Greetings from Seattle



Friday, December 30, 2016

Getting Reacquainted with My Sewing Machine

I have a fancy sewing machine. It's computerized. It can do fancy embroidery. I bought it in 2005, the year I retired from teaching. I have had a lot of fun with it in the past, like when I was making special dresses for Irene. But then she informed me several years ago that she wouldn't be needing any more of those dresses, so I have not used my sewing machine much sine then. I did make a quilted jacket for myself two years ago which included embroidery, but since then my sewing machine has been sitting idle except for an occasional mending or hemming job. 

I picked up a couple of red checked dish towels at a Christmas shop somewhere and was going to embroider them as a gift for myself, but I never got to it. 

Well, now Christmas is over and gardening is still a ways off and there is time to fill. So. I decided it was time to dust off my know how, refresh my memory, and set up my machine for an embroidery project. 
All of my designs were purchased on line and are stored on my desk top computer. 

 Selected designs are downloaded to the sewing machine memory card.
 The card goes into the machine. 
I selected this design for the first project. These guide sheets were printed from my original design purchases from Embroidery Library.  They give the color list for each tread change of the design.  Since the color numbers don't match my thread supply, I have fun deciding which of my colors will match, or if I want to change the colors, I can. 
Stabilizer is applied to the back and the fabric is hooped, centering the design where you want it placed. I load up the threads in the correct order, place the hoop on the holder and press the button. Things can go wrong, like the thread breaking, so I usually stay right there. When each color is done, I change the thread, which is easy with the automatic threader. 
 And, ta dah, the finished product. It takes several hours. I did this one Wednesday.
 Thursday I did a second one, but didn't hoop the stabilizer  out to the edges and into the hoop, and the fabric bunched up a bit. It's always a learning process. Don't skimp on stabilizer. 
But since it is a gift to myself, it's OK. 

The prettiest one is now hanging on my oven door. 

Time to dig into my sewing project box and see what I can work on next. 

21 comments:

  1. sounds fun, I haven't sewed for years-used to make my own dresses, costumes for performing and shirts for hubby. It's been years but I still have my OLD KENMORE machine that works...nowadays-kids don't know how to sew. I learned in 7th grade home economics class, also how to cook.

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  2. You give excellent step by step directions for using an embroidery machine! I don't have an embroidery machine but I love to sew, mainly quilts, runners and crafty things. I made my grandson and granddaughter each a quilt for this Christmas. Do you use Pinterest? You can find lots of small projects to sew there that can be both fun and useful.

    I love your dish towels! The birds look so good on that red checkered fabric!

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  3. What a fun machine to learn how to use. I used to do a lot of sewing but I'm afraid I'd never leave the house if I got a new machine as nice as yours. What a wonderful way to spend long winter days.

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  4. That is an awesome machine. And it will keep you alert and young at heart with all those colourful threads it needs to finish a project.
    Happy New Year to you and have fun.

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  5. Sewing machines have certainly changed over the years. Mine is about 20 years old and has no computer chips or drives or any such thing. I am not a good sewer as I have forgotten everything from when I was much younger.

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  6. I used to sew and had an old Kenmore portable that I used for decades. When I got rid of it and bought myself a fancy one, I couldn't get used to it and finally gave it away. I sure would like to have that old portable again, though! :-)

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  7. I remember the dresses (especially one with peacock embroidery) that you made for Irene and her American girl doll. Don't they just grow up way too fast!

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  8. I'm impressed at what you can do with your sewing machine. They just don't make them like Grandma's sewing machine any more.

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  9. Amazing what can be done with technology and the brains to use it beautifully as you do. I'm fabric impaired so am always amazed at such creations. Beautiful!

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  10. That sounds like lots of fun, Linda.
    Happy new year. Aloha from Hawaii.

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  11. What a fabulous sewing machine you have! Mine is much simpler. I haven't used mine in years either. I used to make clothes for my son, and costumes for the town players group that we were involved with back in Massachusetts. My mom had one of those old, heavy black Singer machines with gold designs on it. It worked like a champion, never stopped, never broke, but all it did was forward and back. Your new towels are very pretty, a great gift to yourself.

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  12. wow...impressive! Sewing was a stupid rebellion thing I did. My mom was a whiz at it, and NOT taking it up seriously was a (dumb) way to get 'back at her' for stupid teenage rebellion micro-insults. I don't regret it now, but it could've come in handy when the girls were growing up. Have a wonderful new year!

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  13. Now that is some sewing machine. How about making tote bags from quilted fabric and embroidering them? Then there's table runners, placemats, napkins, and cup towels. Don't forget fancy aprons. You could sell your items on Etsy and make some money.

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  14. I'm impressed. It is great to know that you can revisit something that once gave you joy and relearn what you think you have forgotten. My daughter recently called after a foray she had taken into the land of sewing. She said she got stuck more than once and thought of calling me for advice. I told her I'd have to look up whatever questions she had on Youtube because I haven't sewn in years. We were howling in laughter as we talked about just why we no longer sew. There are time though when I too think I will dust off the old sewing machine (actually I have a new one I don't know how to use) and try taking up sewing again.

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  15. Wow! High-tech sewing. Beautiful results. I see chickadees at my feeders daily. They're lovely little birds, quite tame. Happy New Year!

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  16. That certainly is one smart machine. Love your chickadees. Maybe you have inspired me to crank out my poor old machine before it seizes up.

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  17. That is so pretty! I want to wish you a very Happy and healthy New Year Linda.... Michelle

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  18. Linda, the embroidery made those towels beautiful! I could never learn to use a sewing machine like that one. You are amazing! Hope you and Tom have a Happy New Year!!!

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  19. My granddaughters don't wear dresses anymore either. I loved seeing them in fancy dresses. Now we're lucky if they'll wear one for Christmas pictures! Glad you're using your spiffy sewing machine. It would be a shame to let it collect dust! Happy New Year!

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  20. Gorgeous. I don't have an embroidery machine. Makes me wish I did.

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  21. Very pretty towels! They would make lovely gifts! :)

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