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.


Josiane said...

You really did a fine job! I like the fabrics you chose, the one with flowers is really pretty!
I'll have to get back to sewing one if these days... Many many years ago, I tried to sew a little with my grandmother, but I was a bit intimidated by the machine, and I guess I was too much of a perfectionnist at the time, so I somehow preferred not trying too much if I wasn't sure I could do a great job, for fear of ruining nice fabrics. But I'll have to get back to it, because my grandmother says she will give me her sewing machine when she won't be able to sew anymore, and that means a lot to me (especially considering that it is the machine she bought to sew my dad's diapers when she was pregnant with him, in 1951 or 1952!). She certainly doesn't want to see me let her machine gather dust, and I guess she'd rather see me sewing imperfectly than not at all; that's a great motivation!

TinkingBell said...

Wonderful job - but don't get too cocky - because it is certainly possible for Sewing Machines to be possessed by demons - I can sew, but sometimes my machine becopmes possessed - I exorcise by screaming at it and drinking some chai - works every time!