Confession #1. I purchased a Kenmore sewing machine a few years ago in hopes of teaching myself to sew. Actually, scratch that. It’s worse than that. Confession #2. I made my husband get up on a Black Friday and run to Kmart to get me a sewing machine only for it to sit in the box for four years in my laundry room. I’m bad, I know.
Now on several occasions over the years, I’d go so far as to remove the box from the cupboard and once I even took the machine out of the box. But even though the thing has “ages 8 to adult” plastered on it, I was skerred. I think I was afraid of how complicated it might all be, or worse, that I’d screw something up (more likely) and end up getting frustrated.
In recent years, I’ve been on a quest to really hone my frugal living skills. I’m a self-taught gardener, have recently dabbled in canning, and even made candles. You’d think by now I’d be over myself. Confession #3. I’m not.
This week I decided it was time. Time to face my fears head on and conquer them. So off to Joann’s I went.
My determination wavered a bit when I encountered the rows, and rows of thread…
And I don’t gotta notion about notions!
I nearly bought this kit, but then thought it’d be taking the easy way out.
In the end, I grabbed two spools of thread (white and black), a pair of scissors, and a seam ripper. Oh, and some googly eyes and construction paper for Piper since I dragged her along for this outing.
Later that night, after the kids were in bed, I opened my bag of supplies, poured myself a glass of wine, and read and re-read the instructions in my manual and “How to Sew” book to figure out how to thread the thing. Turns out I needed to thread this little plastic do-thingy called a “bobbin” which is interestingly enough the word we use in our house for “bottom”. (When my son was a toddler he could only say “bobbin,” not “bottom.”)
It probably took me a good ten minutes, but guess what? I am proud to say I wound my first bobbin! (I’m trying to type this with a straight face right now.)
After about another 15 minutes, I’d successfully threaded my machine. Phew! Finally, the moment of truth. The moment that everything prior had led up to. The moment I conquer my fear head on.
Egads! I sewed! It actually worked! I think I had this idea that the machine would somehow go, “woah, wait – that’s Angela, let’s make sure I self-destruct right now.” And yet, I must have somehow fooled it into not realizing it was me that was sewing!
Now, you might be wondering what exactly I’m sewing, and why. Well I knew I needed to sew something easy, nothing complicated. I also didn’t want to sew anything too special – such as a baby blanket for a friend or silk drapes for my living room. Then the pressure would be really on! Suddenly, I remembered how my good neighbor pal Devon used to sew scrunchies. (Devon, if you’re out there reading, do you remember this?) I was always in awe of how she could whip those puppies out to coordinate any outfit she wanted. Man, she was living the dream.
I just so happened to have had a pair of hole-y pajamas fresh out of the wash, so BAM. There’s my material!
OK so try not to be jealous, but that photo above is the first row of stitching I made with my machine. I’d like to blame the sloppiness on the wine, but I really had only had a couple of sips at that point.
I continued working on my project, when suddenly, I encountered a bit of a snafu.
DOH. Don’t think that’s supposed to happen! Somehow the bobbin thread got all gummed up and the thread for the needle had vanished. My palms started sweating and my heart started thumping. My fear of sewing was rearing its ugly head and I was wondering if I could continue.
But see last night is Thursday night, which as anyone that knows anything knows, is Project Runway night. I began to think of all those designers sewing amazingly awesome things like dresses for Heidi Klum’s baby collection or costumes for the Rockettes and I suddenly wondered what got them through those late nights and their fear of Nina Garcia….
And I’m pretty sure it was this:
“NO! I will do this! I cannot give up now!”
And back to the machine I went. And folks, as sure as the sun is in the sky, I made this with my own two hands:
Yes, a scrunchy. I made it. And it’s mine. And I am no longer afraid to sew.
PS Try not to be too jealous of how closely I resemble Deb from Napoleon Dynamite now.
PSS Tim Gunn, that one’s for you.