The brief appearance of Betsy (White)

Sunday, May 6, 2012

In my crafty adventures I've repeatedly come across really interesting and cute DIY's that require you to know how to use a sewing machine. Learning this skill has been on my list of resolutions for a couple of years now.
I am happy to be able to say that I have finally taken my first steps into the sewing world.

An acquaintance was kind enough to give me and old sewing machine, a family heirloom really. It was and old "white" machine from the 60's, very "Mad Men", she is pink!. As soon as I saw her, I decided to name her Betsy (White). As I mentioned, I know nothing of sewing, so I took her to Sonia, my sister's sister-in-law, who's a sewing machine guru (she used to give sewing lessons). Her verdict? Betsy's motor is in great shape, she is however missing some essential pieces, which make her in essence, unusable!

Imagine my disappointment! My dear sister however, came to the rescue and let me borrow her own (largely unused) sewing machine for an extended period of time.

A three hour session, during which I filmed (thank you IPod), and took copious notes, has made me feel confident enough to attempt making a place mat. Here's a glimpse of it, and the somewhat wonky details, but please keep in mind that this is the first thing I have ever sewn.

And I am also missing some basic tools, such as a rotary cutter, properly sharpened scissors, a cutting mat and even a ruler. I had no idea that cutting straight is such a difficult thing to accomplish.

My source of inspiration was this post from Design Sponge, it's incredibly well explained.

And because I was on a roll, I also "whipped up" this little beauty, inspired by a tutorial I found on the "Purl Bee".

And I will be honest, this one isn't perfect either, without realizing I closed the drawstring channel on one side, so it's an absolute pain to close, but hey, that's easily fixed.

Now that I am armed with a sewing machine and have been bitten by the sewing bug, any suggestions on what to try next? Any book suggestions? Any supplies I absolutely have to get?


  1. Great success on your first projects! I have two books both called "Simple Sewing" - one by Lotta Jansdotter and the other by Celine Dupuy. Great projects for getting started and getting experience. xo K.

  2. yay! way to go hun! so proud of you! feel free to ask me any questions if you have them ok?

    I also second Simple Sewing any of Lotta's books are awesome and so are her fabrics!

  3. Monica your first projects is fantastic!
    The old sewing machines are the best and do good job! :D
    I have some books of Lotta Jansdotter too, She use cool cloth on her project. I'm sure you'll love her books.