This was very true with the lovely Stag's Head Craft Kit by The Makery which Donald gifted to me quite some time ago, and I have been avoiding for ages.
Me and my sewing machine don't have an amazing relationship, and it always puts me off sitting down and sewing something. However, I have been watching a lot of The Great British Sewing Bee lately, and that has been inspiring me to get on it.
This kit is just lovely, I mean look at the contents!
You get everything you could need to make the stag's head, including all the fabric, thread and stuffing. This the closest I've come to sewing something like clothing, as the paper pattern was very similar to clothing ones I have seen (though a lot easier obviously), and even had notches you had to line up when sewing, and other marks you had to transfer to the fabric to keep you right later on.
After about an hour of cutting out I was finally ready to go, but my sewing machine was not on my side. It has a habit of just deciding to make the underneath of my sewing look like guff. It all gets tangled and the thread comes out in huge lumps, and as the stitching on the antlers was going to be on show, it really needed to be pretty.
I must have stitched one antler about 10 times, and had to rip it all back every time. Eventually I got one go I was happy with, and stuck with that one, even though when I looked back at it later, the stiches were all weridly pulled and thin looking, but I was NOT doing it again. Plus this was on the back, so I figured it would be hidden against the wall.
After much cleaning, rejigging the tension and shouting at my sewing machine, many Google searches told me this is issue is 1) common with side/front loading bobbin machines and 2) just common with my make of machine in general (which I did find during a rage Google when I was trying to make Harry Potter flag a little while ago too). I think I've learned that I need a new sewing machine, which has already been added to my Christmas list.
Anyway, once I got past the antler issue, sewing the head up was actually pretty easy, as sewing goes. I even got my notches to line up and everything.
After that it was just sewing in the little eye dents, attaching the antlers (which as is always the case with things like this, looked fine lying flat, and then looked a bit squint when I hung the stag's head on the wall) and the hanging loop at the back. Please excuse any hand sewing on show in this photos, as I'm really not the master of making that look neat (especially at the back of head, which again, at least is hidden against the wall!), and even when I follow the diagram of how to do a stitch (the mattress stitch in this case, I never seem to get it quite right/as hidden as it should be. Definitely something I need to work on as there's nothing worse that spoiling a project with the finishing touches!
We've always been planning on displaying the stag's head in our hallway, so that's exactly where it is hanging (which does not have the best lighting due to only having one tiny window).
After having quite a lot of success with this proper paper pattern sewing project, I'm quite keen to get more and more practise at sewing. I've always wanted to be able to do things like make Ivy exactly the Halloween costume she wants, or helps her sew things for school. I may however need a new sewing machine to actually succeed at that one though!
This project is a step towards completing my New Year's List. You can check out my progress here.
- Clear as many free and purchased craft kits as possible.