I have to confess I have always been very wary of sewing machines. They have cogs, wheels, lights and automated glittering needles. They make a sound like innumerable wasps wielding tiny hammers and remind me of K9. I worry that they will go rogue, sew things of their own accord or that my fingers will end up stitched to a piece of fabric. The number of successful sewing machine-based projects I have completed in my life can be counted on one hand.
I have been determined to overcome this irrational (and amongst bloggers, slightly shameful) fear for some time so I signed up to a machine embroidery workshop at the excellent Backstitch Shop run by Alice Synge. You can read what happened over on Standard Issue.
Are you daunted by a particular craft?
Note: if you enjoy my article it would be great if you click ‘recommend’ at the bottom. Standard Issue is new and this will help to gauge the response to our articles. Many thanks
Mrs. Micawber says
Based on your photos it looks as though that's one fear you can tick off your list! Claire of Sweet Birdy Love will have to look to her laurels if you keep this up….
My most-daunting craft would be anything involving an acetylene torch (lampworking beads, welding, metal casting). Though these crafts fascinate me, I am fearfully certain that the combination of pressurised gas and sparks would eventually result in an explosion.
I also avoid pressure cookers. 🙂
P.S. Just remembered you must use a torch in your work – brave soul!
Mrs. Micawber says
P.P.S. Had to come back and say how much I enjoyed the article. I'm sure the genteel ladies have heard some fruity Anglo-Saxon oaths in their time. Who knows what they utter in the privacy of their own homes whilst wrangling pastry or trying to sew drapes?
Threading a sewing machine eventually becomes second nature, by the way. Muscle memory kicks in and you do it without thinking. (I say this to bolster my self-esteem. I may be scared to death of acetylene torches but by golly I can thread a sewing machine!)
Absolutely gorgeous, you're such a talented artist. CJ xx
Your feathers are beautiful. I learnt to do free machine embroidery recently, having been wary of it for ages, and loved it. I haven't tried it again since but you've just inspired me to have another go!
Working with metal alarms me. I did try it once, well for several weeks at a class. I felt removed from the process as it requires heat to melt and meld it and that scared me. I found it all very frustrating. On my first day it was only by luck not judgement that I didn't have a mishap. The flames for soldering were switched on while myself and another woman were pointing them at each other. We were lucky – so much for health and safety. The class was very piecemeal and I got to dread it. Hammering out metal and melting it, all at a distance are not for me. I think I might eventually have forgotten not to touch the hot metal because I do touch things. I like hands on stuff. That said my absolute nemesis is gardening. I can't do it, I'm clueless. It should be simple but to me it is the most complex thing in the world.
I loved my sewing machine and it worked like a dream. But I haven't used it for a while. Practice before you make anything. Make friends with your machine and it will be good to you. Some machines are less equal than others though, so sometimes it really will be limitations of the machine to blame for mess ups and not yourself. That happened once or twice on The Great British Sewing Bee, where the contestants had machines not up to working with the heavy fabric they had chosen.
I can just about manage a hand-cranked sewing machine for the occasional bit of dressmaking!
Love the article, your feathers look great but I am sure k9 helped.
Emma, it was fun to read, over on Standard Issue, about your adventures entering into the land of machine embroidery. ('ve not been there myself….
I don't think that I am actually daunted by any particular craft, it's more apt to say that some just appeal to me more than others do.
Isn't it grand to find spring is actually arriving?
good grief. just gorgeous.
Awww, it's beautiful Emma! I hope that successful venture has chased away your machine fears!
Heather @ my little red suitcase says
I love the feather idea!I've never tried free style embroidery. x
The House with the Blue Door says
What beautiful, delicate feathers -they're lovely! I'm fine with my own sewing machine, but sometimes find unfamiliar ones a bit scary till I get used to them 🙂
Rachael Ainscough says
Your feathers are as beautiful as you and your girls. I'm so impressed by your machine work. I love my machine – had since I was 21. Chose it with my mum. But I don't think I ever produced something this creative. You are inspiration.
The craft which terrifies me of late(no longer crochet thanks to you lovely) is clearly silver clay. I bought the stuff so long ago it may have gone off. I have so many ideas but just need to start. Please do a class on a date I can join in!!!!
Saffa Barkhordar says
Haha! You know your sewing machine fear struck a cord with me as I have the fear too, stemmed from back in school when I did sew my fingers with the machines! Not good and still haven't got a sewing machine at age 31 but would like one to concur the fear! Love your feather appliqué patterns here, so pretty, safxxx