So, my mother-in-law borrowed me her sewing machine. She got a new “fancy” one and I had a sewing machine on my Christmas list. She gave me hers to use to see if I would actually like sewing. As soon as I got home with it I took it out, put it on my desk, read the manual-which seemingly was in another language, and then promptly put it back in the case. I imagine this is what my grandparents felt like when they got their first computer. I mean, I have NO background information in sewing. I knew what the thread, needle, foot pedal and bobbin were. That literally was the extent of my knowledge. I thought I was pretty good remembering bobbin! Apparently whatever my middle school home economics teacher taught me did not stick. I even called me ever-so-tech savvy husband over. His super tech powers were no match for a machine that was strictly mechanical.
A month later my mother-in-law came to stay at our house the night before she flew out from Minneapolis. She taught me to fill the bobbin, how to thread the machine, and sew. She then told me I had to do a project before she returned in 10 days. Oy. I had pinned these mats from Pinterest and ran to Ikea for their uber-cheap pillows and some pillowcases. It took me a whole nap time (and let’s be honest that is some precious, precious time) to get it to work. I would sew, it’d get all bunched up underneath and I’d take a deep breath. By the time the boys woke up from their 2 hour nap, I was ready to throw the whole machine in our fireplace. Seriously. Of course, as soon as they woke, the machine magically worked. I’m not even quite sure what had gone wrong. My mother-in-law chalked it up to maybe having thread stuck somewhere by the bobbin. The sewing part was actually not too bad. Not beautiful stitching, but for my first project they work and totally serve their purpose. In fact, my children have even come up with all new purposes for them.
Snuggled up. Hudson folds up the ends of his to use as his “snack tray” Perfect for popcorn during the movie!
Corbin folds his end up to use as a blanket.
I used this tutorial. Simple, right? HA, I say. HA. Because I’m an uber-beginner there were a lot of things I didn’t even know that I didn’t even know. For example I tried setting the two pillowcases side by side (that’s what one tutorial said to do) and just overlap a little bit and then sew. Okay, well this worked but ended up with the crookedest line you ever did see. Okay, so if you are not a beginner, laugh away. If you are let me give you a few things I learned from this project.
1) Don’t thread your tension knobber thing before your thread take up. Seriously. It doesn’t work and you could end up with your sewing machine in the fireplace if you don’t realize what you’ve done.
2) Put your two pillowcases evenly on top of each other to sew them together.
3) Have you noticed those little lines to the right of your needle? Those are helpful for keeping your fabric straight–in case you suck at pinning like me. Ignored my number two hint (like I did for the first whole mat )? Good luck, sweetie, your lines are now buried under the second pillowcase. I’m sure they have a real name. I don’t know what it is.
4) Apparently everyone says you should iron and wash first. I didn’t do that either. I did end up washing one of the movie mats and everything held and looks
great like it did before I washed it.
I used five pillowcases for each movie mat. I like that they are as long as a bed this way. Plus, the boys can fold two pillows on top of each other for some extra cushion on their little heads and still fit their whole bodies on them. This will come in handy when we take them camping this summer!
My first adventure in sewing turned out usable. I’ll take that for the win. I’ve started another project that will take a while so I’m not going to go ruin the surprise. I will tell you it involves a pattern which I don’t even know how to read or use….. More adventures to come!