I’m a bit of a knitter (see post under Old Articles) and more recently started to crochet but as we were focussing on getting the boat in the water in 2014, I thought that maybe wool and water didn’t go together well and I would be better employed learning how to sew and be able to make the soft furnishings for the boat. So late 2013, I signed up for Introduction to Sewing.
Neil had already bought a secondhand Pinnock heavy duty electric sewing machine off Ebay with the thought that we could do sail repairs, make stuff etc on board. I signed up for a 4 evening course, Intro to Sewing with Sew Me Something in Stratford upon Avon. The courses were great for a beginner, like me, who hadn’t really touched a sewing machine since my teens.
The course started with getting to know the machine and how to thread and wind the bobbin. Over the course of the 4 weeks we made a button up cushion, a throw it all in bag, a zippy make up bag, and I just had time to squeeze in a heart shaped pin cushion.
The workshops were really friendly and everyone could go at their own pace. We were helped along with tea and a generous piece of home made cake. Most welcome as, like me, some of the others had come straight from work and had not eaten since lunchtime.
I was amazed with the sewing machines they used and all the functions. These were wizzy fully computerised Janome machines with preset decorative stitches, a button hole function and other sewing wizardry. The last machine I had used was my Mum’s hand cranked singer machine. Bit of a difference.
Anyway I was pleased with what I had made and wanted to carry on sewing so I signed up for a day long workshop to make a reversible skirt. That too was a good day and I was pleased with my skirt – one side of which matched the lining of my throw it all in bag. Not planned so much as just because I really liked the fabric.
I certainly felt as though I could now have a go with a sewing machine with more confidence than previously.
For Christmas, a lot of my friends got a zippy make up bag – handmade with love. I also made a stash of cushion covers (without the button detail) for the numerous cushions we have. Neil things that the boat is a cushion shop when he opens the front hatch where I have stashed them. I’ve made a specific Christmas one which will be out on 1st Dec and also made some “curtains” for my cubby holes over the bed.
However, the fabric I had bought for the cushions in the salon, deck pod and chart table seat was expensive and I knew that I needed the covers to be made really well and professionally. A job I was not up to. My Aunt’s friend who for years has been altering our clothes had a look at what I wanted and made the covers plus liners beautifully. The fabric was from John Lewis and isn’t an oil/tin cloth which we felt would be too sticky on bare legs but the fabric I chose was a water resistant one in an olive print – Teflon Coated Tablecloth Fabric. I struggled to find many places that had heard, let alone stocked this type of fabric. It’s working really well. I was particularly worried about the pod seat pad and the two cushions we use as deck cushions but despite being semi-outside they are holding up well. They won’t take a soaking but and will stain if something like red wine is not mopped up immediately but I’m really pleased as I have the peace of mind of the fabric being somewhat resistant to liquid and can be wiped clean.