This week’s objectives in learning how to sew were the following:
- Get a work area setup.
- Get acquainted with my sewing machine and learn the basics in how it works.
- Cut some pieces of fabric in shapes with straight edges and some with curves.
- Practice sewing in straight lines and in curves.
- Practice my spacing.
- Verify and adjust my machine for the quality of my stitching.
- Test different stitching patterns.
Setup of a workstation was simple, I didn’t want to interfere with my wife’s sewing station, therefore I took a temporary folding table and installed it in a corner of my basement.
I ran a power cord and installed my old 1970’s vintage Singer Fashion Mate 252. Although old, this machine is robust and simple, two attributes that bode well for a beginner with my level of skill.
In order to have a good reference for the workings of the machine, I searched the Internet for the user’s manual and to my surprise, singer provided the PDF to its original manual right on their website. It’s great to see a company care and support its products so well.
To my amazement, I found the manual to be a fantastic beginning resource to not only learn the machine but also learn how to sew! The manual includes fantastic illustrations and simple to follow step by step instructions to guide you into properly using the machine and also learn the basics of sewing. I love the hand drawn illustrations; they provide a great visual support to the instructions and they really add to the easy of learning.
Once having threaded the machine, it was time to do my first stitches. To accomplish this, I used small pieces of paper that I fed through the machine. The contract, the flatness and the rigidity of the paper make those first stitches easy due to not having to worry about alignment of cloth and its stretchy properties.
I tried to sew straight lines and made small adjustments to the machine as I went. I even tried a zigzag stitch! These first few lines of stitching allowed me to comprehend the feel of the machine but learning how it was going to react to my inputs. I gained the feel of the pedal and was able to register in my mind the corrects sounds and the movements this machine normally makes. I then preceded with cutting a few pieces of cotton the sew them together for form a simple rudimentary pocket. This allowed me to practice sewing along a curve and allowed me to gain the feeling of sewing actual cloth. I took my time, and everything went well. The results are, to me, satisfactory.
Here is a vlog that summarizes my journey so far.