For Christmas 1978, my father bought my mother a sewing machine.
Those of you who knew my parents – I’ll give you a minute to stop giggling.
My mother does not engage in the domestic arts and crafts. She does not sew, knit, crochet, embroider, or weave. She’d much rather be watching football/basketball. Or having unmedicated dental surgery.
Anyway. The machine sat, unopened, unused, squirreled away in the attic or a closet, for the next 20 years. And then I found it.
I had to recruit my maternal grandmother, Nena, to teach me how to sew. HER machine was a cast-iron Singer from the early 20th century that she’d had converted to electricity. It used glass bobbins!
The first time I took my machine to be serviced, the repair people ooooohed and aaaaahed. They told me this was a Very Nice Machine, one of the best Singer ever made, and that I’d never need another.
The only downside? The instruction manual is in Italian first, German second, and English third.
And in case you’re wondering if my two semesters of German in college helped me understand the highly technical instructions, the answer is no.
My sewing skills are pretty amateur, considering I’ve had the machine for over a decade. My frustration with sewing is not the stitching, it’s the ironing, and the pinning, and the MORE IRONING.
Recently, I resolved to be more like my grandmother, a woman who made Martha Stewart look lazy and slovenly. Part of that resolution will be learning patience with ironing so that I can develop mad sewing skillz.
I made this dress last weekend, and my next sewing project will be a small curtain for the front of a short bookcase. Wish me luck!