Thursday, May 30, 2013

Spaz vs The Machine

This weekend our Girl Scout troop is hosting an All Scouts Day where we plan on giving our girls the badges and fun patches that they have earned this year (providing we don't get rained out - South Florida is proving to be a rainy lady for the past few days). I'm super excited because Goober's Cub Scout pack will be doing their crossover ceremony at the event, too. I love it when scouts get together in harmonious scout love.

At any rate, yesterday one of my super awesome co-leader's (we have 3 leaders for our troop and we really do need every one of our heads to make it work) went to the dollar store and bought these adorable little green tote bags to give to each of the girls with their awards.

The three of us communicate with each other frequently in a little facebook chat, so yesterday this was part of the chat that my co-leaders had when I wasn't looking.

That's right. I recently purchased an embroidery machine. 

It all started because of scouts (everything in my life seems to start because of scouts). The kids uniforms looked like crap. Goober's Cub Scout shirt had stains on it from where I bled my own blood while attempting to sew on his numbers, Munchkin's vest was empty with a ziploc baggie of pretty patches attached to it, and Bug had nothing on his shirt at all. It was $2 a patch to have someone else sew them on (with three kids that adds up super fast) and even though many of my fellow scout parents had volunteered to help out nothing had ever come to fruition.  So I told The Man that I needed a sewing machine.

When we started looking at sewing machines and realized that so many of them now come with this cool embroidery function, we decided that it might just be a wise investment to add on to my growing t-shirt business. Embroidered stuff is desirable, yanno?

So we purchased a fancy schmancy sewing/embroidery combo and a bunch of thread.  Immediately upon getting the machine home, The Man set out to learn everything and anything he could about the machine. Before I knew it he was using scrap fabric I had lying around to embroider hearts and flowers and everything else the machine had already loaded in it.

But me? I stuck to sewing.  The embroidery thing intimidated me. You had to use a screw driver thing to change it from a sewing machine to an embroidery machine and you had to trap the fabric in this modern day fabric torture device and it was just plain scary. So I avoided it.

Until yesterday's message.

I had to get over the hump.  It was for the girls.

So I let my co-leader know she could come over with the bags and we'd embroider them.

Y'all... from the get-go the machine and I battled. The Man decided that last night was the night to get me to figure this all out and offered only guidance but wouldn't do any of the actual work. First, trying to get the thick woven material into the scary torture device (I hear it's called a loom) was a nightmare. But once I figured that out, then I had to do the programming to actually put the name on the bag in the right position. 

After way too long figuring that out, the machine was ready to go and I pressed the magic green button.

Almost immediately the machine threw the needle right out of the damn thing toward my face. It was trying to blind me.

What I have done to piss this machine off, I'll never know. 

I figured out I was using too wimpy of a needle and had to beef it up. Luckily The Man had the foresight to have already purchased some beefier needles. So we changed the needle and tried again. 

About halfway through embroidering the first name, the needle flew out at me again! Hah! You missed me, machine!

I had forgotten to tighten it in with the screwdriver thingie. 

This time I tightened it nicely, and started on another bag. 

The next three bags went off without a hitch. I was starting to feel comfortable. The machine felt me relax and struck again.  

This time, the thread by the bobbin was all a mess and stuck up in the machine in all sorts of places and I had to use the jaws of life to actually free the bag from the machine's thready clutches. Two bags down - good thing they were only a dollar.

After freeing the same bag from the machine three times, refilling the bobbin, winding thread on the underside of where the bobbin sits to wind it instead of actually on the bobbin, and destroying yet another bag, I finally completed adorable embroidery on 5 out of the 8 bags.

Later today I'll have to run and pick up some more bags from the dollar store to replace the ones that were damaged. 

In last night's lesson I learned a few things - one being that you should only attempt embroidery with alcohol readily available - and I think I might be getting the hang of the machine. Eventually I think I might be able to actually do some neat stuff with it.

For today, though, I think the machine and I will give each other some space.