Once I got the treadle machine* all cleaned, I did some stitching on fabric scraps to work on adjusting her - getting the tension right, getting the stitch length and presser foot pressure right. This time let me get everything just how I wanted it as well as let me get familiar with the machine and the treadling. When you're sewing on scraps though, you're not necessarily putting the machine through its paces and concentrating on things like consistent seam allowances, pivoting, curves or topstitching. I knew once I had everything going smoothly, I needed a project to really get to know her. I decided to make this reversible sling bag.
(It's a really easy sewing project, if you're looking for something easy.)
I used some quilting cotton and was very careful lining things up when I was cutting (also, I made sure the elephants would be right side up), but I realized right before I started, that I would have a seam running right down the middle of the side as I wear the bag. I decided I wanted a pocket there instead - so I made one, with an elephant right in the middle.
I also decided to use fusible interfacing on the back of the main fabric to give the bag a little more stability. I'm glad I interfaced and added the pocket, but if I do this again, I might make the strap just a bit wider - you have to turn it right side out through the strap and the extra bulk made that interesting. This is the other side which is what the front looked like before I put the pocket on - not terrible, since I didn't chop an elephant in half on it, but I like the front with the pocket.
I lined it with this little dot print (the pocket is lined too).
Since this was a getting to know the machine project, I also worked on topstitching with her. I love good topstitching, but bad topstitching can break a project. I think it's a good skill to have if you sew and I just enjoy topstitching (stitching in the ditch, not so much). I wanted to do some topstitching, both for the practice it would give me with the machine, but also because it makes the project look so much more finished. So we topstitched. It's a little different treadling and topstitching, but we figured it out and she does a beautiful topstitch!
*I still haven't decided on a name for her. I was leaning towards Kitty Mae (as in Miss Kitty and Mae West), but Ruby was suggested in a comment I read this morning and that hits the red (Red Eye), there's Ruby and Max (two really cute little bunnies that Caleb used to watch, and Max kitty loves the sewing machine), and also Kenny Roger's Ruby
, who was apparently taking her love to town (so that gets her previous life as a dirty girl). I'm going to keep thinking for a bit, but I think it might be one of these two names.
Labels: sewing, treadle sewing machine