I knew my sewing machine was due to arrive yesterday, and just as my sweet, sick Taylor drifted off into napland, I saw the UPS truck coming up the street. Taylor had been dragging around a bit since throwing up in the morning, and I didn't want the doorbell to disturb her. So I opened the door and waited on the breezeway for the UPS man to deliver the package. Note to the UPS man: If you see a pregnant woman waiting to receive an extremely heavy package, you might want to say something like, "Be careful, miss--this box is quite heavy," or even better, "Let me put this down inside the door for you." Thrusting it into the pregnant woman's arms with barely a nod is not the way to go. Just sayin'. (Don informed me later that I am a weakling and the box wasn't even heavy, but he only lifted up the actual sewing machine, without the package, packing materials, and shipping box. I just checked the product details on Amazon, and the shipping weight was allegedly only 18 pounds. But the box was gigantic, and I have small arms, AND I'm pregnant, so really, you have to add at least 30 pounds when you account for all that. But I digress.)
So here's my brand new sewing machine, which is apparently endorsed by Martha Stewart. I'm not a huge fan, but you have to admit she's a crafty lady, so if this machine works for her, it will surely work for me! Also in the picture is a Singer Sewing Essentials Kit I found at Wal-Mart for $20. I figured it was worth it just for all the thread it comes with, since individual spools of thread can be very expensive.
And here she is, out of the box--my virgin Singer 1507!
The instruction manual wasn't as daunting as I expected it to be, and I read all the relevant information before getting started. Taylor took a nice long nap, giving me enough time to unbox the machine, set it up, read the manual, wind and insert a bobbin, thread the top thread, get 'er going, and finish my first project!
I had a sweet Golden Girls t-shirt that was never again going to fit my post-pregnancy body, but I just couldn't part with it. I decided to make it into a tote bag so I could still get some use out of it. This tote bag only required one long, straight line of stitching to close the bottom of the t-shirt, which is why it was my first project. As you can probably tell from the picture, the only other steps are cutting off the sleeves and cutting the neckline to make the bag opening wider. I traced a dinner plate for the neck hole, and I cut the sleeves as close as possible to the existing seam, for a little added strength. It's not too pretty up close, so you could also cut off the seams all together. I read two different sets of instructions for this project online, and one said to hem the neck and sleeve openings for sturdier handles, and the other said this was unnecessary because jersey is very strong and stretchy. After stitching the bottom of the bag, I turned it right-side out and filled it with jars of peanut butter (I had several from a sale, of course) and gave it a few good shakes. The handles didn't break, so I decided not to hem them (although the sleeve seams probably helped). I couldn't really hem the neck hole anyway, because it would mean losing the top of the Golden Girls graphic, which was a little too high up on the original t-shirt. And the #1 rule of sewing is "Never stitch through Betty White's coiffure." Well, maybe that's not #1, but it's right up there.
My "Stay Golden" tote bag wasn't much of a challenge, but I do have a more difficult t-shirt tote bag all pinned up and ready to sew today or tomorrow. It uses two t-shirts, so it will be stronger, and it also won't look so obviously cut from a t-shirt. Stay tuned...