Thursday, February 23, 2012

Sewing Rage

Have you ever heard of sewing rage as a defense?

Six months ago, I bought fabric to make curtains for two of the bedrooms in the country house. Just buying fabric is therapeutic for me. I took swatches and tried to coordinate colors. I lost the swatches, returned and bought what I think would look good. I have an excellent color memory.

A couple of months ago, I cut, pinned and ironed the fabric. Then I turned on my sewing machine, something I haven't done in a while. I bought this cabinet-model Singer for myself when I was 16. I never took sewing lessons, learning everything I needed to know about sewing in Home Economics. Yeah, I wanted to take shop, but I'm not that much into lamp-making. Making a stuffed dog and correctly carving a half grapefruit have made me more valuable. As a person.

I plugged in the machine. Eureka! the light worked. Then I tried stepping on the pedal. Nada. I went under the machine with my headlamp on and did some trouble-shooting. All I did was tighten the big transformer-like plug that goes into the machine and Voila! I was so tired from my efforts, I didn't sew a stitch.

It's been on my country To-Do list for a long time. Why was I putting this off? Did I think I'd forgotten how to sew? No, I'd forgotten that chronic graft versus host disease is a cruel master, making my hands shaky and no movement smooth. Also, my eyes are actually better for threading needles and other fine work without glasses or lenses because I'm severely near-sighted.

Today I was going to sew those curtains right after lunch. I went upstairs to the so-called (by the Realtor) writer's nook and set up the machine. For me, sewing is like riding a bicycle. I never forget what to do--and I'm happily off gliding over hill and dale. Never mind that the last time I rode a bike it ended in disaster.

I wound the bobbin. I threaded the needle. I put them both together and what did I get? Nothing. Something was up with the machine set-up, aside from needing to be WD-40'd. I didn't want to give up--and I'm not--I just needed a break so I wouldn't start crying or knocking back a shot of whiskey. I grabbed the machine manual and now that I've calmly reviewed it, and written this kvetch, I' will go back upstairs and try try again.


Ronni Gordon said...

Write again when it works. It wasn't quite the same thing, but I used to ease my anxieties by knitting. I had to stop because it was becoming obsessive. All I wanted to do was knit, knit, knit.

Ann said...

Sewing frustration does the same to me. My latest issue is getting the thread tension right.

George Jempty said...

Heh I remember that sewing machine, I think; or did Mom have one (too)?