Thursday, March 19, 2009

Machine Woes and Human Training

My surger and I have a love hate relationship with each other. There are days when I totally love it, and it shows me love back by effortlessly producing great work. Yesterday we were not quite seeing eye to eye. I found though, that most of it was my fault. I need to learn to finesse that machine more and force it to do less. It is not the same as my workhorse Singer sewing machine. That machine will take anything I put through it and happily turn out consistent results. I guess I just need more training on the surger and need to spend more quality time practicing on it. Right now I am trying to master the shirring foot for the machine. It is a great attachment that I would totally love to be able to use. I am currently taking more lessons at Fat Chance Bellydance and they want you to wear the standard pieces of American Tribal attire to classes once you hit level two. That is coming up for me this summer, and I want to be prepared with several skirts that would be appropriate. While I already have two 10 yard skirts, I have only made one for myself, and the gathering of 10 yards of fabric into the skirt was rather time consuming. Plus, why do it by hand when I have this fancy machine that should do it for me? The big challenge is finding the right settings on the machine to perfectly gather the two pieces of fabric at an even 2 to 1 ratio. It is also an interesting thing to try to feed fabric into a machine with both hands into different slots. Only one fabric is under the presser foot and the other fabric is passed above through a channel. It is a feat of eye hand coordination to be able to make it all work. I was blaming the machine for a while, but I am starting to realize that this human needs some more training and practice for this to work. Last time I tried this, I decided it was not worth it, and I could finish the skirt faster by doing it all by hand gathering. While it was true, I am starting to realize that if I just put in the time now learning this, I could expand the shop to someday offer skirts for dance in the shop as well.

So, on that note, today is going to be filled with machine practice. As a break, I am going to actually pick up the cross stitch belt while I watch some March Madness games. Hey, just because I am no longer working as an athletic trainer doesn't mean that I lost my love for sports. Besides, I keep saying I am going to work on that belt and seem to never actually pick it up. I am also hoping to make some hair flowers for the shop. Perhaps I will be able to get those made and ready for listing tomorrow. We will see where the machine lessons and March Madness lead me. I still have not found music I like for my performance. I hope that inspiration strikes soon!

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