Tuesday, November 8, 2011

sew wrong

mama gave me a sewing machine sunday night.

encased in a brown vinyl cover, relics of decades ago perfectly preserved, down to the tube of oil still leaking. a pretty ol' singer, in a sweet shade of cream. the beast was heavy, but i lugged her onto the kitchen counter. with a few minutes of home to myself, i plugged it in and the machine lit up like the highway at midnight.

and i read instructions. i watched youtube videos. i sat and stared at the thing and thought to myself, if i were a bobbin thread, how would i pull myself up? it seemed easy enough, and the fashion designers online made it looks as easy as frosting a cupcake (which can, it turns out, also be kind of hard).

i tried for hours. robert came in and sat beside me. pablo barked at my heels and the sun finally set on the day and my seamstress dreams. i went to bed discouraged. it's such a lovely thing to sew. so domestic and pretty and dainty and all things soft and warm and comfortable in this world. and there i sat, in a seventy-year old house where many a lacy pillowcase had been made. my big knuckles and impatient heart two giant stumbling blocks.

but the thing is, i may never learn. my hands may always be more equipped for washing dishes over a sink of hot water. for lugging around a heavy pup. for making soup and biscuits and painting desks cherry red. besides, whoever decided to make needle eyes so blessed small obviously didn't have a desk job in front of a computer. because those two just don't jive.

14 comments:

mary kate said...

when I was about 12 I was given a sewing machine for my birthday and I swore to myself I would start sewing with it immediately and I never did. now every so often I make the same promise to myself but it never seems to stick, I think I'm better off at being a domestic that cooks rather then a domestic that sews.

jeanette from everton terrace said...

I love fabric and dream up all measure of fabulous things to sew. I have managed a few pillows but that is about it. My sewing machine must need a therapist because of all the dark lonely years it's been sitting in the closet. I feel your frustration :)

Erika Lee @ A Tiny Rocket said...

sewing is a interesting thing- i used to make all my own clothes in high school.. but looking back they didn't turn out great- it takes la lot of practice and I think lots of confidence.

Thisisme. said...

My mum trained as a Tailoress back in the 1920's, and her sewing was beautiful. The inside of her garments were as beautifully finished off as the outside. My memories of her are of her sat at her sewing machine. She made all my clothes until I was in my early 20's! Unfortunately, I can just about sew on a button, which is such a shame! :(

Amber Blue Bird said...

This is a skill I dont possess either although I've tried to get better I just dont have the patience or skill. I think knitting may be more up my alley :)

Niina - It seems pretty obvious. said...

I don't own a sewing machine but my mum did a lot of sewing when I was a kid. So I really love the sound of a sewing machine, comforting, it reminds me of my childhood.

Good luch with it :) //Niina

Valerie said...

oh, i hope to someday be gifted my mother's old singer machine!

i promise, it only takes the first time of threading that bobbin correctly for it to become plain and simple. i hope you keep trying! i know you'll get it. (and of course you also know i'm just a huge advocate of spreading the sewing love!)

Danielle and Trev said...

Oh I feel you. I've had to learn to thread mine a million times. Following now- love your blog!

Ashley {hudson's happenings} said...

Amen, sister. I don't know how people sew...because for the life of me, I can't get my thread through that tiny needle hole. :( And it makes me sad. Because I long to make pretty things. And baby's clothes. Maybe someday.

Shalyn said...

I too have spent hours sitting in front of a sewing machine discouraged that I couldn't even thread it properly...

and then my husband came and did it for me. Just not my forte, I suppose:-)

chambanachik said...

Sigh. I'm at the very same fork in the road.

Erin said...

I really need to learn how to sew and this post is reminding me of the fact that I can barely sew on a button that falls off....i mean that's pretty bad!

greaterexp said...

Oh, my dear! You have been given a treasure. Those old machines are work horses that will be humming a long time after the new electronic/computerized versions are scrap! I do hope you will find someone who will help you with it. I am learning to refurbish some old machines - many of them treadles! It's wonderful to think about girls in years past sewing on those machines. I wish I could have been a fly on the wall and watched them.

Amy said...

I'm not very good but I can teach you the basics about the machine like the bobbin. Plus I'd love to see your pretty face! Let me know if you want a lesson or two!

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