Wednesday, November 17, 2010

“You don’t sew. Really now.”

This is an excerpt from a comment made by my pal Kolein, from Kitchen Table Productions.  She’s positive I’m trying to snow you about my sewing abilities, after recently reading about my pleated liners.

As she so skeptically puts it, “You don't sew. Really now.”

She always makes me laugh! 

So I decided to show you all a few things behind the scenes and maybe then you will understand.

See this sewing machine?


It’s my mail order sewing machine purchased back in the 80’s.  My first.  And last.  And not because it’s a good one either.

For one crazy moment I thought it would be a great idea to buy a sewing machine and try my hand at sewing.  Even though I got a terrible grade in it in my 7th grade Home Ec class.

This thing was a nightmare right out of the box. 

From the get-go I have never been able to adjust the tension, stitch length, or for that matter the type of stitch. 

It came with a box of cams.

Apparently the cams were to get the machine to make all kinds of fancy embroidery stitches. 

Never happened.  They are long gone now.

If I try to adjust anything on this machine, it goes wacko and breaks thread right and left.

I hate it! 

Hence my not so fond nickname for it.  The Blue Monster.

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Now let’s take a look at my sewing “tools”. 

Need to rip a seam out?

No problem. 

I have this…..

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Doesn’t everyone use a box cutter for ripping seams? ;)

Need to measure something?  Got that covered with this yard sale carpenters’ folding tape measure. 

(When not put to use for sewing, it makes a pretty star shaped shelf decoration.)

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And then there’s my straight pin collection.  Found by frantically rummaging through all my junk drawers and jewelry box. 

I got 5.

Count them.

Five stick pins!

4 of which are bent.

That’s a magnetic key case they are stuck to. 

Just so I don’t lose any of these precious commodities.

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Have you ever tried to sew with only 5 pins?

Not for the faint hearted!

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My material of choice.


Drop cloth from Home Depot.

2 6x9 cloths for $9.99

My favorite part about it is the edges are already hemmed.

That and it rips in a pretty straight line.  Saves a lot of grief in the measuring and cutting area. 

And the pre-hemmed pieces are perfect for using for pleated ruffles.  (all these tidbits of info were found from reading blogs, btw)

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The only thread I own is white.

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So knowing I can’t really sew, why on earth did I even think to order the Quick Pleater tool in the first place?  Me, of all people, who doesn’t even own a pincushion for crying out loud?

Quite simply, out of necessity.

Meet my sweet furry girl, Sandy…..


She has just one very tiny bad habit.


She finds my furniture very tasty.



Yes, that is clear duct tape holding the arm of the chair together.  She really went to town on that one.

You would think we never fed her.


I need to make slipcovers for these 2 wing back chairs if they are to stay in my living room. 

It’s time to either save or toss. 

Personally I believe it would be a big waste of money to purchase new furniture for Sandy to snack on. 

Enter the wonderful world of blogging.

Imagine my joy to discover that for $20 in drop cloths I can make something like this beauty Miss Mustard Seed shows us. 

She did a great tutorial on using drop cloth for slip covering.  Click the picture to get to it.

Or how about this gorgeous slipcover?

Kelly at Much to do With Nothing shares many of her beautiful creations here.   She has some great tutorials on her blog, and I first saw the quick pleater tool over there. 

A life changing moment, I tell ya!  

Looks like I’ll be pulling out the old Blue Monster again…..and even though I don’t sew I will try anything once.  Or twice in this case.

But that project is for after the holidays.

Maybe I’ll put stick pins on my Christmas list.

Meanwhile, some strategically placed throws will have to mask the damage.




  1. Rose!
    Be still my heart. A girl after my own heart. I too have a machine-- in a fancy table w/lift top and a few odd and end sewing supplies--- don't sew often, have the same exact problems w/ my machine, cams and all--- parallel lives you and I have, when it comes to sewing!

    Hilarious-- I've always blamed my lack of sewing on now sewing organization, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

    I'm just getting around to visiting everyone again now that I've gotten the internet back.

    you'll be seeing more of me!

  2. Oh my gosh it is just to hillarious and put a smile on my face this very stressful morning. I am so glad I found time to sit down and read your blog today.
    I love to sew and dropcloth has actually become on of my favorite fabrics too. It is awesome as placemats and tablerunners too, you just have to remember to wash the fabric first before even cutting it (at least if you plan to wash what you make as it does shrink)and then iron it to make it look nice again.
    Good luck on your wingback chairs.

  3. This post is a riot... you will make do with what you have won't you?

    Those chairs would be awesome slipcovered.

    I just love your pin cushion... magnetic and all... I think that works far better than any pin cushion I have ever owned... great idea.

    Hope you are having a great week.

    Hugs, Deb

  4. I LOVE THIS SO MUCH I AM ROARING OUT LOUD!! Rose, you ARE the funny one!!! Oh my goodness!!! Hysterical!!!!!

    I absolutely ADORE the magnet thing. That's the way to go! Pin cushions? Puh!!!!

    Make slips for those chairs. Proper Prim is RIGHT! Those chairs will be amazing! And if Sandy eats them again....well, you can grab the tape, I suppose!!!!!!!

    Rose!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm still laughing!!!

    I don't know that I've ever read a more honest post! In my life!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    thank you!
    ~Kolein - I'm putting you up on my FB right now!!!! Everyone has to read this!!!!!

  5. You made some gorgeous liners using 5 pins and a box cutter? You really do sew. If you had no talent for sewing, they wouldn't have turned out so nice with that kind of handicap.

  6. Hahaha, you really did have a challenge with lack of sewing skills and tools, but you were ingenious with creativity and that you should be proud of!!...
    And yeh, I think you need to buy some pins!

  7. rose, good luck! let me know how it goes :)
    i was just saying to myself this morning....gee, i really wish i could sew. if you're successful at it this time, you just may be my motivation to try!

  8. ohhh, you poor thing! Look at those pitiful sewing notions! :) how sad!
    stick pins? I call them "straight" pins. Is that another regional difference?
    I'm so sorry you have such a hard time with the blue monster! It looks like a pretty nice machine considering!
    I think you do a fine job sewing!

  9. Rose, you are tooo funny! That was a great way to start the day. Now, let me tell you how to handle that machine. Let her know who is boss! I tell all my machines that they can and will be replaced if they misbehave. And they know it! They have seen other machines disappear in the middle of the night.

    And your seam ripper? Not to far off. A single edge razor makes a great seam ripper.

    Now do ask for pins for Christmas. But get T-pins--much better for working with the drop cloths.

  10. LOL!!!

    I needed to borrow a needle the other day to sew on a button so my kid could wear his jeans to school. I had to phone a neighbor for one. So I may have you beat in the pathetic pin department...

    I need to make a slip cover too so I'll be watching your progress!

    (FYI, MMS' picture link didn't work..)


  11. Rose,
    You have a great sense of humor...I will be waiting to see them all dressed up after the holidays!!!!


  12. I had the very same problems with my brand new sewing machine. So I put it in the closet for the next 20 years figuring it just wasn't a good one. Low and behold, my daughter-in-law's mum sat down, with all of her talents and experience and has had it working just fine! Apparently it wasn't the machine's fault that I didn't have a clue.
    So...find someone experienced and you might find out that your blue monster can be warm and fuzzy :)

  13. You had me at "curbshopaholic"! I cannot tell you how many times my husband has hoisted me up to reach a treasure in a dumpster or two. The likes of which stand proudly in my home as vintage re-loved beauties. Stopping over from one of your lovely member's blogs, hugs from Cali, tami

  14. Rose is there anyway I could do this to my sofa and loveset?!? My cat 'MELVAN' is a fuzzy mess!!
    I will have to try this!
    I going to print this out and do it this weekend!

  15. LOL! my kind of sewing.. if it doesn't have to be washed, its glue gun time... and i too LOVE those dropcloths, just made a roman shade for my craft room out of one! Saw your triple bench on Gail's Repurposed Life blog, love it!


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