Saturday, 2 August 2008

Overcoming the fear

I have decided that I really must stop buying embroidery designs and things to embroider until I can overcome my fear and actually USE my machine! I have a Janome 350E that I got for my birthday (along with the new sewing machine I got for Christmas), but the hooping thing really gets me. I never know how tight or how loose to do it. The DVD that came with the machine says to do it "drum tight", while the sewing shop lady who gave me my one brief lesson said to do it a bit looser than "drum tight" otherwise you'll stretch the fabric and still get puckers. Well I think I have done it both ways - too tight AND too loose, and can never get it right. I would go for more lessons but find it hard to fit in when I work full time and even though they offer Thursday night classes, I never can go because Austy's Dad works from 3-midnight leaving Austy in my solitary care. I tried to go for one sewing machine lesson too on a very rare day off work, and it was pointless as there was noone else to run the shop, she had lots of customers to atend to, three other class members still going from a previous time slot and no time to really show me anything wasting my whole 2hrs that I managed to get away on my own for.

Today I jumped in the deep end and did a baby bodysuit. Probably not the best place to start. For one it stretches far too easily which means that my colours "spill" outside the final outline because the stretching meant that the fabric shifted a bit as it sewed, and it was very difficult to hoop as it's so small. I thought I would leave it embroidering while I cut out a top for Austin, but that was not going to happen. I had to sit by to adjust the bodysuit every minute or so as it was too small and the rest of the bodysuit kept getting in the way. And my threads kept snapping. The only one that didn't was the Coats Alcazar brand one I used for the mane, feet and tail of Zany Zebra. So I think I will swap all my Janome threads over for those once my original starter pack runs out. Any other embroiderers out there have a favourite thread to share? I'd love to try it.

I adore the pack I bought here after Novy pointed me to the link to the Embroidery Library. The designs are much better quality and also cheaper than the other place I was getting them from, and the colour charts really help too. I don't have any software so it's all black and white on the machine so I have saved the colour charts in word format in the same file as the designs. Overall I think this is ok for a beginner attempt and hopefully, with practise I'll get better.

Uh oh, I think the boy is awake. I promised he could do a design with me if he slept and have it all hooped, colours picked and in the machine ready to go so he can press the start button when I tell him to. I think he might just be a bit of a sewer himself one day! Better go keep my promise or he'll be very upset if he can't "sew with Mummy". Great soggy backyard activity!!


Susan said... your embroidery. I think it is a matter of practice, and a lesson helps too. If there is a lot of detail in the stitching, the LSS suggested putting an extra piece of stabliser under the hoop when you embroider. My Mum tried lots of threads and loved the Janome ones the best so I have been using those and found them OK. I have used a few other brands and find that they tend to break more.
I'm too scared to embroider too, I haven't done much so still very much a beginner!!

Austysmum said...

Thanks Susan, I am wondering if my Janome threads are not the best because they were part of a pack rather than bought individually? So far I am not happy - some colours are worse than others but on the design I did yesterday the grey thread broke every minute of stitching...VERY frustrating! Thanks for the tip on the extra stabilizer. Not sure if I'd do it on baby clothes though as it might make them too stiff and scratchy. I did get it better yesterday, but I was working on a flat piece of stretch knit rather than a tiny bodysuit, so much easier to hoop.

Beetlehouse Designs said...

Looks great. Love the colours!!! At least you have started now....There will be no stopping you!!! Can't wait to see what else you do.

Little Munchkins said...

I love it. I think it looks great. Can't wait to see more embroidered items from you.

Belinda said...

Gorgeous! I think you may be onto something with the Janome threads though, maybe buy a few basic colours and see if it helps. I have major sewing machine envy. :P