Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Tinkerbell and the Great Bobbin Conundrum

My Momma has been visiting for the past couple of days and I seized the opportunity to hold her captive and demand she share any and all sewing knowledge with me. My Momma is a wonderful seamstress but doesn't really like to sew. She sewed for competitions in her younger years and the forced perfection and the push to win made her despise her machine. But she so graciously pushed her dislike aside to help me learn to love it!

After another long and meandering trip to the fabric store (I'm going to have to set up a budget for that place) we managed to select a pattern that required no zippers, buttonholes, pleats, ruffles or other embellishment that might confuse and frustrate me. She showed me how to lay out the pattern and how to cut it. I now have the pieces of a bright new summer dress for my daughter waiting to be sewn together. It would be done, but we got distracted by another project.....

Smocked dresses. Have you seen this fabric?? It's the best thing since sliced bread. Its smocked on top so all you have to do it measure, sew a seam, hem it, and add straps and your done! I'm all about instant gratification and when I saw they had Tinkerbell fabric (K's favorite) I knew I had to try. It really was easy. I sewed one seam down the back, hemmed it, and used Tinkerbell green ribbon for her straps. The straps were a source of vexation for me. I had to hand sew them. Hand sew? No thanks. I'd never done it before and it showed. It was an ugly job but it's on the inside of the dress and hopefully, no one will look too closely. It sure turned out cute though! And K was proud to wear it.

I like her smocked dress so much I thought I might try to make one for myself. I got the seam pinned and started to sew but something was wonky. The stitches were wrong and were puckering and pulling. Being the drama queen that I am I was sure it was inexperience biting me in the butt. My Mom assured it me it was no fault of my own, that the machine was the one torturing me and forcing me to use my faithful seam ripper, Ruby. We played with the tension, the feed....I could see my Momma getting more and more annoyed. I turned to the manual. And guess what? I figured it out. ME! Little miss inexperienced! We were using the wrong sized bobbin. We threaded a new one and all was well.

I'd like to say I made myself a gorgeous smocked dress but I can't. My Momma had grown impatient with my turtle paced sewing (Hey! I'm still new at this!) and pretty much took over, leaving me to pin and press, and fetch things when she needed them. Oh well. It's pretty, it's comfortable and it's mine. I made a dress for my daughter, and she made one for hers. And I got to spend an entire uninterrupted afternoon with Momma. What could be better than that??


  1. The dresses look great. I love the fabric selections. I had a machine for years which tortured me and I wouldn't get rid of it because it was made by the best sewing machine company. Unfortunately it caused me to really despise having to sew and I rarely ventured into that territory. I finally got rid of it just before Christmas after trying to make my mom some simple skirts and a top. I have a new inexpensive model that works like a charm. I just need time (and funds for the wonderful fabrics) to use it.

  2. So cute! Look at you go!! I have a bunch of sewing stuff in my cloest that I need to remember to bring you. Pattern tracers and all the stuff. I see you have bought some but you can never have too much! I'll try to remember to bring it to you next time I see you!

  3. Hi, You are very smart to start learning to sew and you are off to a good start too. You have a cutie pie modeling the smock top dress. :) Gerry

  4. love it! i definitely do not have the patience, so it's fun to see when someone does and can show off a final product. you go, girl! :)