Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Josie The Awkward Learns to Sew

When I opened the box, I felt like the music from 2001: A Space Odyssey should have been playing. I almost wish I had video capabilities so that I could shoot it from the bottom up and then zoom out slowly while that instrumental played. That's how daunting this thing is to me. I'm clumsy, awkward, and completely devoid of grace. I run into the same walls over and over again at my house, like I haven't known that they've been there for the past seven years we've lived there.

People were kind of shocked when I told them that I wanted to learn how to sew. I mean, for one, I could amputate my thumbs, right? And second, sewing really isn't very modern. But I think that's why I like it. Sewing is kind of like a lost art, plus it's structured, so it's art with rules. And we all know how much I need structure and rules. I don't function without them.

I was really excited, but confused about where to begin. Naturally, I began reading and studying blogs of other people who are home sewers. (I hate typing that word--I feel like I'm talking about plumbing, not sewing.) Anyway, I found a couple of websites that were simple and informative:, Threads, and A Dress A Day. The first two sites had great printable brochures that I was able to take with me to purchase supplies, and simple first steps to learning to sew. A Dress A Day inspired me to sew because she was making all of these really cute retro dresses and actually wearing them. Plus, she helps write dictionaries, so that automatically upped her cool factor by about 10. (I have my 4th grade teacher, Mrs. Gowdy, to thank for my love of dictionaries. She thought it was punishment to make us copy the dictionary. She didn't know she was feeding my need to know EVERYTHING.) Her advice was, before sewing anything, was to try out everything out on the machine. Then, I received "Sew U" by Wendy Mullin for my birthday. She spoke to me in a way the sewing machine manual did not, and gave me the courage to actually sit in front of my brand-new sewing machine. Plus, she has--be still me heart-- worksheets and patterns in the book. I almost cried with joy.

So that's what I did this morning. I sat in front of my sewing machine, took out my manual, some thread, and some scrap fabric. Then, as easy as could be, I wound the bobbin ALL BY MYSELF. Folks, I felt like a two-year old who had just gone in the big potty for the first time. Then, THEN, I set up the automatic needle threader ALL BY MYSELF. I'm not going to lie- there was happy dancing going on in my seat. And then, THEN..I ran the fabric through the machine, and the stitch WAS ALMOST COMPLETELY STRAIGHT. Hardly any errors. Not bad for a first try. I practically ran into work to tell Richie.

And tonight? After I paint a pig and a goat for VBS and get Cathryn to bed, I'm going to try out the other seams, and maybe play with the tension in the machine a bit to get the seams tighter.

I know, y'all--I'm actually geeking out over something that is not television. I'm as shocked as you all are.


No comments: