Monday, September 8, 2014

I Feel Like A Beginner Beginner

When I first signed up at a major online sewing website I listed my experience level as Advanced Beginner. It made sense to me; I'd sewn many projects off and on over the years. Plus, I had read a lot of sewing books and blogs, and that makes everyone more experienced, right? As it turns out, maybe not.

I recently cleaned up my sewing space, a.k.a. the dining room, and now I am faced with having both the time and space to sew. The sewing machine sits there under her big plastic cover, the ironing board is in place, the armoire full of fabric beckons, and yet ... I'm not sewing.

I pulled out some of my books on sewing and each one of them has somewhat interesting projects, but I stop in my tracks each time I see the words zipper, bias tape, or french seam (which is odd as of these three I actually have done a french seam before). Most of the books seem more complicated that I remember them being when I bought them. Maybe I'm not an advanced beginner after all? Maybe I am someone who can cut and sew in a straight line. Maybe I am a beginner beginner with more book knowledge than is useful. Whatever I am, I am stuck -- I may even have gone backward.

I blame part of that on having a new-to-me machine, a gift from Mr. Oh Sew Frugal last year. I think my hesitation with the machine is one reason that I am feeling cautious about all sewing. Sewing on my old White (which I sold to a friend) or a vintage mechanical machine was decidedly easier than working with a machine that has a screen and programs. Oh, it sews beautifully, but it isn't exactly intuitive. The machine beeps at me a lot.

And so, to commemorate being a beginner beginner I've decided to sew my way through Ellen Luckett Baker's book, 1--> 2--> 3 Sew, and I'm going to blog about it, because I can't be the only one who is stymied about learning to sew. I don't expect to love every project, but I do intend to make them, in order, so that I can get some of the basics under my belt.

Up first? A stamped kitchen towel.

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