Learning to Sew: Baby Steps

Yesterday I shared with you my adventure of getting my sewing machine out of the box and ready to sew. So last weekend I was ready to jump in an get going with Lesson 1 in the Learning to Sew Series – Sewing a Straight Line. I set my expectations low – let’s make sure the sewing machine and I were still playing nice. (Not unrealistic seeing how my first weekend went.) And woo hoo, all is right with the world!

So I read through the lesson and I practiced sewing straight lines over and over again. I had picked up some clearance fabric for this precise purpose. Everything was going smoothly! And then…

I finally get to the first project assignment (cute burp cloths made from cloth diapers) and I see this:

Important: Prewash the diaper first because they will shrink. Then iron them nice and flat again.

Needless to say, I had NOT read this far yet (even though this lesson had been out for weeks) and had NOT prewashed the cloth diapers. *sigh* So I spent the balance of weekend #2 washing the cloth diapers (and my fabrics – see below). And since I didn’t want to completely waste the day with my machine working properly, I just practiced a whole lot on some fabric swatches. Straight stitches, zig zag stitches (I read ahead to Lesson #2 and see we’ll be using that) and just about all the other stitches my machine has.

By the way, I took the opportunity to prewash ALL of the fabric I’ve bought so far (and spent a marathon session ironing it all). I’ve read a lot of recommendations for doing this to pre-shrink the fabric. I’m not sure I’m going to do this every time (I was reunited with my iron after many years of separation). I would definitely do it for projects that are likely to be washed (like clothes) but may skip that step for other projects. So, we’ll see how that goes. :-)

So to recap…machine works, I can now thread it successfully, I know how to sew a straight line, fabrics are now washed and ready to go…still haven’t finally completed Lesson #1’s project. Check back tomorrow to see how that went!

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