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Learning to Sew

If you are looking at a giant, and very heavy, box, you probably can’t imagine what is in it. It could be wrapped to hide the contents written outside, and that would keep you guessing a bit more. Once torn open, you finally know what a real sewing machine looks life, even though you can’t fathom what to do with it.

This was my experience. A great birthday gift, the machine sat there all sleek and modern in its plastic and metal wonderfulness. It looked a little scary, too. (There are metal knobs and things called bobbins and feet. A manual comes with it but it is daunting and not terse.)

I made a resolution to learn to sew. Maybe stuff for the house, maybe me, maybe my husband Gus. I could make gifts, costumes, accessories, and all sorts of this and that. I may be getting ambitious, but this is how you motivate yourself to begin something new. You sit down, turn it on, stick in some fabric, and hit the foot pedal. You hope you don’t go over your finger and burst a blood vessel.

I envision some nice cotton fabric, no doubt Liberty of London. It’s the best. It’s great for floral prints, its signature style. Blouses and shirts are suited to it, or sundresses. Kids’ clothes look so fine made of this fabulous finery. I buy thread, scissors, patterns, seam binding, a self-belt kit, and some piping. I read and read as I unfold endless tissue-thin pages of notes and lines. It’s a maze of instructions.

I start to cut and pin. The beginner’s sewing machine sits patiently waiting for me to finish the hand work. It will be humming along in no time, and for hours. It has a nice little light so I can work after hours when the sun is down. I presume after dinner and a TV show or two, I will indulge. I do a seam or two and cringe. There is puckering. I pull out the work and redo it. Now I caught an edge. Help! I cried and called a friend.

The next day I had a few timely lessons in the basics. It went a lot better after that. I wasn’t ready for Vogue patterns or buttonholes, but I was going in full elementary level gear. I look forward to the day when I can make coats and jackets—something really challenging. It is a wondrous machine, so well-crafted and full of opportunity. It is programmed like a computer to do zigzagging, embroidery designs, appliqué, and top stitching. It can make pleats, smocking, and gathering like a breeze in seconds. Pockets are no problem and a belt is a snatch.

I love my new sewing machine, its great for beginners. What took me so long? After all, it is a kind of computer in principle. It has endless capability with software updates. Someone knew me inside and out by selecting this wizard. They saw some kind of creative itch that needed to be fulfilled. I, for one, am happy they did.

Posted in Home Life