For someone who has yet to sew an actual stitch (I did some test stitches on an old t-shirt), I have a fair amount of sewing gear.
First and most importantly, I have a sewing machine, a Kenmore that’s older than I am. It’s my mom’s machine (note: her only machine, not her old machine), that she bought with her final teaching paycheck before having me and becoming a stay at home mom. Her first sewing class was her last, and she didn’t use the machine much.
When Mom gave me the sewing machine a few months ago, the extension piece was held to the body of the machine with duct tape. Apparently, the metal peg that holds the two pieces together had come out of the extension and lodged itself in the body of the machine. I couldn’t do anything that would permanently affix the extension because it needs to be off to load the vertical bobbin. And I’m guessing there’s a reason for the extension, like it’s easier to sew long pieces when it’s on(?).
Upon reading the sewing manual (more on that later), I realized that I could take off the bottom of the machine (duh), and upon doing so, I was able to dislodge the peg and reattach it to its proper place on the extension piece. And voila, the sewing machine is whole again.
So being a modern girl, I searched high and low online to find videos to show me how to thread the needle and load the bobbin and, you know, sew. As it turns out, the manual that came with the sewing machine was the best reference I could find.
Although I will say that the explanation for loading the bobbin is a little lacking. It seems like there’s a step or two missing, but I did eventually figure it out.
Once I got everything set up, I did some test stitching on a t-shirt (fun with zig zags!), and it seems like the machine still works great, at least as far as I can tell, even the old-school avocado green foot pedal. It’s a good, study machine, with no plastic parts, but it lacks the programmed stitches and automatic buttonhole making of newer machines. I’ll definitely start learning on it and wait to see if I stick with sewing and whether I need anything fancier before I think about purchasing anything else.
Along with her sewing machine, my mom gave me her sewing bag of threads and needles and thimbles, and elastic, and interfacing, and pins galore. I cleaned out the bag of anything really old/falling apart/ruined/worthless and organized everything into my new sewing bag (the old bag was also a repurposed purse and was falling apart). The thread is pretty old, but it should be okay for practice sewing. I imagine that the elastic is too old to be good, but I might try to play with it anyway. I definitely need some new needles; the only ones my mom gave me are for really thick fabrics.
I’ll be purchasing the Sewing 101 kit at The Needle Shop, so I’ll add things like good scissors and a pin cushion there. I know I’m going to need other things like zippers (and of course more fabric), but I feel pretty set. I even have a bag for fabric and a bag for patterns!
Now to keep myself from purchasing a dress form (have I mentioned that I tend to get ahead of myself…).