Tuesday, August 31, 2010

meet Sven :)

This is Sven, my 1970's Swedish sewing machine.

And look what we made:

A double sided napkin!

I can sew, by hand. As a child I used to go to a little (really, she was little) old (really, she was old) English lady's house after school once a week and she taught me to embroider. How I loved making beautiful things. Unfortunately, I don't have a single piece of the work I did then, but it was really nice.

My only encounter with a sewing machine was in Girl Scouts when they helped us sew an apron. I remember being nervous, but so excited to sew by machine. It was awesome. I was so amazed with my creation that since that very day, I have been wondering when and how I'd learn to sew by machine again.

Fast forward at least a couple of decades; I was gifted with a machine (yup, that would be Sven). For two, maybe three, years after receiving my gift, it sat in the corner of my living room, as I was too afraid to use it! I thought I'd never understand all of its complexities and possibilities, all of its dials & stitches, different needles, fabrics and thread varieties. I was sure it would be a horrendously frustrating, sad, lonely and disappointing ordeal. My feelings weren't logical, of course, as I've taught myself numerous skills by sheer imagination and trial & error, yet the sewing machine still remained an enigma to me.

Sometimes I'd lift off its cover, look at it lovingly, then close it back up again with a sigh. I'd imagine all the things I wanted to make. I'd leaf through beautiful instructional books, trying to understand. I'd drool at other people's beautiful creations and I'd even go to the fabric store and make mental notes of all the fabrics and prints I liked. Then finally, last Xmas, I was gifted once again. A seamstress friend of mine generously came over and showed me how to thread the machine and how to wind the bobbin (good job I didn't even know about the existence of the bobbin until that very moment). She told me a little about needles & thread and didn't seem freaked out at all. Then we fiddled with "the tension". All I can say is thank goodness I had absolutely no idea I had to worry about "tension" all of those years!

Anyway, I listened carefully, appreciating every moment of this blessing, especially her calm confidence in front of The Sewing Machine. That was 8 months ago and just last week I signed up for a short on-line class. Yes, me, the non-believer in on-line education (that's another post), signed up for an on-line sewing class! I did it two weeks after it had already started, (illogical feelings again), but I did it!


Here's a sneak preview of project number 2 in the making :)

Only 22 more or so to go!



emily b said...

Hey classmate!
I saw your link over in the student lounge and had to stop by to say "hi". Your napkins turned out great! Congrats on finally putting Sven to good use. Hopefully it will be a long and happy relationship!

Juliette Nelson said...

Hi emily b! Thank you! You're so sweet :) So far we've been getting along famously. He's so handsome ;) I'm going over to visit you now...

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