Miss Ruby Comes to Stay

I have this list of things (actually, lots of lists. I even have lists of lists. Lists are my jam.) that I really wish I would have done by now. Now, as thankful as I am for having a WAY longer list of things I'm grateful for having already done, there are a few tiny things that I should have gotten around to by now. A few? Watching at least the first season of Dr. Who, read something -anything- by Flannery O'Connor, yada yada yada. This is the year I turn 35, and there are lots of things on that list that are suddenly getting shifted up because I'm feeling all "what am I waiting for??" these days.

Learning how to sew is absolutely one of those things I've been waiting and wanting to do. Waiting for what...I don't even know, man. There are three very cute little girls in this house whose mama enjoys them so very much, and sewing is a thing, a skill, that everybody could use yet is fading fast. The last two trips to the fabric store cranked up that desire to sew quite a lot and that, paired with a serendipitous post on Varage Sale, resulted in getting a much better deal anyway on Amazon, which culminated in the arrival of this lovely lady you see here.    


Interweb friends, meet Miss Ruby.

Miss Ruby and I have gotten to know each other the past few days, and I must say she is an absolute gem. (heh)

She is mostly a compliant lady who helps us put in some stitches to whatever creation I am figuring out at the moment, and sometimes she laughs when I forget to do a thing like put down the presser foot before starting. Occasionally she cusses at me in thread if I mess up, but understands when I give it right back to her. She's been a good new friend and hopefully she'll feel welcome here for years to come. We're gonna do great things, Miss Ruby and I.

miss ruby's manual

When taking her out of the box, the first thing I did was study the manual. Not just read the manual, but actually study the manual. The vocabulary of sewing is the first hurdle to figuring it out...because the presser foot? It is absolutely not what you probably think it is if you're a non-sewing person. I watched videos on YouTube, scoured Pinterest for tips and tricks, and studied videos created by the Singer Sewing company. They have their own YouTube channel, by the way, which is perfectly helpful.

So I studied Miss Ruby, made sure I could name all her bits and pieces, and moved on to actually winding the bobbin, loading the bobbin, threading the machine, and raising the bobbin thread. Have your eyes gone crossed yet? This might be easy for most of you but it took me HOURS, people. Hours.

The Captain sacrificed an old shirt to the cause because I had no material to practice on. This is good foreplanning, right? We cut it into bits and then practiced sewing. It was spectacular and powerful and moved too fast but then too slow and the stitch line way too crooked. Always too crooked. Whatever, I figured. We will get to that later. Do you sewing persons have help for me on this, by the way? I read about the zig zag stitch and the straight stitch but all I have right now is the drunk stitch.

I had selected this project as my first because of the aforementioned fabric issue and because the sweet lady used words like "fun!" and "easy!" when the pin came up in my search for simple sewing projects for beginners.

Presenting...my very first sewing creation!!! Please, hold your applause.

first sewing project

Please note the interesting stitch work, the use of a leveler to measure because where is the measuring tape in this house, and the use of actual chalk in lieu of a fabric chalk pencil. Are you impressed yet? Good times, friends, good times. We all had a good laugh at this one. I would now like to draw your attention to what I'm calling the firefly stitch. It's a new thing Miss Ruby and I came up with. All the sew-ers are going to be doing it before long.

firefly stitch

What came next, though, was the best part. Sassafras decided that she was hip to this sewing thing, too. And I told her, I can't teach you...I don't know how to do this. So we looked at each other and shook hands and we decided to learn together. She made these two creations to give away, and I told her all I would do was press the pedal (she actually tried, but her brain couldn't work both parts so she ended up holding her foot down while screaming...can't say much, did the same thing my first time.)

She had to do everything else herself. And so she did. My baby measured (with the leveler, ahem), she pinned, she cut, she sewed, she flipped it inside out, and she sewed it again. Then she made a little purse for her Jjajja, though she did remark about 10 times that she would just have to tell her that it wasn't perfect but it was handmade! (insert her Sassy hand motions and head tilt)

Sassafras sews
 She made this sweat rag for her Pop, who swears he is going to frame it.

She made this sweat rag for her Pop, who swears he is going to frame it.

And she was right, of course. I think that's going to be the point of all this for us. Nothing we ever do is going to be perfect, but it will be our little handmade experience.

Miss Ruby, she's here to stay. Maybe she can help us check some more items off a few other lists around here...