Thursday, 28 July 2011

A Day of Sewing

Yesterday I spent the day at my niece's house, helping her learn to use her new sewing machine.
Grandma bought Keri-Anne a lovely sewing machine as a birthday present, as she has wanted to make clothes for herself and the babies, for a long time.
I bought her a couple of excellent sewing books as well, so she was well equipped with information and tools, but not with experience! Sometimes you just can't learn something from a book - you have to have someone there to show you and help you make sense of it all.
So, we got out the books and sewing equipment, went to buy a piece of suitable fabric and settled down for a day's stitching.
Big Girl was at nursery, but Little Girl was supervising....
though it was a busy day at the office... lots to do!  When she was tired of her job, Little Girl (who is, after all, only 4 months old) had a nice break, lying on her play mat and playing with her toys, then watching her favourite "Baby TV" channel for a little while, before having a snack and a hard-earned snooze.
We traced, prepared and cut out our pattern, then cut it out of the fabric.  Then we got the sewing machine out of its box and set it up, learning the names of the various parts, checking tensions, stitch lengths, needle size etc.  We wound a bobbin with white cotton and threaded up the machine.  Then Keri-Anne stitched her First Seam!
The machine has a handy storage box, which slides on and off, doubling as a "flat bed" for straight seams, but allowing you to have a "free arm" setting on the machine as well.  It's such a clever idea.  All the bits and pieces - like bobbins, spare needles, screw-driver, stitch unpicker, spool holders etc - are held in the box and kept with the machine. 
But you can still get the leg of those bloomers round the base of the machine, so you can stitch the hem and add elasticated thread along the bottom! 
(I actually covet this sewing machine - it has more features than mine and is super-nice! It also weighs about half mine, which would make it much easier to lift onto my table/desk... Still, mine is a Family Heirloom, so I am happy to have it and I don't use it enough - currently at least - to give me an excuse to waste money on a new replacement.)
By the time Big Girl was home from nursery and I had to go home, we had got a long way.  This picture shows the little bloomers before the elastic was stitched round the legs, or the casing was pinned, ready for the elastic at the waist.  That was the situation when I went home.  Keri-Anne had a good, clear set of instructions in her book, which she could follow to complete the bloomers during the evening.
And She Did!
Her Big Girl wore her lovely new bloomers today - don't they look fab?


  1. What a great post, Lizzie. I love the photos and the story as well. And those cute little bloomers? Very well done!

    And I know what you mean about learning from someone rather than a book. You are a good aunt and I'm sure your niece appreciated your help! xo

  2. aw i love this story. my mum taught me on her very old singer machine which was set into a special table and had a trundle pedal. it was hard to get it going but i did eventually. glad the bloomers came out well,
    jo xxx

    ps.............excited now

  3. What a great story. I am sure your niece appreciates you teaching her how to sew. That is a very nice thing for you to do.

    Loved the pictures and the bloomers look adorable.

  4. They turned out so well Lizzie ... though I was distracted by the little 'Lola' being played with, we have one here too ... did her giggling drive you batty or set you off in a fit of giggles? She always make me giggle!

  5. It is such a pleasure to pass on a skill to the next generation and know that there is the possibility that they will pass it on too. Love those cute little bloomers.

  6. They are absolutely gorgeous! I was reading along with baited breath, waiting to see the end result! I bet that won't be the only pair she makes with pretty results like that. well done to the pair of you

  7. What a good auntie you are! I am definately a 'visual' learner....if someone shows me how to do a thing I pick it up SO much more easily than from following a set of instructions!
    Alison xx

  8. Thanks all! We had such a lovely day and the bloomers are gorgeous. Keri-Anne finished them by herself - I'm so proud of her!

  9. Gosh, the bloomers look gorgeous! Well done to you both, you must be a great teacher! xx

  10. Lovely start-to-finish post! Love the photos of Her Little Majesty supervising. :) How wonderful to have such a great Mum and Grandmum. :)

  11. What a great job your niece did with the bloomers, they turned out lovely:) I could have done with somebody like you when I was trying to teach myself to sew.


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