and I have new ideas now.

    Well, I hope you have a great evening with your special little pup!

    Ta ta for now! (just felt like saying that, silly me).

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  8. Hi Natasha! Thanks for stopping by. :) Your sewing machine sounds awesome, too, and thanks for the book recommendation. It sounds like a great one, and I'd *love* to learn how to make skirts, since they are pretty much all I wear! I'm definitely going to check it out at the bookstore really soon.

    Hi Erika! You should definitely check craigslist, and maybe post a "wanted" on freecycle as well - I see a lot of sewing machines come and go thru my local freecyle listings, and I know you can go online to find pretty much any old sewing machine manual in PDF form on the internet. What would we do without the internet? ;)

    Good luck with your sewing, everyone!

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