Terrified of a once-loved hobby
Sandi McBride Contributing Columnist
It seems the art of sewing is coming back into vogue and I for one could not be happier.
I can remember watching my mother and my Aunt Margaret (Kneece) sewing furiously, hands guiding the material under the pressure foot, long seams as straight as an arrow falling behind. My aunt used a treadle machine and her feet moved so fast as she sewed, hands turning the cloth Ito the needle, pins in her mouth as she removed them from the grip of the dress she was creating. That blazed lightening could have been no faster.
My first sewing machine was a Singer sew mate. Up ‘til that Christmas present when I was about 10 years old, I sewed my dolls’ clothes by hand. I can remember Mama teaching me to take the worn out dress that my doll wore apart to make a pattern. She taught me to pin the pattern to the material I had chosen and to cut it out. I was allowed to use her “shears.” These shears were long and heavy scissors she used that could never be used for any other thing in life but sewing. They were balanced and sharp. They cut through the material like a knife through butter. You took those shears into your hands and treated them with respect. And fear. If anything should happen to them while they were in your charge, we’d pay.
So, that was my first machine. Then Mama bought me my real Singer when I got married. I was never the expert that Mama and Aunt Margaret were, but I held my own. I loved to do crafts, like stuffed Christmas trees, Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls, doll clothes.
My Singer died a couple of years ago and I have to be honest, I didn’t miss it for quite awhile. Then I got the itch to sew again. My sister-in-law has taken up quilting and I decided that I would like to try my hand at it again. It has been so long since I attempted to quilt that I can not even recall the last thing I quilted. But I decided that I would try my hand at sewing again.
Now, you have to understand that machines are not what they once were. They have screens like a monitor built into them to give you an up close view of your work, self threaders, and instruction DVDs to teach you to use all the new features that come with the machine. They don’t require a peddle, you push a button to make it go.
I picked out the one I wanted and brought it home. Mindful that I had not sewn a stitch in years I approached the new machine with caution. I watched the DVD entitled “meet your new Brother.” I have watched it about a dozen times now, because this “new Brother” looks nothing like my old lock stitch sewing machine that simply sewed a straight stitch that held the piece you were making together.
When I got my new Brother Quilting and Embroidering machine, I was thrilled. It had all these little red stickers on it that said “I can help” naming the page of the manual to tell you where to look. That was intimidating enough. I have read the manual, three times. I have watched the DVD more times than I am willing to admit.
So now the new machine sits in the dining/sewing room. I am terrified of it. It hulks in there laughing and calling out “I can help” but all I can do is sit in front of it and try to make myself plug it in. My Singer was 40 years old when it bit the dust. I wish I had had it repaired and maybe I wouldn’t be in this fix. I think I may need to start a support group.
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