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.