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Monday, April 21, 2008

My Friends

I started sewing when I was in junior high, I think. It may have been earlier (Mom?) but that's as far back as I can recall.

I sewed all sorts of stuff ... clothing for myself, doll clothes, baby clothes. I even made a bathing suit once ... though I'm pretty sure it didn't turn out well enough to ever wear.

My sewing style hasn't changed too much since then ... my goal was, and still is, to get done and see the end result. There are parts of the process I've come to love, but generally I'm in it to see what happens at the end.

When I started sewing again about two years ago I made two new friends. Ms. Seam Ripper and Mr. Sewing Machine Brush.

Ms. Seam Ripper always seemed snobby and the type to rub my faults in my face. Her with her skinny body. No way was she going to quietly do her job ... no, she was going to remind me every step of the way that I'd erred and she wasn't going to make correcting the errors of my ways too easy, either. I felt it was simply best to ignore her and do without her. I didn't need her! No way! If I made a mistake I could just ignore it or try to fix it quickly (though maybe not too prettily!). If push came to shove I could rip a seam with a pin, or a pair of scissors. I may not have done the best job, but I didn't have that busybody hanging over my shoulder.

Mr. Sewing Machine Brush ... I didn't have a real issue with him, I just thought he wouldn't do much to improve my life, just didn't have much to offer. I know he looked fancy and cool, and he had a cool name, but he wasn't really necessary, was he?


So I never got to know these two very well. And I survived.

And then I started sewing again. And I wanted to sew differently, maybe even more maturely. I wanted the patience I saw in my mother when she sewed, the goal of becoming the best sewer I could like so many crafty bloggers (yes, I do mean you), I wanted to learn and become good at this art.

So I introduced myself, hesitantly, to Ms. Seam Ripper. And you know what? She never, not once, has held it over my head that I didn't give her a chance. Instead she watched as I learned that seam ripping is not a sign of defeat or failure, but rather of knowing that you can do better, that you want to learn, and that you're good enough at this to work to do your best. She sat back and let me take the credit for the seams that were now done right ... even though we both knew I couldn't have done it without her and that she really deserves more credit than she gets. Now, instead of resentfully reaching for the seam ripper I do it proudly ... because I really can sew well enough to do it right (just perhaps not the first time).

And Mr. Sewing Machine Brush ... that guy I thought wasn't of value to me is now my most used sewing tool. I can't make it a day without him. He knows it too. He's got a little attitude, but that's ok, I deserve it. Some days I get busy, sewing away, and forget to give him the time and attention he deserves. It shows, and not in a good way. Tangled threads, missed and messy stitches, and an expensive sewing machine having fits ... all cured by spending just a few moments with the invaluable little Mr. Sewing Machine Brush. To show him my appreciation I take care of him as best I can ... cleaning the lint from his bristly hard-to-tame mane.

So there you are, two of my new, unexpected, sewing friends.

They've got other acquaintances that I haven't spent any time with yet ... Senorita Zipper Foot, that slim shiny glistening lady is the first who comes to mind. Oh, and that big guy, Pierre Pattern ... we haven't had a good afternoon together in years. Maybe someday ... I'm shy, you know ... it takes time to work up to these new friendships.

So who have you come to appreciate as your crafting has developed?

2 comments:

  1. Great post!

    I learned to replace the needle in my sewing machine OFTEN. I used to think you kept using it until it broke. I found that all kinds of funky sewing problems can be caused by a dull or nicked needle, and so I put new ones in with gay abandon.

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  2. ooh I like the idea of Mr Machine Brush - I really should meet him. Personally, I'm a fan of a hand mounted pin cushion - unpin, before you stitch over them, all without stopping.

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