Saturday, December 31, 2011

It's All Coming Together

My dream of having a weaving studio and sewing room is realized. Now for the hard part, becoming proficient at both weaving and sewing. I've been a fair seamstress in the past. But that was the distant past. I haven't tried to operate a sewing machine in over 10 years. Yesterday I completed my second weaving project and was ready to free it from the loom. Was this project successful? I'd say so, although I did not meet all of my goals. A cool thing about weaving? There are no failures, just plan changes. Because of my woeful lack of math skills I did not estimate my warp or weft needs accurately. Instead of four 12 x 14" place mats I now have a set of 3 mats (2 smaller, one larger) suitable for use on either a coffee table and 2 end tables OR a dresser and 2 night stands. See? Plan change! Easy as that. I will not know the actual finished dimensions of the mats until they are hemmed and washed. But I'm fairly confident that the 2 smaller mats will NOT be 12 x 14". I did manage, however, to weave multiple items on the same warp. Rather sloppily, but I did it.

Now for the next step, hemming the mats. I've been putting it off, but it is time to get one of the sewing machines ready for action. I chose to start with the Singer 328 as it is already in the cabinet. This is my free machine and the first of my vintage Singers. I sat down with the manual, some oil and lube, and began the task of dismantling, cleaning, lubing, and reassembly. Not a big deal, you say? I am the least mechanically inclined female on the planet. Couple that with my intense fear of electricity and you realize just how badly I wanted to sew. The job was a breeze. The most difficult part was removing the dust bunnies from the bobbin area. The innards of these older sewing machines are so straight forward and well built.

(pardon the poor picture quality)
In no time at all I was ready to plug her in and see what she could do. Threading her was incredibly easy. I was expecting problems, as the previous owner had warned this machine was in the habit of breaking threads. She had inherited it from her mother-in-law and admitted she new next to nothing about sewing. I suspect her problem was incorrect tension on the upper thread. She had the dial set at 0 when it should have been somewhere near 4. I played around with the tension a bit, loosening the bobbin tension, and soon had her ready to go.

Her first official job?
Zig-zag the edges of my mats so they don't unravel.

This is a very loose weave and the threads are shifting like crazy. I need to anchor them (and fast) before hemming and washing the mats. In the future I will use the slats from mini blinds as spacers to hold everything in place until after sewing. Live and learn.

The first edge zig-zagged and trimmed. Ready for hemming. Dang it! I wish I could locate my magnetic pin cushion. It's got to be around here, somewhere. I haven't unearthed it yet. Must do more excavating.


martilambert said...

It looks gorgeous!!

crazihippichic said...

Thanks Marti. I'll tackle that serger soon. It would've come in handy for this project but I'm still a bit scared of it. LOL