Wee Scoops

Measure for Measure

Hand Sewing on a Saturday Night

So, like, sew, like, tonight you find me (apart from the blogging) sewing. I am some way off from the finishing touches stage, but I have made significant headway in turning a pair of jeans into a handbag. If you know me in real life, you will know that this is uncharacteristic behaviour. I am having a wee break right now on the back of the carpal tunnel, so that’s good.

Doubtless I’ll be running up my own dresses in a matter of weeks, but this comes after a lifetime of very much not ever sewing. Daughter #2 now has a sewing machine and we are on a very 2021 kind of learning curve.

My primary school friends will vividly remember stitching various bits of felt to various bits of hessian, and my secondary school friends will also enjoy a flashback to the girls making a “wall hanging” while the boys made a “tool belt”. Not a life skill that has come in handy until now. Which is just as well. It is only now, at the age of 47, that my short sighted eyes have balanced themselves out, so that when I take my glasses off I can see close up, as if I had reading glasses. Very handy.

So, to document this learning curve, I’ll tell you what I have learned so far.

Firstly, sewing machines don’t seem to have evolved. And the nursery favourite “wind the bobbin up” now has new meaning. Quite a lot of faffing involved before you get going.

Next, I advise caution when giving the instruction “foot doon” which is ambiguous in the sewing context. While one person in control of the machine might take the instruction to mean “get your foot to the floor so as to accelerate”, the person giving the instruction may well be advising the operative to lower the presser foot onto the actual fabric. If in doubt, call anything a “bobbin winder spindle”. It probably is.

So, what have we accomplished so far? Well, we have savaged (not a typo) a few garments from the recycle pile and managed to sew a few bits to other bits. Today we successfully “took up” a pair of pyjama bottoms, so that was, in fact, a useful thing.

Inspired by Celebrity Great British Sewing Bee in the last couple of weeks, we have now got a pattern for making pyjama bottoms and ordered some extremely cool fabric. I hesitate to mention this, in case there is some expectation on your part, dear reader, that you may, in future, get to read about the creation of some wearable garment. We live in hope.

So, Saturday night in lockdown sees us waiting for “The Wheel” to come on and for the carry out food to arrive before Sturgeon bans it and me, sewing together two bits of what used to be a trouser leg. Very less waste. But somehow not very rock and roll.

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5 thoughts on “Hand Sewing on a Saturday Night

  1. Exciting! I also was not the favourite of the Home Ec teachers but I do all sort of sewing now. It’s very satisfying to have an end product and there’s a wealth of new things to learn all the time which is fun. You Tube is a fantastic resource for all sort of sewing tutorials. I have never come across a sewing conundrum that can’t be solved by a wee 10 minute video.

  2. Congratulations on your new beginning! And best wishes!
    In the US, hand sewing would be maybe the last seam on a pillow, or the hem of a skirt, or maybe a bit of mending, or perhaps some embroidery.
    When we use a machine, we call it machine sewing.
    I used to know an elderly lady who made her dresses with hand-stiches. I always wondered how they could hang together as she wore them, but my mom wondered at my wonder. I suppose she was thinking about all the hand-sewn quilts she owned, and why I wasn’t thinking of them. We’ll never know.
    I love to sew, but mostly by machine. 😉

    • Yeah. Thought my title was misleading but I was literally hand stitching my jeans-bag when I thought “I can’t believe it’s Saturday night and I’m hand stitching!” so I started the post. So much to learn!!!

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