Thursday, June 2, 2011

Anchors Aweigh!

I have to make a confession.

I think I hate sewing.

I really want to like sewing because it's really cool (in my world at least), you can make awesome things, and be super creative. And I so admire the people out there who are good at it. In fact, they are so good at what they do that these people make me think it's easy.

It's not. At least not for me. I'm sure this is because I need lessons, or at least a lot more practice. So far the only thing I can really do is sew a line. And it's probably not going to be a straight line either.


My confession emerges in light of a recent reverse applique experience. Like the octopus tee, I had an idea for an anchor shirt (anchors are on everything right now for boys' clothes) for Little C. for a few months now.

I drew out an anchor after looking at different images online, cut it out, and followed this tutorial for reverse applique. There are other ways to do it, like here, but I chose the former because it required fewer materials.

I turned the shirt inside out and attached the navy fabric to it (wrong side facing up) and pinned it in place.

Then you're supposed to sew around the anchor. I tried pinning it to anchor it in place (ha! get it?), but that wasn't working for me because the shirt was getting all bunched up when I was sewing. So mother's ingenuity struck and I decided to use this:

Little C's sidewalk chalk. Remember when we made these for Girls Night? I use mine all the time for crayons, etc.

Anyway, I used the chalk to lightly outline the drawing and then sewed around it.

Not exactly perfect, but I gave it a good shot.

I turned the shirt right side out. You can sort of see the outline that I sewed.

I used small scissors to cut away the white fabric to reveal the navy beneath.

Then I trimmed away some of the excess navy fabric on the back.

Here's what I learned:

1. Sewing circles/ curves is really hard.
2. The ideas I have ALWAYS look much better in my head.
3. When sewing the front of a shirt or onesie, it's really hard not to sew over the scrunched up fabric on the sides/ keep the knit flat and not pulled taut.
4. There appears to be a delay between the time my brain tells my foot to get off the foot pedal and my foot actually obeying. This made me have serious issues trying to sew an outline. Who knew my reflexes were so slow?

Oh, and here's an actual tip and not just another example of me complaining/ whining:

5. Draw your design larger than you want it, because you will lose width when cutting it out. (This didn't make much of a difference for my anchor because it was large to start with).

Conclusion: I must practice more on the dreaded sewing machine, and  I need to look up basic sewing tutorials online. There's just no other way around it. I don't want to hate sewing and I'd really like to learn to be better.

All in all the anchor shirt is not that bad, and Little C. will definitely get some wear out of it this summer. It also cost next to nothing to make (the navy blue fabric was a dollar, and the white shirt was on sale for 2.99). $3.99 for a new shirt and a good learning experience? Now I call that a deal!

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