As an early birthday present this year, my mother gave me a new sewing machine. Specifically she gave me this sewing machine:
I had been looking at different machines that were more in my budget, my mom suggested this was not an area to skimp. Instead, this was one of those “you get what you pay for” moments. To prevent me from cheaping out – or suffering with the ancient Kenmore I already had custody of – she bought me this as a birthday present.
Today, I completed my first sewing project, a cell phone pouch. I found the plan/pattern for it here: ctpubblog.com. I settled on this project after spending way, way too much time surfing the Internet looking for a cell phone pouch that I could hang from my Timbuk2 messenger bag. What I found was that there were certainly many cute options, but they were very expensive. The options that were affordable usually had fabric I didn’t like or a style that was off. I realized it was going to be much more affordable to make my own. Another benefit was that I could pick out my own fabrics and make it custom fit my phone.
Anyone who has ever sewn anything knows that it’s very easy to get lost in the world of fabric. There is a LOT of choices out there. In the interest of fitting into a budget that had been destroyed by the need to get my year old dog neutered, I opted to raid my mom’s fabric stash. As an added bonus, my stepfather was overjoyed at the prospect of at least some of the mountains of fabric stacked around his home being removed. Bonus!
The fabric chosen for the project.
My first go round with the project was a crushing failure. Like an idiot, I skimmed the instructions, but didn’t really read it thoroughly. Instead, I looked at it and thought “Huh, okay, that looks okay, but I’m gonna try this instead.”
Predictably, I ended up with something that will function only as a glasses case. There is NO WAY any cell phone is fitting inside that thing. There was probably a point in my attempt to ‘sew using logic’ instead of ‘a pattern’, that I could have come back from utter failure. I blew past that point like a gleeful child who has just spotted Mickey Mouse.
Once I was done and looked at my mess, I realized I was going to have to study the instructions this time and try again.
After quilting, before sewing.
The second time around, all went as planned. Of course, I followed the directions to the letter. The good news is that I learned some valuable lessons, even though the project was a success.
- It would be easier to attach the velcro BEFORE closing up the pouch. It was very difficult to work the needle and quilting foot through such a small place.
- I would have liked to have quilted at a 45 degree angle instead of the 30 degree angle I used. I’m not sure why it bugged me, but it did.
- It would also have been easier to put the button (which is just for show) on the front before closing up the pouch. I ended up having to hand sew that on. Of course, I’m not even sure you can put on a button using a sewing machine.
All I need to completely finish the project is to buy a carabiner clip so I can attach it to my bag. There’s a tiny part of me that doesn’t trust the Velcro to keep my cell phone secure, but I’m just gonna go with it for now.
Next project? I have some adorable elephant fabric that I want to use to make an iPad case. That should be fairly easy, actually. I also have a couple of skirts I want to shorten significantly. I may have to do some reading before beginning that, though.