Sew, I’ve Taken the First Steps

Well – It happened. Sparrow met Singer and it was love at first sight!! This week I sat down, put thread to material, and I actually managed to make a pillow come out of the whole darn mess.

[note: To be more accurate I first went to fabric-land, then I read some instructions, spooled some thread, ate a sandwich, tried to set the machine up, got a bit angry, changed clothes, got more comfortable, pet the cat, finally spooled, cut some material, ironed the seams, and THEN I sewed a pillow….. this is less about the pillow, more about taking the plunge.]

As an inexperienced sewer, shopping for material was an experience all of its own.


I felt like a cross between kid in a candy shop and a kid in an adult video store……. I didn’t set out to draw that exact visual comparison – though upon further consideration it does seem to make the connection work…. What I am (rather crassly) trying to point out is the fact that I was WAY out of my element. I don’t know what I thought would happen (perhaps that I would find a similar pattern to that of the picture in my book?), but man alive, it was a bit of an inundation of choices.


Firstly, I had no idea what type of material to buy so I walked around touching just about every bolt (I learned that that is what rolls of material are called) I could. Essentially the exercise here was just “feel” my way to an ideal pillow material. (I call it… “instinctual fabric shopping”.. let the fibres choose you).

Next I had to text Sloop John B and ask him to convert for me, yards to meters. This is because I didn’t want to look like a fool when ordering, and I don’t speak the “yard” talk…. (“football season starts this week Emily!”….)

As it turns out I ended up with far too much, but no matter, it was on sale and I now I’ve got myself not ONE but TWO fabulous envelope pillows.

Errr.. to be more honest I have two envelope pillows; one is fabulous, the second is less fabulous, more.. functional. You see, in haste I sewed the back piece on inside out or backwards… but I left it as it was as a lesson and warning… take your time!

BUT I digress, the adventure continues. You are reading along with someone who had no clue how to thread the darn machine let alone spool a bobbin. But, I managed to spool the heck out the bobbin, snap it into place and then I was off to the races. Of course this was after about … hmmm 5 attempts while swearing, sweating, and having self defeatist thoughts. Not too shabby for my first time.

My instructions did NOT have numbers.. I should have googled this sooner.

For anyone just beginning I would recommend setting aside about 1/2 an hour, to set your machine up, no stress, no rush. I think I’ve managed to get a handle on all things bobbin after deciphering the VERY hazy pictures in my “SINGER Model 9020” Instruction Manual. For instance, in one case the instructions said: “Holding the Bobbin in Place, guide thread into notch (1), and then into notch (2).” You might assume there were numbers in the picture to the diagram, but if you did you would be wrong.

So, yes, NEEDLEss to say (oh the opportunities for PUNS are endless!) it took a bit of struggling and swearing but I think SINGER and I have come to a mutual understanding, and lets just say bobbins won’t be a problem any longer.

It's a Pun and It STAYS.

If you are interested in how it turned out take a look at The Pillow Post

This post is dedicated to Mama Sparrow who gave me SINGER for my birthday.. Thanks mom!


5 thoughts on “Sew, I’ve Taken the First Steps

    • Hi Claire! I know, don’t you just want to spend hours browsing? Unfortunately though I can’t take claim for these, it will be a life long search for the stores! Next time I go I’ll have to bring my camera along with me 🙂 Are you a big sewer?

  1. I am so excited for you!!! How excited I am for me. Now I have someone to talk thread, material and all that stuff (or stuffing). You will soon find the urge to buy material and hoard it for something special. Go For It!!! There are support groups for people like us. Welcome to the fold.

  2. Pingback: The Pillow Post | Sparrow in the Tree Top

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