Saturday, January 3, 2015

SEW THERE! Lesson One: Threading

Before I embarked on this journey of sewing and self-discovery, I had never touched a sewing machine. Like, ever. 

I could recognize a spool of thread, most of the time. At least, I could differentiate one from, say, a lava lamp.

NOT a lava lamp.

So before I could begin any really cool projects I had to figure out how to actually use my machine.

I have a Singer One machine. I've named her Dolores. She's pretty and responds well to gentle touches. 

Meet Dolores

Dolores came with an instructional CD that probably would have been helpful, had it not been for the horrible sound quality of the recording. When I watched it, all I could hear was the background music. The person demonstrating the machine sounded like she was at least ten miles away and whispering into a wind.

So I searched YouTube and found a WEALTH of helpful instructional videos. One hour and two videos later, I had wound my first bobbin!!


Check out the helpful videos:

I watched the top video first, several times, while going through the motions on Dolores. It's a good video, and the woman demonstrating the process is clear and patient, but there was something I just wasn't getting because I could never make the bobbin wind properly. Every time I tried, the thread wound around the metal shaft beneath the bobbin instead of on the bobbin itself.

Then I watched the second video, and it all became clear. The woman in the second video did everything the woman in the first video did, with one imperative addition: she made sure to state several times that you must thread the thread through the hole in the bobbin from the inside out NOT the outside in. That's what I had been doing wrong!!

Maybe this is obvious to everyone else in the world, but it wasn't obvious to me. I watched the second video a couple of times before I successfully wound my first bobbin, and then I looked over the "Quick Start" guide that had come packed in with Dolores. The guide offered step-by-step, illustrated instructions on how to wind the bobbin and thread the needle. Now, armed with the knowledge that you must thread the thread through the hole in the bobbin from the inside out, it was clear that that was indeed what the guide's illustration indicated. When I looked at the same drawing before I knew that, however, I couldn't tell.

This is why, in the preface to this blog series I've named Sew There!, I mentioned that I'm not very good at following directions. I'm just not.

I quit that night with one bobbin wound. I didn't want to push my luck. Threading the needle would have to wait until my second sit-down with Dolores.

NOT a spool of thread

Stay tuned for Lesson Two and EVEN MORE sewing adventures! SEW THERE! will continue!!