The Sewing Machine

“A good use for me is to let me go away with my sewing machine and come back with some really new stuff.”

Betsey Johnson

My mom was always working on some type of craft when I was growing up, and always taking me to craft shows wether it was to help her with a booth or just to shop around ourselves. I grew up being a huge fan of DIY projects as a result of this, and I’ve lost count of the amount of Pinterest projects I’ve attempted myself. I started following more people who were cosplayers, either professionally or just for fun, and seeing some of the things they would make themselves always inspired me so much. Making a full outfit, though? I never learned how to use a sewing machine, mostly just the basics. It wasn’t from a lack of my mom trying to teach me, I was just a jackass who didn’t want to learn because I wanted to use my free time playing Sonic the Hedgehog.

One day, I made an online order to the webstore of my favorite band, blink-182. They were having a sale, so I threw a bunch of things in my cart in my size and made my order. When it arrived, I noticed the thing I was most excited for, was way too small. It was a pair of underwear with the smiley face logo all over, and since it was underwear I had just tried on, I wasn’t sure what to do with it. After a little bit of thinking, I remembered when the small corset purses were popular. I always wanted one like my older sisters had, but I was wasn’t allowed since I was 10 and my mom didn’t want me carrying a bag with literal titties around. This is my time, I thought, and I took a pair of scissors and cut the crotch out. I sewed the former crotch section back together, found an old one-piece bathing suit I knew didn’t fit, and made a make-shift purse liner. I hand-sewed everything, including the zipper, and was so proud of myself for not only successfully turning this pair of underwear into a purse, but that I didn’t waste any of these clothing items. My little purse has lasted me all these years since I made it, but I have had to go and fix some things from time to time. For being hand-sewn, it really impresses me that it’s stayed together.

Something I’ve always wanted to do with my life was to find a philanthropic cause to make a small “business” around. Literally the only reason I want to make money is to donate it to those who need help, because I’ve almost been in situations like that myself. After making my Panty Purse, it clicked that this was what I wanted to do. I was inspired by Blake Mycoskie of Toms Shoes years ago, and this was what I wanted my project to be: donating underwear to various shelters (homeless, womens, children’s, etc.) with each purse bought. The biggest issue? I don’t know how to sew, and just the thought of hand sewing even 20 purses makes my hands cramp up. If I had the ability to start making them using a sewing machine, though? I could only hope I would be unstoppable.

I learn best by doing. I can read instructions and memorize how the instructions say to do it, but unless I’m actually working with the item, my mind just won’t absorb it. For some reason, I had a major brain fart that Joann Fabrics offers various classes, and one of them is a sewing course. I packed up my sewing machine and picked out some cute fabric and was off to make a pillow.

Once I finally got the hang of things, it was a breeze. My main issues were threading the needle wrong the first time I did it, and a few times when I forgot to put down the Presser Foot, but it was nothing that I couldn’t figure out how to fix. I honestly thought it would be a lot harder than it ended up being, but I’m still glad I decided to take this particular class. The instructor was so kind, and has been making her own clothes since she was in middle school, which I always find fascinating. Thankfully I haven’t gone as crazy with buying clothes lately as I used too, but knowing that I could make a couple outfits or even just being able to fix things will make life much easier in general.

Originally, I wanted to check off “Learn to Sew” after successfully making adjustments to a shirt I own that I never wear anymore, but it turns out my sewing machine is missing its foot pedal and Singer no longer makes my model. So, since I successfully made a pillow, I’m adding my check now. While I’m on the prowl for a Singer Vivo 1004 supported foot pedal (and, more than likely, power cord as well as we couldn’t tell if my power cord was bad or if the other Singer pedal just wasn’t supported), I’m going to gather up more projects and supplies to begin my purses, and use those as subjects for different YouTube videos.

17% complete

Published by Jessi

Midwest transplant in California working on finishing 30 things on my bucket list before my 30th birthday.

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