My Second Project

My second sewing workshop attended and my second project completed.

I was apprehensive about attending the second class. The first time, I made an ‘envelope’ back cushion. This time, I would be making an apron. I might as well have set myself the task of making a jacket from scratch, because that’s how daunted I was about this next project. I wanted a challenge, but I was starting to think that my second project should have been to make a cushion with a zip. Building on the foundations of what I had learned days earlier may have been the better option, but no. When I arrived at the class, I happened to be the only person attending which meant that I got 1:1 tuition. I used this time in order to ask advice about sewing machines and was given the opportunity to use a Juki HZL-353ZR-A for the duration of the class, in order to test the machine and see how I got on with using it.

Much like the first class I attended, it was amazing. All I could think about was completing my project (no stress or anxiety related to any external factors) and I became even more determined to progress with sewing. I made some mistakes along the way, but I easily rectified them, sometimes with guidance and sometimes by using my own common-sense and initiative. As you can see from the photos, I completed the project: an apron with adjustable tie and usable pocket:

IMG_2819
My second project: Too precious for me to ‘use’ just yet.

I was so inspired by my achievement that I decided to purchase a sewing machine (the Juki HZL-353ZR-A I had been using throughout the class) and immediately went to Anglia Furnishing Fabrics and Anglia Fashion Fabrics. Both shops are across the road from one another and enabled me to purchase the resources I needed for the new sewing machine, along with fabric and accessories to start my own projects at home. I was clueless about the length of fabric I required and even the types of fabric I should use, in order to create another cushion and two more aprons. Despite this, the ladies in both shops were patient and helpful, even giving me some much needed tips. I left the sewing class feeling very proud of myself and I was inspired to continue sewing. I felt as though I really was capable of getting better and completing more projects. I also left having found the missing piece to my puzzle; a sewing machine, or ‘My Little Juki’ as it is now affectionately called.

IMG_2818
My new purchase – someone remind me that I’m still paying for a wedding!

I have booked another class for a week’s time to create a third project. In the meantime, I will get to work solidifying and practicing the skills I have already learned, only this time I’ll be doing it without supervision. Wish me luck!

My First Project

My very first sewing time sewing and the project I completed.

The class was amazing! Not only did I have so much fun, it was exactly what I needed to stop the thoughts that are constantly playing in my head, like a broken record. It was two and a half hours of bliss. No feelings of anxiety and absolutely no stressing about work!! Just me, a sewing machine and two other ladies who were refreshing their sewing skills. Here’s the final result. Every stitch my own work. A Norwich City Football Club inspired cushion, before the derby tomorrow against Ipswich Town:

cushion2
‘Envelope’ back


I am told that this is called an ‘envelope’ back cushion (because the back resembles the back of an envelope) and I am extremely proud of myself. I must admit, I did think I would be the first person in the history of Makeplace to leave without completing a project. As it turns out, I took to sewing much quicker than I imagined.

During the class, we used top-of-the line, computerised, Juki sewing machines. I’d never heard of the brand before, but I was told the majority of the clothes we purchase in shops are made on a Juki. Apparently, they are industrial sewing machines and even make an appearance in the factory on Coronation Street, ‘Underworld.’ I’m no sewing or television soap aficionado, so fact-check away with those pieces of information. What I do know is that the sewing machines had so many buttons and settings that they practically make the garment for you.

All I have to compare these machines with is my mum’s ancient Singer, which she adores and refuses to change. It’s the type that requires lubrication, and inserting the bobbin, threading the machine and getting the machine to work requires PhD level knowledge of sewing machines. In short, it’s never made me want to take sewing up, but instead had the opposite effect and made me never want to go near a sewing machine.

I saw and used an overlocker for the first time. It’s a complicated looking machine with lots of thread going into and coming out of it. It can cut the fabric whilst stitching the edges to avoid fraying. The overall look is neat and professional. It was like a miracle machine. It made my work look amazing. Note to self – learn more about overlockers. All in all, a successful class and I’ve left feeling inspired. More importantly, I’ve caught the sewing bug. So much so, I’ve booked myself in for another class next week to make an apron.

This will be project number 2 and I absolutely cannot wait. In the meantime, I think I’ll start looking into purchasing a sewing machine. There’s no point learning a new skill without having the ability to practice it. I’m aware that there are lots of different brands, price ranges and types to choose from, but surely finding the right sewing machine for me can’t be that complicated? Time to find out. Let the search begin.