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Help - before I maim myself! How to use a sewing machine?

(23 Posts)
Bumperlicioso Sat 13-Jun-09 20:55:40

So I'm sitting with my mum's sewing machine in front of me. I do have the instruction booklet but quite frankly I might as well be trying to land Appollo 13. Any quick tips on how to get started and things that I really should know?

I'm about to make a teepee for DD's birthday by the way.

NorbertDentressangle Sat 13-Jun-09 21:05:12

lol at Apollo 13 grin

Keep it simple -find out how to thread it correctly and how to go forwards and backwards, thats all you need.

(then again my machine is the most basic of basic machines there isn't really anything else to it)

Bumperlicioso Sat 13-Jun-09 21:09:32

Stupid question (1st of many), why would you need to go forward and backward?

Bumperlicioso Sat 13-Jun-09 21:12:29

Next question, I've got a thick cotton fabric which I need to sew together in straight lines and my machine is offering me lots of different stitches, straight and various zig zag, what stitch do I want?

TigersChick Sat 13-Jun-09 21:16:33

You need to go forwards a bit, then backwards, then forwards again when you start a seam so that it doesn't come undone.

I just go for a straight stitch, but I really don't know very much!

Good luck smile

NorbertDentressangle Sat 13-Jun-09 21:18:48

I always do 1-2 cm or so backwards at the beginning and end of each bit to make it secure and stop it un-doing when under pressure IYSWIM.

<Disclaimer -I am by no means an expert on sewing matters and TBH I'm not sure what made me click on this thread. A couple of glasses of wine and I suddenly feel competant enough to post on anything hmmgrin>

Bumperlicioso Sat 13-Jun-09 21:18:51

Thanks for the replies.

What's the bobbin case for?

Bumperlicioso Sat 13-Jun-09 21:38:06

It's ok, I've found some online help. Hmm, the song 'wind the bobbin up' is starting to take on a new significance for me!

NorbertDentressangle Sat 13-Jun-09 21:44:05


When is your DDs birthday anyway? Not too soon I hope


Bumperlicioso Sat 13-Jun-09 22:06:25


Right, think I've threaded it.

Bumperlicioso Sat 13-Jun-09 22:25:38

Hee hee! I'm sewing! I think I will just make a couple of drawstring bags or something to start with. My tee pee shouldn't take long once I've got the hang of it (famous last words...)

NorbertDentressangle Sun 14-Jun-09 09:54:38

Well done! How did it go?

I'm wondering if you've been up all night and are now slumped over the machine fast asleep wink

angelicfolk Sun 14-Jun-09 19:04:48

Happy to offer you the benefit of my experience if you need it or have you got it sussed now?


NorbertDentressangle Sun 14-Jun-09 19:06:02

She hasn't been back to this thread today -I'm a bit worried shes sewn herself to the teepee and machine wink

Bumperlicioso Sun 14-Jun-09 19:45:59

Oh ye of little tee pee is coming along nicely actually! All fingers still in tact, if a little holey from the pins!

It's a bit rough and ready but I feel it has character grin. I've sewn the main body together, just need to edge the front flaps, I think I am going to use ribbon to edge them to save having to hem them. It looks pretty good. I will post a pic when I am done. Thanks for the tips, I feel this has opened a new door in crafting for me and I shall no doubt be back to request the benefit of your experience.

NorbertDentressangle Sun 14-Jun-09 19:51:42

Wow! It sounds as if you've done a really good job of it -yes, please post a photo when its finished. I might be tempted to make one too smile

Bumperlicioso Thu 18-Jun-09 12:10:28

Well, it's finished and should be on my profile now...

nettie Thu 18-Jun-09 12:26:33

No it isn't grin

Looking foward to seeing it, it sounds fantastic.

Bumperlicioso Thu 18-Jun-09 13:08:29

Um, technical hitch - it is now I promise!

nettie Thu 18-Jun-09 13:10:07

Well done, thats great.

Are they just garden cane thingymebobs for the poles. Might have to have to get DS1 to have a go at one in the holidays, hes been keen to have a go on the sewing machine, tis would be ideal for a boy, they tend not to want to make little bags.

Bumperlicioso Thu 18-Jun-09 13:14:17

Yep, just cheap garden canes. The ones in the book were a bit thicker but I had a look at dowling and it was hideously expensive.

DunderMifflin Thu 18-Jun-09 13:26:57

That's brilliant Bumperlicioso!

Tonight is the first 'Stitch and Bitch' club that my sisters and I are starting - think this could be one to suggest!

NorbertDentressangle Thu 18-Jun-09 14:07:49

That is fantastic Bumperlicioso!

I was only wondering this morning how you'd got on.

I feel quite guilty for doubting your sewing abilities now blush .

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