I Can’t Sew Straight


I was bought a sewing machine last Christmas and as much as I loved my new Brother machine I have been afraid of it ever since. So sadly the poor machine just sat gathering dust. I mean I felt guilty that it wasn’t being used as they are not cheap machines so I went to complete a sewing machine master class at Ministry of Craft in Manchester which I really enjoyed and would thoroughly recommend I was taught how to thread the machine, pull it apart and basic stitches and it was a lovely morning.

So I thought yes got this now this is easy! I went to John Lewis haberdashery and spent not a small amount on pink flowery fabric and a pink stripe and a cushion pad to make a Cath Kidston pattern envelope cushion.  I took it home and stretched out the fabric with glee and then with horror realised…I can’t see or cut straight lines.

Now it probably sounds very silly to people who can see straight lines but I literally cannot tell until someone points it out to me that a line is not straight. A teacher discovered it when I was in school that I was apparently ‘Cack Handed’ horrible term. It was in Graphics and I couldn’t make 3d paper shapes and it is true even using  a ruler the line I draw will not be straight but diagonal. The most basic of things can be difficult like measuring shapes, hanging pictures, seeing right and left and I also hold my knife and fork in the wrong hands which is more amusing then upsetting as my Husband does the same.
Its not terribly debilitating and is a family joke that any picture I hang will be slanted, diagonal or not level. I have nevet had it get in my way of crafting until the dreaded fabric cutting day. As you can imagine everything was cut diagonal so it wasn’t matching the Cath Kidston pattern and I did have a little cry over it. So it was hidden and put away with he sewing machine.

Now my Aunty, who lives in New Zealand, is a very talented crafter. She quilts, sews, knits and used to make dolls houses and knit teeny weeny clothes for the dolls house inhabitants on pins! (Yes I know). So she was in the UK and heard of my plight and rescued me! She bought a proper roller fabric cutter and board and showed me how to measure everything so it would fit and then cut out all the pieces for me and made me promise I would try again.

So last Sunday after a pep talk and an explanation about seams from my Dad, I finally forced myself to sit down and have a go. I was surprised I could but I wound the bobbins and threaded the machine easily, remembering tips from my class at Ministry of Craft. I laid out my pre cut straight pices and made my cushion! Hurrah!


Pink flowery cushion

It was tricky and I unpicked one seam completely as I had sewn the fabric pieces one side up and one side down. But it actually worked and did look like the cushion in the pattern with a flowery centre panel and 2 stripe side panels. And I don’t exactly know how but the stripes match up on the front and back. I will admit my first couple of seams are a bit wonky and not very even but they got better as I went along.

I altered the pattern slightly and added flowery ties on the back as I think my seams were slightly too.big but I am very pleased to conquer my fear of my machine and the fact that I can’t see straight lines and make a pink flowery cushion.


The stripy back

The moral of the story is to always try again and not just give up and also get someone else to cut the pieces!



7 responses »

  1. Well done for tackling a project despite your fears – I am also prone to slightly wonky measuring and cutting, I make great use of a set square next to my ruler to make sure I get a straight line. I think your cushion is beautiful.

  2. Your cushion looks wonderful. I love the fabric you’ve used and the ties on the back are lovely. I’m ‘sew’glad you didn’t give up on your sewing machine. Your not alone in the ‘not seeing things straight’ thing. Apparently my Aunt seems to have this problem. Apparently if she’s hangs a picture on the wall it’s always wonky but she sees it as straight. Have a lovely crafty week.
    Ali xx

  3. I think it’s great you’ve been persevering and got a bit of support! Your cushions look lovely as does the quilt cover – happen to have the same ;). x

  4. Great post
    I havent heard the term ‘cack handed’ for years !!
    The cushions look FAB !! Well done you !
    & hey! Call that a mess ?? then you’d literally die if you saw the state of the place when I’m sewing !!
    Its like a fabric bomb went off !!!

    Siubhan x

  5. Thankyou for your kind comments! I am glad I persevered and conquered my fears. I will definitely use your tip of having a straight side to measure against. Looking for my next sewing project at the moment so will challenge myself again! Xx

  6. I popped over from the Design Team at Handmade Harbour and loved reading your blog. I have a sewing blog and will be sharing tips and tutorials over on the Harbourside. My blog http://www.sewforsoul.blogspot.co.uk has hints, tips, projects and tutorials. My top tip is to hit the car boot sales and grab duvets by the likes of Next, Laura Ashley, Dorma etc. I try not to pay more than £1 and you get metres of gorgeous fabric. I used to be afraid of making mistakes but when the fabric has only cost you mere pennies you can just jump in! You have already made a great start your cushions are adorable x

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