Author Topic: Using the Sewing Machine  (Read 2836 times)

Offline JGreene

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 663
  • Karma: 13
Using the Sewing Machine
« on: April 06, 2010, 07:23:58 PM »
The one machine we have in the house that I am clueless on how to use!   I think its a pretty good one, and I know I've moved it several times.  My darling wonderful wife claims she doesn't know how to use it, I believe she chooses not to. (I've seen her try in the past and get frustrated with it)

How do I learn to use this thing??

Offline Morning Sunshine

  • Geese Smuggling Moonbat
  • Survival Veteran
  • ********
  • Posts: 6179
  • Karma: 290
  • There are no mistakes, just Learning Experiences
Re: Using the Sewing Machine
« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2010, 09:17:31 PM »
I am in the same boat.  I got a sewing machine for Christmas a year ago.  I found out my neighbor teaches sewing for $25 for four 1.5 hour lessons.  Of course, all the other students are girls ages 8-14, so I am really out of place.  And they all sew better than I do.  It is very discouraging.  :(
But I am learning, kind of.  Once I realized what my purpose in learning is - it is not to be able to make clothes for me or my family so much as it is to be able to make sheets for my odd sized bed (Olympic Queen, which is nice, but hard to find sheets) or sleeping bag duffles or modesty shorts for the girls to wear under their dresses (I guess that does count as clothing, but the point is that no one should see them anyway.....)  I have too many other priorities right now.

Offline OKGranny

  • TSP Pooper-Scooper
  • Dedicated Contributor
  • ******
  • Posts: 1624
  • Karma: 50
  • Death from the knees down
Re: Using the Sewing Machine
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2010, 10:26:18 PM »
The one machine we have in the house that I am clueless on how to use!   I think its a pretty good one, and I know I've moved it several times.  My darling wonderful wife claims she doesn't know how to use it, I believe she chooses not to. (I've seen her try in the past and get frustrated with it)

How do I learn to use this thing??

If you don't still have the instruction manuel go online and find one to download, it will tell you the proper way to thread the machine (nearly all are at least slightly different), how to remove, fill, and install the bobbin and the basics of operation. Once you have that it's simply a matter of practice.

Offline TxMom

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 364
  • Karma: 23
Re: Using the Sewing Machine
« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2010, 08:55:23 PM »
I claim not to know how to use my machine at times too. 

Not all machines are the same, some need adjustment too.   If your machine is out of whack, misbehaving, it could become quite frustrating.   Look for a small shop that works on sewing machines if the manual by itself doesn't help enough.  I've found such places to be quite helpful, esp. if you need a part for your sewing machine to work well.   If it has been sitting for a while it may need a tuneup.

Start small, easy projects.  In fact if you have some old worn out sheets or any cloth scrapes practice some stitches on it.   Make sure you have bobbins and extra needles.  In fact cloth, bobbins, and needles would be good to keep on hand.

I used to sew a lot, but as the price of cloth and patterns went up, I found it much easier and less expensive to shop sales.   If I had separate spot in the house where the machine was always ready and available I'd have done much more sewing.   

My oldest son, when he was in middle school decided he wanted to sew himself a kite and windbreaker.   He is always making something.   I explained how he should find a pattern, follow it, esp as he'd never sewn before.  Nope, he had something in mind, said he knew what he was doing, willing to spend his own money on materiel so I turned the machine over to him.   He did learn how to use the machine, the kite did fly, the jacket he wore to school a few times.   I wasn't so sure about the jacket going to school, it was very interesting to say the least.   He learned that bodies aren't 2 dimensional and that it is better if you give yourself room to move your arms around, etc.   Point is, even with no prior experience or teaching (he really didn't want help in any way) someone could learn to fasten 2 pieces of cloth together and come up with something and with time perfect the skill.

I did dust off the cobwebs a several years back when my oldest daughter got married.    She couldn't find the perfect dress.  She liked part of one dress and part of another.   Knowing I could sew it as she wanted (combining 2 patterns), and save much money it was worth pulling the machine back out.    Came out great, even if nerve wrecking when I realized I'd better have it right the first time as it was too late to find another dress or try again if I messed up. 

Sewing machine is back gathering dust.

Offline JGreene

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 663
  • Karma: 13
Re: Using the Sewing Machine
« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2010, 05:48:51 AM »
I can't imagine how much money over the years could have been saved by knowing how to do some simple operations on this machine.  Just in curtains/drapes alone!

Offline TwoBluesMama

  • More Evil Than You Know
  • Moderator On Leave
  • Survival Demonstrator
  • *
  • Posts: 3217
  • Karma: 126
  • New Blue in the House
Re: Using the Sewing Machine
« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2010, 01:00:06 PM »
I can't imagine how much money over the years could have been saved by knowing how to do some simple operations on this machine.  Just in curtains/drapes alone!

Hey Ray - if you post what brand of machine and possibly a picture someone here may have the same machine or similar and can give you instructions - I'd be willing to try if I can.  Sewing isn't rocket science and I do it all the time as our ancient house doesn't have any standard windows so I've had to make curtains over the years as I couldn't afford custom stuff. I've also made clothing, costumes (way too many of these), a tepee cover for the kid, doll clothes, diapers, etc., etc., etc.  And I would be willing to give you some basic pointers for whatever it is you want to sew.  Blessings, TBM

Offline Muddyboots

  • Danger: Do Not Inflate
  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 426
  • Karma: 31
  • Hoodlum's Ambassador
    • Hood's Woods- the Hoodlums Forum
Re: Using the Sewing Machine
« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2010, 02:01:40 PM »
Ah, yes... I can help! First, identify the make and model of these machines, Next as a community project, we'll find the manuals in .pdf form. We can look at those and figure them out. I can probably diagnose 95% of common problems by description and a couple of questions.

Once we know that the machines are working, we can maybe do a group class. Think about what you might want to build as a first try.

I build a lot of outdoor gear and really don't know exactly how many machines I have. I know enough to help people find their comfort level and explore. I also know that there are some very talented stitchers on this board, maybe we can con them into playing too.

HTH!

Muddyboots