Friday, February 11, 2011

Sewing A Little

The weather has been pretty fine here. So fine that I've been opening up my studio (that is, I raise the garage door) to the air in the afternoons.

On Wednesday, I "worked" in the studio all afternoon. That is to say, I collected most of the detritus that always ends up in my studio. I think it's because I like my work spaces to be clear of "stuff" that the open floor is a magnet for bags of recyclables, toys, lumber, fans, heaters ... Anyway, I put stuff away or threw stuff out and took the recyclables to the recycling center. Bernie ran the vacuum for me out there, and voila -- an enticing place to inhabit.

Thus, yesterday I was able to haul out my sewing machine and finish five (small) sewing projects: hemming three pairs of Lil's pants and mending some rips in pajamas. In addition, I did the last machine seams on my ottoman project, shown there in blue denim. The final sewing (on the opposite side) will be by hand as soon as I get some nice blue thread.

The sewing machine I have isn't a very good one, I'm afraid. It's adequate to my needs these days, I suppose.

My mother worked in a "shirt factory" while I was in grade school. She had some bodacious sewing skills. I used to love going to Selinsgrove, an exotic hour away from our town, to visit a discount fabric store. Most of what we picked out was under three dollars a yard -- for the good stuff -- and oh, the bliss of finding fabric for a dollar a yard or less! Mom made me gorgeous skirts with matching jackets; I made myself simple dresses for school under her tutelage. She encouraged me to buy cheap fabric and make funky seventies clothes. We worked together on my prom dress -- I did the tedious hand sewing of a bazillion tiny fabric loops for the button back -- a gorgeous yellow satin, full skirted creation with a lacy-filmy over-jacket (there is a name for that sort of thing, but after nearly 40 years I've forgotten what it is) that was absolutely beautiful and unique.

In 1988 I stopped sewing pretty much completely for ten years. By then, alas, I'd forgotten much of what I'd known, and hadn't kept up with the technology. I made an upholstery cover for a window seat in 1997 and then somewhen along the line, my old sewing machine died.

I bought the current machine to do just what I did yesterday -- little stuff. For now, that's enough.


Bernie said...

You have made little, but very clever and beautiful, stuff.

Cheryl said...

Geez, you should have mentioned that when you were out here. I'm pretty much overrun with decent sewing machines, being daughter of, and heir to, a quilter. I have more Berninas that one person needs.