Friday, November 16, 2007

Never throw out your SM's instruction manual!

It's Friday night and I have a full weekend. I am sitting here wondering how I am gonna jam some sewing into might and then again it might not happen...

So I have a little funny to share with you...yes, it's sewing related!

As I have said before I hate the finishing aspects of a garment. Sometimes I am really good and I will hem, make buttonholes and sew buttons on the garment right away...but other times the garment will sit with one, two or all three of these items incomplete until I am ready to wear it. Then the night before I want to wear it there is a flurry of activity as I try to get it completed. That's what happened to me one night this week...

When I finished the Jackie O Retro suit, I was waiting for buttons to come in. The buttons on the suit jacket in the pictures were just taped on...but I was just so thrilled that the idea worked and there was just those pesky little finishing details left so I considered it done. Well I finally decided to wear it this week...weeks after the buttons showed up...I actually had to look for them! I mean seriously look for them! Yes I know, what was I waiting for to wear it but I have ALOT of clothes! *LOL* So I sit down to make the buttonholes and miracles upon miracles, I learned something new about my machine.

I have had my machine for a decade and when I got it, there was such a step up from my old machine to this one. So I watched the video that came with it and read the instruction book from cover to cover, practiced on the sewing machine and everything! I mean I had it on this little card table and I spent days just making stitches and putting that machine through its how in the world did I learn something new a decade later!

Now I know you are dying to know what I learned right? *LOL* You are probably going to think its stupid and something I should've known but hey I didn't alright!

I learned that I could change the density of my buttonholes.

Now how did I happen upon this particular knowledge...well, the fabric in that jacket is a boucle and I was thinking about making corded buttonholes so that they would stand out a little better on the jacket front. See I can never remember if I am suppose to stick the little cord thingy's through the back of the buttonhole foot or around the little dohikey on the front of the buttonhole foot...anyway I needed some refreshing.

I'm reading the instruction manual, have my "aha moment" about the cording (I use embroidery floss by the way instead of cord) and notice this paragraph about changing the density of the buttonholes...I almost fell off my chair. joke! *LOL* I couldn't believe that I had been "making it work" all these years when with two little touches on the touch screen of my sewing machine and I had fuller, denser buttonholes. Coulda knocked me up side the head with a shoe!

So, has this ever happened to you? Have you been sewing along "making it work" and then learned something amazingly simple that just turned your world around? And did it totally change the way you did this task in the future? 'Cause let me tell you, my machine makes seven different kinds of buttonholes and I'm gonna be fiddling with those dials from now on!

And the moral of this tale..."Never throw out your sewing machine's instruction manual!" Always, always keep it close to your machine! *LOL*


  1. Yes! This sort of thing happens to me now and then, and I've been sewing for 40 years! I learned a lot of new tricks from Nancy Zieman's book "Sewing with Confidence"--the one on doing points on collars, and one on gathering, which really came in handy when I did a huge ruffle on a long nightgown.

  2. LOL! I probably would have fell out of my chair also. I know I never learned how to use my Elna to it's full potential, instead I just "made it work". I haven't had the Pfaff long enough to really play with yet. I think after it's repaired I'll spend a little more time learning all the ins and outs.

  3. too funny, and Yes! me too, and it was on buttonholes. I was playing around with the touchscreen on my machine a couple of months ago and found out there is a function where all I have to do is enter the size of the button (ie size 18, 20 whatever) and it makes a buttonhole the correct size. well, duh...I'd been marking and testing and all that.
    Maybe I ought to get out my manual.

  4. LOL. I can't think of anything off hand, but it happens to me, too. I've only been up a half hour, my brain is still a bit foggy. I do keep the manuals to both machines in the bin of pressing supplies on the ledge near the machines. I take a look at them every once in a while in case there's some feature that I don't use that I could be using.

  5. It's amazing the things we learn when we actually read the manuals! I think this also applies to other household appliances, and even our cars. For the longest time, I thought my serger one sewed in one stitch width. I couldn't figure out why my stitches were so close together...until I read the manual! And realized that the widths went from fine (the narrowest) to 4 (the widest). It was a realy Aha! moment for me. LOL!

  6. That hasn't happened to me yet. But your post made me seriously consider sitting down and focusing on reading the manual to my sewing machine from cover to cover.

  7. LOL this just happened to me, and it was about buttonholes. I bought my machine about 3 years ago so that I could have an automatic buttonholer that actually makes the same size buttonholes. But, I never took the class. Why? Who knows. Stupidity. I have had trouble with the auto button holer but never realized why until I reread the instruction manual or maybe read it properly for the first time. I have to put the foot down and let the needle enter the fabric when I press the pedal. I cannot apparently put the needle down manually and then start the buttonhole. I then proceeded to finally make perfect button holes. And to think that I laugh at my husband for not reading the instructions!

  8. Good find! I think I had better get out my SM manual and sit down for some lite reading. Maybe I'll find a gem like this also.

  9. Being an advanced beginner my sewing life is filled with "aha" moments! LOL Welcome to my world!

    I can't wait to see what you have been working on!

  10. Yep! I had my aha! moment when I figured out that the approrpriate foot makes all the difference in the world. Sounds simple but really I was too cheap to go buy a good zipper foot and just made the ones that came with the machine work for 12 years! THEN I got the right foot and wa- laa! Zippers aren't so tricky after all. :)


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