Saturday, May 17, 2008
Where I learn that sewing machines are not possessed by demons after all and discover that in fact, they can be quite lovely.
I was jealous of Y's success with the sewing machine.
I've tried to sew many, many times, but never managed to get the hang of it. Every three months or so, I got out the fabric, the thread, and everything else I needed to sew, but the sewing machine hated me! It would tangle up the thread and pull the fabric. Sometimes nothing would happen and the machine would just sit there producing acrid smoke when I tried to make it go. After a few hours of saying very unladylike words very loudly, I would put the sewing machine away. I was defeated by the evil that lived in my sewing machines. I felt worthless because I knew that other people can sew wonderful things. I should be able to sew, but it never worked. I was a sewing failure.
Did you notice how I used the past tense there? "I was a sewing failure." I noticed something the other day. Y was able to use the same sewing machine that caused me much grief, yet, it did not result in much wailing and gnashing of teeth. Y did not subcome to saying many unladylike words. Instead of manufacturing failure, Y made sewing! This amazed me.
For many years, I was confident that all my sewing failing could be traced to my machine, so I bought a different one, and later on, when that machine produced the same results, was given yet another one. Non of which were of any help to me. This lead me to the belief that all sewing machines were inhabited by some sort of evil and you have to live a very good, sin-free life in order to make them work.
Something exceptional happened this week. When Y came over to use my machines, I watched what she did and suddenly, I realized that I could do that. There was not anything exceptionally different in what she did, only she was a whole lot calmer. I thought perhaps that was the key.
So I cut out some fabric, and very calmly sat down at the machine.
It worked. I sewed fabric! Never having achieved this before, I felt elated! I sewed well into the night and made an apron. And then the next day, I rose up early and made oven pads. All in preparation for future dyeing (with an 'e') adventures.
I also attempted to make a pincushion, but circles are a bit harder than anticipated.
They aren't the best sewn things in the world. In fact, I'm glad that they are designed especially for getting messy. But you know what, for someone who cannot sew, I think I did a damn fine job.