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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

You Rip What You Sew

A lady who knows how to sew recently moved into the 'hood. She takes some cloth and some tiny rope (she calls it "thread") and attaches them together to fashion some sort of garment or fabric-like thing. Carol offered to teach a "basic" sewing class and 6 of us took her up on it.

OK, 5 ladies took her up on it. *I* was forced to take it by my husband.

The reason he "consistently and firmly encouraged" me was because two years ago my dad got me a sewing machine for Christmas. I had asked for one but not to learn how to sew. I wanted one so when my old skirts from the local thrift store unraveled (again), I wouldn't have to remedy them with safety pins and Scotch tape. I had in mind one of the machines in WalMart, the kind that sews a straight line.

My dad got me this:

I didn't know what I had until I mentioned to my friend Sara on the phone that I had just gotten an intimidating-looking sewing machine with a computer screen.

"What kind is it?" she asked. I read her the name on the front of the machine.
Sara gasped and then I heard nothing for a few seconds. "That's not fair! You don't even sew!" Sara sews. In fact, Sara sews shimmery shirts by the seashore. (Say that 10 times fast.) She made this awesome quilt for my baby girl.

Anyhow, I didn't care if it was a Bernina or a Bert, it had a computer screen on it and came with the King James version of the manual. So, it sat unexplored for two years. Things with unraveled hems and torn sleeves piled up in my laundry room.

Enter Sewing Lady Carol. Mix in my husband's firm urging. The Bernina Activa 220 was coming out!

Carol was nice enough to come to my house and get the machine out of its bag and set it up for me. She even plugged it in! After watching her push buttons and enticing the machine to make whirring sounds, the computer thing didn't look quite as intimidating.

Carol gave me a supplies list for the class. It contained things I had never heard of, things like a hem gauge, and Milliner's needles, and ThermoLamb.

"We've been locked in this freezer by the evil Dr. DoodlyPoo. Who will save us?"

"ThermoLamb to the rescue! Stand BAAAA-ck! "

I walked into JoAnn Fabrics with my list looking like a freshman on her first day of high school trying to figure out where her classes are located. I asked no less than 3 sales associates for help finding things. I'm sure I caught one of them slightly rolling her eyes. I got my supplies. Except for the fabric, they were all teeny tiny things that all fit in the palm of one hand. Nevertheless, the sales receipt tells me I paid over $40 for my handful of sewy things.

Am I rambling? ThermoLamb! Help me get to the point!
"BAAAA-ck on track, evil wanderer!"

This is the fabricy stuff.

This is me with Bernina, that wicked digital witch.

(You know, she ain't half bad. I push buttons and she makes designs and letters.) (People! She even THREADS THE NEEDLE FOR ME!)

This is the result.

Check it! We were supposed to make potholders and I totally WENT ON MY OWN and also made an oven mitt. Granted, it's made for someone with an inhuman thumb (luckily, I know someone with such a thumb), but daggone it, it handles hot stuff. It only took me 11 hours to make that sore-thumb potholder. (No, my "1" key didn't stutter.) Mostly, I repeatedly sewed and ripped apart the thumb and the little hanging tab. Sew, rip. Sew, rip. Sew, (temptation to swear), rip. Sew, (grit teeth), rip.

Oh, did you also notice the matching dishtowel, HMMMMM??

As for the sewing class itself, I was on pins and needles the first day and batting I'd hate it. Just cutting the fabric for the project almost had me in shears. The other ladies had previous sewing experience, and I could tell that I was just not cut from the same cloth. I hemmed and hawed for a while, but did I quilt? Knot me! I asked the instructor as many questions as I fleeced, adopted a measure of patience, and soon enough, I was bob-bob-bobbin along on my potholders. An iron will takes one a long way. When my potholders were finished, I felt zipper great about myself!

All in all, it was a sew-sew experience.


Heidi said...

way to go!!! I am sooo impressed. I took sewing in 4-H, and made a pair of shorts. The end. I would love to take a class, is she doing it again? (didn't hear about it in primary)

Katy said...

Wow, I am impressed! Very nice work, Adhis!

My sewing machine from last Christmas still sits unopened in the box. Someday I will be brave enough to take it out and give it a whirl.

How fun and satisfying to create your very own stuff!

Kimmers said...

So I have to tell you that nothing is greater than coming home in a so-so mood and then being able to read your blog. It never fails to put a smile on my face... You are awesome. Let me know when I put my order in. Thanks for your blog, it tends to save me from time to time.

TheOrttFamily said...

Very impressed...Can I hire you out to make some Christmas gifts for me this year??? my idea of sewing up something that has come undone like a shower curtain or a curtain is a stapler..haha..and I have NO desire to even learn. So congrats to you they look great!!

Sunni said...

Dude, I'll trade you something really neat for your sewing machine. I mean REALLY neat. I would put it to good use too....

(Gra)Ma Adhis said...

Hey, shot gun on the sewing machine !!!!
Your kitchen combo turned out pretty NICE. Thumb and all. :)

Marie said...

I love how the towel and oven mitt complete the set. They all look so good! And you weren't the only one who didn't have a clue what you were doing . . .

Lyns said...

Very well said Marie! :)

Jenn said...

First of all I had not sewn sine MIDDLE SCHOOL. Those turned out great! A lot better then I can say about mine that still need to haave the last step done. I hope I finish before Christmas.

Adhis said...

Heidi— She is making herself available on Wednesdays if you go to her apartment. Just call in advance to make sure she’ll be in town.

Katy— It WAS satisfying once it was finished. I’m not sure when I will be brave again.

Kim— You’re welcome for my blog. I'll email you tomorrow. Me is tired.

Vanessa— A stapler, huh? … I like it.

Sunni— The “REALLY” is tempting.

(Gra)Ma— OK, but you’ll have to ride on the thread spool. Weeeee!

Marie— Are you saying that you also didn’t have a clue what *I* was doing?

Lyns— You, too, didn’t know what I was doing? Did the whole class feel that way?? I guess it explains the stares.

Jenn— Only 6 sewing weeks left until Christmas!

Kristen said...

You can make your own stinkin' turkey parts!

Were you talking about MY thumbs?

Your creations look so great! Don't you feel all domestic now? I love it. Some people get frustrated but for me it's calming.

I didn't mean to copy your sewing post - I did mine before I saw this. Whoops. You've been busy this week!

tobymine said...

Holy crap that sewing machine is like the mother of all sewing machines. I just bought myself a tiny cheap Singer "Inspiration" and you know what? It hasn't inspired me at all. It's still sitting in the box unopened, unlooked at, and unloved. Mostly because i don't know how to sew and needles scare me. But for some reason I thought that buying my own sewing machine would magically cure my fear of sewing my fingers off and teach me everything I need to know about sewing. No such luck. I lose at life. Or at least, sewing.