by Michelle Douglas
Amazing, amazing thing... Back in February I bought a sewing machine.
Why is this amazing?
Because I have always said that I hate sewing. Admittedly, I can’t remember ever actually using a sewing machine, but at school I never finished a single hand-sewing project. My sewing teachers shook their heads darkly and said I was ungainly and inept.
And I believed them.
For the thirteen months between school and university I worked in a clothing factory sewing the crotch in men’s knickers. That involved using an industrial overlocker. Production line work. Not creative. Not inspiring. Oh, yeah, and I had a seriously mean supervisor.
Can you see now how amazing it is that I’ve bought a sewing machine (and, no, I didn’t just get it because it was on a half-price sale)? Look, here it is. Isn’t it pretty?
Now, because I was on deadline I wasn’t allowed to use it until March, so I spent several weeks stroking it whenever I walked past.
What inspired me to buy it? Ah, good question, dear reader. I’ve been reading a daily blog by Kristina Douglas (aka Anne Stuart), Jenny Crusie and Lani Diane Rich (aka Lucy March) called Reinventing Fabulous (here’s the link if you’re interested: http://reinventingfabulous.com/) and these women love craft and sewing and are so enthusiastic about it that it started me thinking how wonderful it would be to be able to make things—clothes, cushions, curtains, bags. Oh my, the possibilities seem endless!
And you know what I’ve discovered? I am not inept and ungainly. I am a goddess! This is what I’ve made so far.
A tea towel cushion cover. This taught me that it is SERIOUSLY EASY to make something that looks good!
A t-shirt tote. This taught me that if I don’t put the presser foot down when I try to sew, I will make a mess… but also that I have the ability to fix said mess.
And a shoulder bag. This has a lining and fusible interfacing in the straps and everything! Fusible interfacing? Oh, believe me, I’m learning a whole new language. This…umm…also taught me why people use patterns instead of just measuring in from one edge of fraying material and cutting the required length out. :-)
This is what I’m attempting next and the material I mean to use. Wish me luck!
The sewing has been so much fun! Remember the sheer joy of play when we were kids? Remember how proud we were when we made something? There seems to be something joyful in this kind of play—it’s a refilling of the well and keeps our joy in life alive.
So I’d love to know—have you been playing lately? Is there something you’ve been doing that makes you smile and fills you with joy. And if anyone would like to leave a sewing tip or two for this enthusiastic beginner, I’d be terribly grateful. :)
[And for interested readers, I’m running a contest at the moment for an advanced copy of The Man Who Saw Her Beauty + a packet of Tim Tams + a packet of loose-leaf tea from The Tea Shop. And, yes, there’s a story to the Tim Tams and the tea but you’ll have to read the book to discover what it is. :-) For more information check out www.michelle-douglas.com]