DIY challenge (Cheshire cat costume): report
So here it is. I delayed making the stripes until two days ago, and actually sewing the clothes until yesterday. So it was a sprint of two days fighting with the machine. I finished some hours ago and needed to sleep, and today we just ran into dressing up the kid, make up the face and the smile, and run to school…
The good things: I learned how to sew a pijama, learned and trained zigzag so we don't end up leaving plush all the way down, did the makeup quite quickly (the smile is a bit askew but not much) and the kid is very happy with the costume and the makeup.
The bad thing is that even after more than 10 hours practising with the sewing machine, I still don't feel comfortable with it: I make silly mistakes and end up working double, I don't know why the thread breaks so often, and I finish the clothes, but the “inside” of the seams is not clean.
So we can say that I won the battle but the machine is still winning the war.
Of course sewing plush is harder than “normal” fabric. Maybe it would be easier to practise with summer clothes instead of with carnival costumes :) But right now I have not enough motivation to try another work soon, to keep on training to improve. I'm an officewoman, hand work is hard (except handwriting)! We'll see if I touch the sewing machine again this year, or rests until next carnival ;)
With this year's result, I'm happy overall, though. Happy Carnival!!
10 hours practice are not that much to feel fully confortable with the machine, so to me it doesn't look like the machine is winning the war, more like the war has just started.
I hope that you can find the motivation to go on soon-ish, so that you can gain more confidence and then start doing mistakes like the pros :) (i.e. because you're tired, on a deadline, trying to take shortcuts etc.)
IMHO the important bits to call something a success are:
* that the result is structurally valid (and this is a bit less important with a costume, which only has to be worn a few times)
* that the outside looks good
* that in the inside there is at least one error less than the previous project (unless this project was significantly harder than the previous one, in which case of course having more hidden errors is fine :) ).
(btw, for some of the issues, it can be helpful if you can get somebody with some experience to take a look at the machine as you're using it: thread breaking and the reverse not looking good looks like a tension problem: it may be because the tension you've selected isn't suited to the fabric. With the mechanical models I have experience with the solution is usually to play a bit with the upper thread tension while making tests on a bit of scrap, while the lower thread tension is usually left as is unless it has drifted significantly. I have no idea what to do with the electronic machines, however.)