Sarah Rieke » Living. Loving. Pressing on.

A pair of pj pants in my drawer were in need of some major repair.  They had several large holes in the well … crotch area.  Josh told me several times that I just needed to throw them away but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it for three reasons: 1. I knew it was a relatively easy fix for anyone who could sew 2. they are seriously soooo comfy and 3. they were part of a pj set I bought to wear in the hospital after I had Micah.  That last reason was the real kicker.  

So anyway, I attempted this hole fixing project at the tail end of nap time and I pretty much figured I wouldn’t be able to finish but I wanted to try anyway.  In hindsight that was a bad idea because I get total tunnel vision when working on something and don’t want to be bothered by anyone.  Lesson learned.  

I ran into the same problem I did yesterday – it seemed like multiple threads were all getting tangled into my project.  At one point it was so bad the machine wouldn’t even work.  Here is some evidence taken at the scene of the crime:

I really thought I had threaded everything wrong, so I youtubed this video.  It helped a little but I still was having trouble.  I rethreaded everything like five times and finally had some success.  One hole out of four is fixed.  About that same time I heard a little voice calling “mama!  mama!”  
I guess if I had to stop a project for anyone it would be him.  So this pants project will have to wait for another day.  

Later that day …

After my sweet guy went to bed I decided I had to finish my pj pants and most importantly, figure out what on earth I was doing wrong.  

I narrowed my problem down enough to figure out that I was sewing the extra “tails” of thread from the needle and bobbin back into my pants.  A quick google search landed me on this article.  After scrolling down a little, I identified my problems at steps 12-14.  Phew!

So, my problem now solved, I proceeded to finish repairing the holes in my beloved pj pants.  I am happy to report they are now decently wearable.  Just please don’t look on the inside … I really, really need to practice sewing a straight line!  
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Ok, so day one of my thirty-day thread project started at about 8:00 pm after my little munchkin was tucked in his bed, the kitchen was squeaky clean, and the toys had been corralled into the appropriate bins.  My goals of the night were: 

1. learn how to operate my sewing machine and 
2. hem a pair of pants

Here is the machine I am working with:

For starters, I youtube searched how to use a sewing machine and chose this video.  So that, coupled with the handy dandy owner’s manual, got me up and running.  The hardest part for me was figuring out the bobbin and needle threading.  I probably still don’t have it down pat.  

Next step: search youtube to figure out how to hem pants.  The result: this video.  Again, very helpful.  I would never have guessed you had to turn pants inside out to hem them.  Thanks youtube.  

The first pant leg (and not to mention my first sewing machine thingy I have ever done!) went … ok.  The seam was crooked.  When I used the backwards feature to finish, the thread tangled itself somehow (user error, possibly?), and I had to turn buttons and knobs to release the pants.  But it was my first try and the pant leg was hemmed.  

The second pant leg unfortunately looks worse than the first.  I think I started sewing the extra thread in the back of the machine into my current project resulting in some pretty ugly knotty stitching.  The machine wouldn’t go anymore and once I figured out that basically four threads were bring tangled together, the last part of the hemming went well and was much prettier.  

Here are my pants:

I know, I know.  You have hereby been granted permission to smirk a little and say something like “bless her heart.”  These navy khakis are most certainly not home to the best hemming job in the history of sewing, but I am actually really happy that the bottoms of these pants will no longer be traps for every crushed cheerio, smushed cheese cube, or goopy jelly mess on my kitchen floor.  

To be completely honest, I am not discouraged at all.  This experience has left me really excited to try my hand at more sewing projects.  Hooray for me. πŸ™‚ 

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A little nod to Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred Workout, I have decided to teach myself how to sew in the month of March.  It is a skill I have wanted to learn for quite some time and is now possible because my mother has so graciously lent me her sewing machine.  Thanks mom.  

I literally know very, very little about sewing.  I am aware of some concepts in hand sewing but am completely lost when it comes to sewing machine operation.  Bobbin.  I know the word bobbin.  That’s about it.  

So for this month I will undertake as many needle and thread projects as I can, starting with the nitty gritty nuts and bolts.  My plan is to chronicle the ups and downs of this newfound and long-awaited hobby.  If everything goes well, I might even be giving some projects away!  Tune in if you’d like and let me know if you have any comments/tips/suggestions along the way.  Here goes nothin’ … 

thirty day thread:
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  • Darla - Have fun! Although I am NOT an expert by any means, I am grateful that I know my way around a machine and have made a few things in my life. I wish I learned more from my mom (& grandma) in hindsight. It's really not something I enjoyed at the time I was being taught, but now I think I'd like it more. At the very least, if you can come away with a little knowledge, you'll be golden! Don't go broke! It's not a cheap hobby! Lol:-)ReplyCancel

  • Darla - My mom didn't own a store-bought dress until she was in her 30's!! I remember the day, since I was like 12! She and her mom always made all their own clothing. (and ours too). It is a really neat skill!ReplyCancel

  • Justina - How fun, Sarah! Last summer I did an online sewing class at . It was fun….I only did a few projects but I learned a ton. Enjoy.

    I am taking upholstery classes right now, so I have to get a lot better at sewing myself. I think I take too many short cuts.ReplyCancel

  • pricee - Look at the site for simple cheap patterns. Have you made a tee shirt scarf yet? It's not really using a sewing machine, but it is making a clothing item. Good luck and enjoy!ReplyCancel

Recently I have been having a lot of fun shopping my closet.  If your budget for wardrobe expansion is virtually nonexistent (like mine!) then shopping your closet is a great way to spruce up some old outfits.  

The basic idea is to take a second look at your typical outfits and maybe pair some items together you wouldn’t normally gravitate to.  One of the best ways to accomplish this is to mix up color combos.  And the best place to find color combo inspiration is … tada!  Pinterest.  

This photo is on my fashion board:

I totally fell in love with the classic crayon colors – canary yellow and bold navy – paired with neutral shoes.  Inspired, I decided on a way to interpret this outfit to function in my own life:

I wore this outfit for Saturday afternoon errands, complete with a trip to the kiddie play area at our local library.  

If you’re in a little wardrobe slump, I challenge you to do some browsing and come up with fun new color combos.  Let me know what you discover!

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Ok, so I’m a little late on that.  Ten days late, to be exact.  But here is the card I made to send to my family for the holiday of love:  

Inspired by sweethearts candy, made possible with the heart punch borrowed from my crafty friend, and cuteness maximized by a splurge on the crocheted ribbon, I must say I love the result!  

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  • Darla - Super Cute! The kids just finished eating the last of our "word hearts" yesterday:-)ReplyCancel

  • David Rieke - We got one of those cards, and we thought it was beeeautiful and clever–just like our daughter-in-law!ReplyCancel