Today was by far one of the most fun and insightful days I have spent in engineering since winter break ended. Our instructor Ms. Josephson saw that the builders were having trouble being motivated to start such a new project that they didn’t know much about so it was her idea to teach us how to use a sewing machine, since that is a big component of building the chair cover model of Comfort 4 U.
Ms. Jo had a very nice sewing machine. From the tutorial today that stood out most was that there is different speed levels that can be set for somebody just learning to sew, somebody is intermediate, and an advance seamstress. There was so many different kinds of stitching patterns that could be chosen, but the easiest was the regular slim pattern.
I needed my skirt sewn so the builders thought it was a good idea to learn to sew using my skirt. Putting the pins in was easy, I just placed them vertically in the skirt around the area that would be sewn and two inches apart until the bottom of the skirt was completely filled with pins. We chose to use a darker navy thread that blended in with the blue plaid of my skirt. There was three different sections that thread had to be. The spool of thread stayed at the top and had to come downwards. The Bob in was placed in a compartment on the bottom half of the sewing machine and was smaller than the regular spool, I had to make sure that side went upward. The reason why one side of thread went down and other went up was because when sewing the machine has an up and down mechanism that allows the thread to be tight and stay in place. In order. When we were ready to start sewing we lifted the needle on the sewing machine upward, slipped the skirt under, and then pushed the needle down. The pedal was pressed down with the sewers foot so that the needle could thread into the skirt while the sewer lifted her foot up and down whenever necessary. If the sewer made a mistake when sewing then the stitch could easily be taken out with a small sharp tool called a seam ripper. It was important that the builders were as careful as possible when taking the stitching out because it was sharp enough to rip wholes in the skirt. I am now happy that I have a fresh new hemmed skirt.
After sewing my skirt the team went to work on a small prototype of the chair cover. We saved materials by using scrap felt to measure a cover for a small piece of furniture cushion. There was a total of six pieces of velvet cut to sew together. Two of the faces were the same size and the other four pieces were the same as well. All the pieces were cut an inch bigger on each side. Before sewing the a team member sewed a small pillow to get familiar with sewing velvet. After all six pieces were measured and cut, the builders went back to the sewing machine to sew the pieces together. unfortunately there wasn’t enough time to finish. Find out how the small prototype of the Comfort 4 U chair came out on the next blog post!!!