My Sudden Entrance into the World of Sewing

After much hemming and hawing, I ordered drapes for the guest bedroom the other day. I went into U-Fab and looked at my fabric again, then I looked at the drapery options for several minutes.

I chatted with the staff for a few minutes. Then I got distracted by U-Fab's new custom furniture options (I'll share images tomorrow). Then I left the store. Why? Because I get overly cautious when making a "forever" decision. Paying a lot of money for custom drapes, to me, feels like a forever decision.

I stood outside for a few seconds and walked back in. "I have to do this." I said. And they wrote the order up. When the total came up, it wasn't a surprise because U-Fab is awesomely straightforward about costs, but it was a lot of money (for me).

As I drove away, I counted the number of windows in the house in my head and did the math to determine how much I might spend in drapes in the coming years. I was already driving to Jo-Ann's Fabric to sign up for a sewing class. I decided that it was time to learn to use a sewing machine.

I asked to sign up for a basic sewing class and the salesperson told me to return a little later when April, the Husqvarna Viking rep, would be there. I didn't realize it, but the sewing area in the middle of our Jo-Ann's (and I guess many others) is a store-within-a-store. I returned when the rep was there and she told me about my options. There was a Sewing 101 class offered at Jo-Ann's but if I was going to buy a Husqvarna Viking machine, I would have a series of free classes to get me comfortable with my machine. I'd also have unlimited access to her by phone and software classes every month, if I wanted them. She showed me a good, beginner machine and I was floored by all the features. It had a threading assistant, an on-board computer, and a fabric sensor that would adjust the thread tension based on how the fabric felt to the machine. I felt like I'd be cheating if I learned to sew on it.

There was a machine next to the one she was showing me that intrigued me, so I asked her to give me a demonstration.

And my mind was blown. This machine had all the features of the ones the first machine had and then some. On top of that, it had the ability to do embroidering. We designed that monogram on her computer, saved it to a USB drive, then loaded it into the machine.

I thanked April for the demo and left the store in a daze. Not only could I set myself on a path to make curtains, pillow covers, and other home things, I could do my own monogramming. Heck, I could do monogramming for my friends. What's more, the design options were far greater than the ones available at our local monogram shop, which only has about a dozen fonts and monogram designs.

I know this monogram is off. Our original design wasn't a diamond, where the last name initial is in the center.

Husqvarna Viking machines are expensive. They're probably in the same world as Bernina (we have a store here in Charlottesville), Pfaff, Babylock, and Janome. I didn't know this just a few days ago. I thought I was going to Jo-Ann's for a cheapie "I wanna play Project Runway" machine. I did some quick research because the Husqvarna Viking folks are offering free copies of the $850+ design software we used to create that monogram through the end of the month (a new version is coming out soon, but I think I'll be fine with the current one).

If you follow me on Instagram, you know what happened.

I spend a good part of Sunday reading the manual and learning to use the machine. By the early afternoon, I had this:

I tried another design and though the spacing is a little off, I'm pretty proud of myself. Next up, I'll try a design that uses multiple thread colors.


  1. Good for you. A sewing machine is a money saver and sewing is a great hobby. I wish they still taught sewing in schools. Now it dates me that I even know that they used to offer sewing. :) Happy creative home design!

  2. Yay! I will admit, the computerized machines intimidate the crap out of me. My singer has straight and zig zag stitch, and that is it. I thought I was moving into the big time when I bought my serger ($75 off craigslist!). I think you're going to have so much fun with it. And projects just seem to magically appear..."that much? I can MAKE that!"

  3. Congratulations! Welcome to the World of Sewing! We are sure that you will give your new machine a happy home with plenty of fun and exciting projects to work on.

  4. That's so exciting! When we move into a bigger place and I actually have somewhere to put one, I want to buy a sewing machine and learn to make my own clothes. I'll have to keep this particular machine in mind!

  5. So exciting! I can't wait to bust out my sewing machine for a few house projects, I can't wait to see what beautiful things you make with yours!

  6. I have been following your blog (how I found it I do not know) and imagine my excitement when I read you recent post. I am a Viking Sewing Gallery manager in Florida. I am so excited for you and look forward to seeing your journey into the wonderful world of sewing and embroidery.

  7. Way to go! You'll end up loving the machine once you get the hang of it. I have a basic machine and have a love hate relationship with it, but it's mostly because of user error. In the end, I am always pleased with what I can sew rather than buying off the store racks.

  8. Congratulations! How exciting to have a machine that can do monogramming!!! I bought a sewing machine shortly after I was married because I couldn't afford custom draperies but wanted a custom look...I actually enjoyed it and wish I still had the time to sew (although the things I like now are far more complicated than anything I could sew myself...LOL). Can't wait to hear about your sewing projects! As crafty as you are, I bet you will be fantastic and just love it!

  9. Yay, you're sewing now! That's awesome. I just signed up for a class at Les Fabriques yesterday that starts tonight. I think a "stitch & bitch" is in order soon!


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