One woman's crazy quest to take on everything and become the ultimate jack-of-all-trades.
Another principle of learning new things: Get some success early. When you feel like you are doing well, you are likely to continue. This means not setting the bar too high. In my case, I wanted to start with a project that seemed fairly easy and was immediately practical: Hemming pants.
I should preface: I am 5’1″ (if you round up), finding pants that are the right length is almost impossible. If ever there was a reason to know how to sew, it is so that I can stop rolling my pants up because let me tell you- it is hard to look “put together” with rolled-up pants.
I shop consignment, so I never pay more than $10 for a pair of pants. Makes it a little easier to justify hacking them up for a sewing experiment. I bought three pairs of pants at Plato’s Closet that I should be able to wear for another 5-10 lbs or so (see afore-mentioned fitness competition project). Then I hit up YouTube and Google for a “how-to” on hemming pants. In this case, I personally found step-by-step instructions more helpful than a video. I read several, got the general idea, and got to it. Here are the basic steps I followed, but remember I am not a how-to blog, so if you want better instructions I recommend seeking an expert.
1. I tried the pants on to see how much fabric needed to go.
2. I took them off, turned them inside out, roughly estimated how much fabric I would need for the hem itself, took a few deep breaths and started cutting. A lot of websites said to pin and measure but,
Hahaha, that lady never gets old.
3. Anyway, what I did do according to the directions was iron. I folded the hem over once, ironed it, folded it again, ironed one more time, then pinned.
4. Next I sat down, inserted fabric into the belly of the beast, and began to sew.
What I learned:
A. Figuring out the right amount of pressure to put on the pedal is very important. I recommend starting gradually lest ye sew your finger into the fabric. That thing is scary.
B. Tension. Apparently, you have to experiment with the little knobs on your machine (there are several on mine that seem to affect tension in some way). Once again, my manual wasn’t super helpful, since it tells you how to adjust the tension knobs based on the problems occurring with the seam. Sadly, the seams are microscopic and it takes a trained eye to see what is going on. I just turned knobs like the alien in the Pixar short, “Lifted” until the seam looked right. Eventually I am guessing I will have to do more research on this.
I did eventually end up with pants that were the right length, and they look like they may stay together. They are about a thousand times better than rolled up pants and in general they look great as long as no one examines them closely to see how jacked up and crooked the seams are. Regardless, I got what I wanted out of the project for today.
The hemming project was really quick, so while I was feeling successful, I thought I would take on this project that has been hanging out on one of my pinterst boards. Sewing in the elastic was very similar to the hemming skill and now I have a functional pair of baby pants rather than a sweater my husband never wears taking up space in the closet.
Did I sew one of the pants legs on backward, you ask? Of COURSE not! That was 100% grade-A intentional creative license… Ok, so we’ll call it a “happy accident.” Visuospatial skills are not really my strong suit… something that will become more apparent in my next sewing post…