Sunday, 25 April 2010

Dedicated to ARTMIND, or... An example of sewing from one who cannot sew, but really doesn't think it should stop her anyway.

I have a great friend, Artmind, on Etsy who works with clay and makes the most amazing, modern sculptures. She has just written a blog piece about finally purchasing a sewing maching and was describing how she needs to learn how to use it. Despite this, she has been able to make the most adorable stuffed doll.

I for one have never let my lack of knowledge of how to use power tools actually stop me from using them. And I've got the marks and scars to prove it.

Having said this, I would like to show what my sewing endavours produced yesterday.

Here is my sewing machine, a 1950's Bernia that my husband purchased for me a couple of years ago. As alluded to, I had never actually used a sewing machine before, and the instructions were written in Swedish and Finnish, not Norwegian. And it was 1950's Swedish and Finnish... which did not make things much easier. Luckily the manual had excellent pictures.

I don't actually make clothes, although I would really like to one day. And when I say make clothes, I mean actually make them. I can see myself finding all sorts of pieces of fabric and sewing them together and then figuring out afterwards if I should climb into the garment, or put it over my shoulders.

But that's a blog post for another time.

This is what I ususally use my sewing machine for - to repair my son's clothes.

My son, despite the fact he's getting old enough to not ruin his clothes, still wears holes through his pants which require repair every few weeks or so. I could get mad at him. I could scold him and tell him not to have fun and to grow up, but I figure that before I know it he'll be out of the house on his own and I really don't want to be left behind with a bunch of perfect pants hanging in the closet.

In any case, my son does not actually mind having patches on his jeans. I find this amazing because he is the only boy at school that has this. I do not know if there is any other mother in my neighborhood who can sew, or perhaps most are just not willing to bother with it. Regardless, I certainly am not willing to purchase new pants every second week.

Having been through this procedure a few times already, my son suddenly said that he wanted to pick the color of thread. This was okay by me. So yesterday he decided on red and blue.

Now the thing about not knowing how to sew is that I really don't know what to do when it comes to specific problems. Like how to sew patches on jeans that have very, very, incredibly narrow legs. I got the one leg sewed quite fine, but for the second leg the patch shifted despite the fact I had it pinned down. So suddenly there was way too much material on the fourth side of the patch to be sewn.

I had already spent over half an hour sewing and while I love my son dearly, I'm not about to start ripping out thread for jeans he's going to outgrow in another month or so.

And as I see it, every mistake I make is a potential piece of artwork in the making.

So with my ingenious intellect (or my ability to slide over to the side of laziness) I cut the patch in half, folded the material over itself and then sewed up the edges nice and clean.

My son thought it was the coolest thing he had ever seen and can't wait to wear these pants to school on Monday. He wanted to know how I 'got the patch to do that'. 'Ah, my son,' I said, 'A mother can't give away all her secrets.


Cynamonn said...

Great article. Had to laugh a bit at the end. Very creative mummy. :)

ArtMind said...

LOL Nicole! I love how artsy the patch looks!
I can't wait to hem my own clothes sometimes soon. I feel so silly for bringing all my repairings to my mother.
Make sure both your kids will know how to sew before they leave the house! LOL :)

ingermaaike said...

Heheheh mine have felted smileys on their pants, if it still fits then it gets fixed.
Luckily my boys don't mind either :-D

And yayy for solution thinking :-D

Nancy van den Boom said...

you created win-win-win!!! Congratz creative Nicole!

Vilt à la Kim said...

I agree with you: never tell them every "secret" jet. hihihihi
it is really nice to repair something yoursefl doesn't it? My daighter are having loads of faith in me as everytime something is broken they say "oh my mum can fix it!!"....

BlueTerracotta said...

What a susccess, both the experience and the results! You'll soon be making your own clothes!

LabSpace said...

Nicole, this is SOOOO cool! I was just looking at that funky folded patch, wondering how you did get the idea to make it so 3D! I think I will do it on purpose next time I need to sew a patch. Great that you have such a flexible-minded and appreciative son :))) who works with you and not against! I almost don't want to suggest to you how to keep the patch safely in place before sewing, this one is so much more interesting! In any case, the way would be to hand-sew it quickly before going on to the machine: pins always have a way of moving around under the machine foot, besides the applique stitch does tend to put the fabric under tension. So you 1. pin the patch 2. handsew it along the edges 3. remove the pins 4. machine sew (next to the hand stitches) 5. remove the hand stitches. Sounds like a long procedure but once you get the hang, it's quickly done!

Rita alias alatvian said...

Thank you so much for sharing! The way to go!