Artist of a Thousand Tasks

One woman's crazy quest to take on everything and become the ultimate jack-of-all-trades.

Sewing Project Day 1: Learning to Use the Sewing Machine

As previously stated, this task is pretty intimidating, so I took great care to trap myself into going for it. First step: Acquire a sewing machine. In my case, I asked my sew-savvy mother to purchase me a machine for Christmas. Behold, the beast in its native environment:

The Beast

Now that I have it, I have to justify taking up this much space in our small condo with the machine, fabric, etc. I guess that means I really have to do this.

Step two: Learn to use the machine. This included familiarizing myself with the terminology (Best sewing term: “bobbin” *snicker*) and then diving in and threading the machine. I am not going to do a step-by-step here. I just read my manual. Though, admittedly, when I envisioned using my manual to thread the machine, I figured it would be written for idiots that had never used a sewing machine before. Instead, I encountered things like this:

So many random numbers...

So many random numbers…

What the heck kind of drawing is that? And why is there a #1 by the image?  There is a #1 on the sewing machine, but it is unrelated. If it is meant to illustrate the steps to complete the maneuver (this is how numbers are often used in this manual), it’s a one-step maneuver, why number it at all??  Is it meant to show where the same machine part is from two views?  Oh, wait, a KEY!  Says at the bottom, 1 represents the “thread take-up lever.”  Great. Which of the three dozen levers is that again (flip back to front of manual to find the diagram of the whole machine, which, by the way, has this particular level numbered 4, and only the slot is shown, not the lever itself)?  Overall- Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?  Somewhere out there is a technical writer waiting to be punched.

Also, this description makes this step seem sooooo simple.  What sadistic sewing machine engineer thought this thing up??:

Thread this, if you can!

Thread this, if you can!

This picture really doesn’t do it justice.  Getting thread around this hook requires the bending of space-time. I didn’t even realize there WAS a hook in there until I had tested the machine a couple times with strange results.  Once I discovered it, I spent a good ten minutes  putting in time toward a future contortionist project as I tried with all my might to loop the thread around it.  I eventually got fed-up and did what humans do best- used a tool – in this case, scissors, to push the thread. I felt a little like I was sticking a knife into a toaster. There has to be an easier way.

Despite these minor obstacles, I did eventually get it threaded and all ready to use.  On to making stuff!

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4 comments on “Sewing Project Day 1: Learning to Use the Sewing Machine

  1. Amanda
    March 1, 2013

    If you spin the big knob to the right it pushes the hook up and out..that’s how I do that… :o)

  2. Heather Vickers Gallardo
    March 1, 2013

    You just need to turn the knob on the side of the machine and the lever will move out and in. It takes me a few attempts to get my machine actually ready to sew as well, my first time I gave up forever on the manual and found a youtube video with my actual machine.

  3. Kiva
    March 1, 2013

    I love the blog!
    One thing I have learned about sewing is that you can NOT be afraid to screw up. So what if your first Sun Dress for your daughter comes out uneven,or the Ribbon border on the baby Blanket you made looks like total crap,or you try to make a Shirt and end up wanting to jump off a building?! 🙂
    The point is to try,and after making mistakes,you will find that you get better,and it suddenly becomes really fun! (that,and you learn to correct mistakes as you go!)
    Go forth and create!

  4. thousandtasksartist
    March 1, 2013

    The knob! It’s SO simple. Why isn’t that in the manual?? Thanks, ladies!

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This entry was posted on March 1, 2013 by in Sewing.
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