Monday, January 11, 2010

Sew and Tell

(My new friend, Betty)

I took a sewing class on Saturday and am pleased to report I hardly learned a thing. For once, I was not the incompetent bumbler in the back row wondering why everyone else had it all figured out when I didn't even understand how to use the scissors . No, dear reader, this time it was someone else who hadn't quite mastered the art of cutting a straight line. Someone else who wasn't clear on how to cut on the bias. Not me.

What a relief.

The class I took was called "Welcome to Your Machine." As the recipient of a lovely Kenmore for Christmas, I decided it was finally time for me to learn how to sew for real. I've been fake sewing for several years now, and the results have been pretty okay. But it's time for me to really learn how to do what I'm doing.

Turns out, I know more than I thought I did. So for once in my life I was one of the perky, oh-so-blase, oh, I've done this a million times class participants. And that, my friends, was worth the price of admission. Total thrill.

One important thing I did learn: How to clean my machine. As it so happens, you're supposed to clean your machine and replace the needle every four hours of sewing. I never cleaned my old machine. Only replaced needles when they broke. That might explain why it got so inconsistent toward the end.

I actually feel sort of guilty about it now. I feel like I should apologize to my old machine. I've said a lot of lousy things about how cheap it was, how unreliable. I may take it out of the closet and give it a good cleaning, just for old time's sake. Not that I plan to ever use it again. Upward and onward!

Did you notice Betty, up top? My sister-in-law gave her to me for Christmas. She's wearing the scarf I made in class. I don't know how much clothes sewing I plan to do (mostly I'm in it for the quilts), but the thought of dressing up Betty does seem fun. I think I might make her an apron, in case she wants to take up cooking.


GretchenJoanna said...

eek! Every four hours? I have a lot of apologizing to do, to at least three machines.

Danielle said...

Right now Betty looks very free and sassy with her scarf. I say since you're feeling triumphant about your successful sewing class and are working on a revision, do not tie Betty down with an apron.

Susan said...

Betty looks like the perfect size 4. I hate her already.

Pom Pom said...

Betty is funny. I think she needs a tattoo. I had no idea that we are supposed to clean our sewing machines.

Angela said...

I am impressed that the scarf fits Betty so perfectly.
I look forward to seeing her draped in a quilt!
I am not so sure about this 'every four hours' bit- and suspect that is a myth put about by the manufacturers of needles.

Plain Ol' Vanilla said...

I loved your post! In a few days I'll be teaching three teenage gals how to clean their sewing machines. I'm expecting the words, "How boring" but I want them to know that their machine will treat them well for years, if they treat them well.


Left-Handed Housewife said...

GretchenJoanna, I know! It's crazy. Several people I've spoken with since--longtime sewers all--have been highly dubious about this, and Angela (see below) is not the only one who thinks it's a plot on the part of the needle makers.

Danielle, Yes! Betty is sassy. Thank you for noticing. I will not tie her down with an apron. Maybe some lounge pants and a martini?

Susan, You will be happy to know that Betty expands. I will give her real lady hips soon, I promise.

Pom Pom, A tattoo is a marvelous idea! What sort of tattoo do you think Betty should have? Please send suggestions.

Angela, Thank you for noticing the perfection of my scarf's fit. It's truly impressive, isn't it?

Plain Ol' Vanilla, Interestingly, everyone found the machine cleaning fascinating--there was a lot of goop to be swabbed out in a lot of those Singers!

Tracy said...

Every four hours? Really? They must be in cahoots with the needle makers, surely. My needles are way tougher than that!

I love Betty...she looks like she and my Penny could be the best of buddies. I'm hoping I'll have more time for clothes sewing this year. I love using Penny to assist me.

Gumbo Lily said...

Like you, I clean or change the needle only when something goes wrong. Sad, isn't it? Beautiful scarf. What's the fabric?