Unlike most of my previous endeavors, which often took on the following pattern: diving in head first, realizing the water is too deep, and desperately clawing my way up, I have taken this project of learning my sewing machine at a comfortable, steady and very slow pace.
When E presented me with the sewing machine on Christmas Eve of last year, I felt a heavy responsibility fall onto my shoulders. I had longed for a sewing machine for months, years, even. I had stated this yearning many times before, and E had obviously been listening. And then he spent a nice sum of money to answer my wish on one of my favorite holidays.
So that means that I have to use the machine. And that means that I have to learn how to use it.
As soon as my eyes fell on the words of the large box under the tree, I knew that I could not jump into the deep end on this project because I would fail quickly, and the machine would sit in our extra room collecting dust. That would be unfair to E, so thoughtful and giving. I could not follow my normal pattern.
It just so happened that E’s mom also sent us a load of gifts, which included a wall calendar that I could not find it in my taste to hang in a public area (flowers are not part of my motif). E had also planned ahead and placed a book on sewing with the machine, so using the projects inside as a guide, I went about giving myself small goals with manageable deadlines. Manageable goals were things like “learn the parts of the sewing machine” and “wind a bobbin”. So far I have exceeded or at the very least met all of those goals, and it has officially paid off.
Yesterday I threaded my machine for the first time, and I stitched a line on some extra cloth that I purchased at Goodwill.
I actually threaded the machine correctly the first time, but my craft handicapped mind was convinced that I had done it wrong, so I ended up going through the process three times. It was after the third time I realized that I had, in fact, already threaded the machine just fine.
So with the machine threaded, which carried the deadline of 2/20/2011, I decided to do myself one better.
I decided to stitch a simple line on a piece of cloth. Since I have not yet purchased an iron, I did not want to sew a hem or something that I would have to iron. I simply threw a piece a piece of cloth on the machine and sewed a line -a straight one at that!
So I have made my first stitch, and I now know how to use my sewing machine, at least at the most basic level. The more complicated parts of sewing will come next, things like cutting patterns and measuring fabric. But as of yesterday, I can at least (attempt to) wind a bobbin, put thread in my machine, and stitch in a straight line.
I know that there is a lot more to learn, but I feel confident that by taking it slow, and adding on to my skills one-by-one, I will be able to create things in time. For now, I am raising my glass to stitching a straight line with thread.