I was about 10 when I learned to sew using my mum’s 1950’s Singer sewing machine. She and her trusty machine were always on the go ‘running things up’. I fancied doing the same but didn’t always know what to make (I needed a book with lots of ideas). I do remember though how much I enjoyed handling fabric, stitching pieces together to make bags or toys and in time progressing on to dressmaking. It was great working away on this heavy, black and shiny machine with gold decoration. There was a belt that hurtled around from the motor to the drive wheel and as the light heated up there would be the smell of hot oil - it was a real machine. With just forward and reverse stitch to work with, no gadgetry or digital, it did the job.
So I can appreciate how sitting in front of a sewing machine for the first time can be daunting, it’s all a bit of a mystery, a confusion of dials, levers and threads, not to mention the foot pedal that drives a deadly looking needle up and down millimetres from your fingers. Why risk it?
Well, when you’ve mastered your machine you can really go places with your stitching projects.
My Sewing Machine Book is a good place to get you started. It’s ideal for beginners’ young and old. Guiding you step by step on what type of machine to buy, getting to know your machine and all it’s parts, threading the needle and how a stitch is made.
Once you’re comfortable with the basics you can go for a test drive, trying out all the manoeuvres you’ll need for the projects coming up later in the book.
Take it easy, no speeding…it’s not a race!
There are 20 easy sewing projects for you to try out your skills and inspire you to go on and be more adventurous.
Here are a couple of my favourites:
No. 1 - Five Ways to use a tea towel
Tea towels are perfect fabric for a beginner project. No measuring out or cutting to size and the edges are already hemmed – just choose from a vast array of colourful designs and you’re ready to go. So forget the washing up! pick up a tea towel and transform it into something different in just a few steps, like this Tote bag.
Begin by stitching cotton tape at either end to make the handles. Then fold the tea towel in half with the right side of the fabric facing and stitch the side seams together. Turn the fabric right side out and you have a handy bag.
No. 2 - Make it easy cushions
Make a fabric envelope to hold a cushion pad in place – no need for tricky fastenings!
Measure out a piece of fabric and cut it out slightly wider than the cushion pad and long enough to wrap around it with an overlap. Stitch the sides together, turn right side out and fit the pad inside and it’s done.
From here you can go on to make more colourful cushions, floppy pots, a comfy bed for Ted and other loveable creatures.
In no time at all beginners will be achieving real results, creating proper items that are useful and fun - My Sewing Machine Book will show you the way.
Written by Jane Bull
About the author
Author Jane Bull, creates fresh, original and charming designs that inspire budding makers, young and old, to get crafty. Not only has she enjoyed a successful career in publishing for over 25 years, she is a creative director at DK, she also developed her own best selling series of craft books including Made by Me, Stitch- By-Stitch and Crafty Creatures. Her latest title moves on from stitching by hand to the joys of machine sewing. My Sewing Machine Book a step-by-step beginners guide – is out now.