Saturday, September 5

My Sewing Skillz

I admit, my sewing skills are limited. In middle school we had 'technomics' class (which was really a less insulting way of saying Home Ec, though all the teachers were female, and very few males took the class). I took a couple of sewing modules, but they were fancy things like machine embroidery. It was pretty fancy for the early 90s at least. Most of my other things were with kitchen chemistry and cooking, which by the way I can do. Even without a recipe. If I see a recipe, or have a meal and get a basic idea of how its made, I can duplicate it.

But, back to sewing. Well, I can do hand sewing, and hand embroidery though I haven't done much of either since then, just small repairs like sewing a button back on.

Last week I started some sewing projects. You know, besides my "I can sew a straight line {mostly}" baby shower presents.

Project #1. Make maternity jeans out of an old pair of jeans and a stretchy T-shirt.
Trial #1. Using really old jeans that I never wear because they are the high waisted jeans of yesteryear.

Data and Conclusions:
1 seam ripper lost its life in this project. Ripping belt loops off of jeans is not the job of a small sewing kit seam ripper. Lets just say, I literally got the metal head part out of the plastic body. It was a surprise to say the least.
Old school high waisted jeans are not a good choice to turn into maternity jeans. They end up feeling really high, and they are just too tall to put a giant gut in. Lets just say jean material cutting into an area where I am aleady getting abuse from the inside. I wear the jeans when I am doing laundry or around the house. They will need a big strip of elastic sewn in before they are even close to comfortable.
Stretchy shirts must have a high lycra count, or you will, again, need the elastic sewn in. Note: I need to buy some 3 inch elastic for waistbands. Especially for the second pair of jeans that I have not finished yet, but are newer, they just had a broken zipper and zipper replacement is major UGH.

Project #2. Repair Alice's BumGenius diapers with (FREE!) repair kits from the manufacturer.
Trial 1: Major success!

Data and conclusions:
I did all the seam ripping first. I again, killed my (brand new, used only to finish the jeans and to start this project) seam ripper. I blame it on the cheapo WalMart brand seam ripper I bought. It was surprisingly large, but I figured that didn't matter. Aparrantly, I am really good at breaking seam rippers. Mad skillz!
I sewed on the velcro tabs. The top tension needs to be at 3 (on my machine) for the hook and loop tabs.
I sewed on the inner loop squares that the tabs attach to when they are washed. Tension needs to be really low, like below 2. The cheapo and for that matter really old walmart thread that I was using, kept breaking on this low setting. I had to switch to better thread, but that also meant I switched to colored thread. Its ok though, everyone needs a little shock of bright orange on the inside of thier velcro to keep things alive.

Trial 1 of diaper repairs: Complete!
I started a second and messed up, but to prevent stopping for seam ripping, I started the third. Then I ran over my finger with the sewing machine.

Not the needle. Just the big screw thingy that helps hold the pressure foot on. Took a bit of skin off. Had to get the first aid kit out. Stopped to blog. Figure I might as well get out the seam ripper to undo my mistake on diaper #2.

Need to do:
Buy 3" (or close to that thick) elastic for the jeans.
Buy swimsuit elastic (the diapers also could use some elastic repair around the legs and on the waistband).
Buy high quality white thread. Its amazing the assortment of colored threads I have, and I don't have any decent white or black thread. Its probably because I don't sew things with those colors really. I like matching thread, or at least colored thread.

So yeah my sewing skillz are so mad they lead to bleeding and lots of seam ripper action. It doesn't stop me from trying though. At some point I might even learn how to do decorative stitches (you know besides top stitching). And when I have more complete use of my right hand, I will maybe even take pictures. That and after I take some tums. Cookies for breakfasat are almost always a bad idea.

1 comment:

Becca said...

The tension needs to be on 5, not 3. I thought between 3 and 4 was fine, but when I was using the orange thread I could see small loops. So, turn that tension up! Five worked great. In fact, except that we have already used some of the repaired diapers and they will need to wash before I can do it again, I am tempted to redo the all white tabs.