Thursday, 11 March 2010

It was not a good sewing class yesterday, or at least my machine's performance was not good.

I'd decided to have a go at making curtains for the boat and had prepared pieces cut from an old flat sheet. I pinned the side seams and pressed them in readiness for sewing with the machine.

The first seam looked very very drunk indeed. The second was slightly better because I slowed right down to snail's pace. (Did I tell you I was banned from using the treadle machine at school for 'racing'?) M'tutor helped me pin the header tape in place on the top hem and started me off, one pin's-length at a time, using the point of the next pin as a guide to keep everything straight. I didn't do too badly on the sections M'Tutor had pinned but my pins were anything but accurate as guidelines.

Eventually, curtain number one was complete, apart from the bottom hem which I'm leaving until I know the exact length needed.

And so on to curtain number two. But first, the bottom bobbin required more thread. Managed that without help and then needed M'Tutor again to show me how to persuade the top needle to 'catch' the thread from the bobbin and bring it up to the top.

Then disaster struck. I'd pinned and pressed the side seams and began work on the first. All was well, or so I thought, for the first 'pin-length'. Then the needle refused to budge and the machine whined and strained. On invesigating the cause, something similar to the picture (stock photo, left) was visible on the reverse side of the material - a  mass of tangled threads but no stitches, It took three re-threading of top needle and bottom bobbin to persuade the machine to sew without creating spaghetti junction on the back of the curtain.

Total result of the class - One wobbly-stitched but very straight seamed curtain with header tape and one inch of one side seam on a second curtain.

I knew I wasn't going to enjoy curtain-making. Luckily, no one will see my first attempts as these curtains are for use over the winter while the professionally-made ones are laundered.