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I'm Heather McGarrigle and this is my blog - a colourful celebration of culture, crafting and creativity in Northern Ireland and beyond.

Just...sew!

Just...sew!

Well, after abandoning the old girl for a while, I decided to plug in the sewing machine last night to run up a simple beach/tote type bag I had an idea for.I have a cute old pillowcase with a pretty blue patchwork design; I plan to use that as the main bag and funk it up a bit with denim straps and embellishments.So, all fired up and confident that I'd finally mastered the tough stuff like bobbin winding and threading, I sat down and did a couple of test runs on some scraps of fabric, which worked fine. The stitches weren't perfect, but until I'm running up frocks for the Duchess of Cambridge I'll not worry too much about Chanel-quality stitching.

Pinned n' pressed and nowhere to go...

The plan was to fold the pillowcase in half, hem the tops, sew along the sides and that would be the main bag sewn - but the damn thing just would not sew!Even though the needle was threaded and the bobbin thread had been pulled through and was where it should be, the fabric was going through and the needle was sewing away but wasn't leaving any stitches! Arg....

I had it set to 6 stitches per inch as I felt this might be the best bet for the thicker fabric volume I was trying to sew through. I experimented with different thread tensions and was using a relatively large needle (I think - I am a total novice at this!) The needle was a 15 x 1 Size 16 (100) and yes, I am copying this straight from the packet it came from!I didn't have a chance to mess around with the presser foot pressures, so I'm not sure if this would make a difference or not; I'll maybe give that a go tomorrow but I was on the verge of a Basil Fawlty breakdown after a fruitless hour at the machine, so for tonight, I've taken a deep, cleansing breath and walked away...Feel free to comment or email if you've any Singer 99k tips, can spot any schoolgirl errors in what I've been trying to do, or just have some troubleshooting advice for this machine!

Hopefully I'll read back through my blog in a few months' time and laugh at how clueless I used to be. In the meantime, this might be a suitable little adornment for my sewing table...

My Mela

My Mela

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