My primary purpose for buying a sewing machine was to hem pants. However, since my machine did not come with a blind hem foot, that project had to be put on hold for quite some time. It was a while before I managed to procure one from a sewing products store in the Garment District of Downtown LA. Then more time elapsed before I found time to actually sew. The sewing process took a very long time, since I haven't done this before. In the end, I had a pair of wearable pants, which was good. The job isn't perfect, but since the pants are black, no one can tell. The next pair of pants will come out looking better for it.
Once I got started, I couldn't stop sewing. I decided to make 2 pouches--one for holding some sewing notions, and the other for holding some personal effects in my purse. I drew my pattern on an Arts insert in the newspaper, since the paper is nice and thick (and recycling is good and free). Then it was time to cut the fabric, which wasn't hard--a light, stiff cotton lining and a canvas fabric for the outside.
The fabric was easy to cut, but sewing them was a struggle. I had a hard time getting the tension right (and I'm not sure I ever completely succeeded). I did the sewing notions bag first, since it won't be seen in public. I made a few mistakes here and there, so the bag ended up smaller then I had planned. And for some reason, I just couldn't get a button hole done. I gave up on it, since I don't really need an enclosure for this bag.
I moved on to the bag that would see daylight. Unfortunately, I sewed in such a way that the wrong side of the lining was turned outward. At least the print still shows, but I could see that the project was not going to go well. To my surprise, sewing the rest of the bag was not quite so bad. However, the button hole came back to haunt me again. I believe that the thread I used was just too thick, since the machine jammed again, and again, and again, even though I got the settings right. In the end, I cheated and created my button hole with a zigzag stitch instead of using the buttonhole foot and function. It ain't pretty, but it got the job done.
My sewing binge ended after I finished my chiffon scarf. When I first bought this fabric, I knew that I wanted to make a scarf out of it. I also knew that hemming the edges of the delicate chiffon material was going to be a challenge. The blind hem foot made things easier, though the corners were still a struggle. The feeding dogs kept on eating the corners. Still, a scarf is a scarf is a scarf. I'll just consider the slightly-frayed corners as a "special feature for a handmade look." I love the print, and I like wearing it with a "tough" outfit--the light chiffon softens the look just so.
[BCBG green sleeveless top, Joie denim moto jacket, my own scarf, Miss Sixty pants (which I just hemmed), black and white plaid Nikes]
Total cost of materials: less than a dollar. Struggling and cursing and finally getting a finished product and a great learning experience: priceless.