Sew’onderful

18 Oct

These past two weeks have pretty much chewed me up and spit me out.  The proof is that I finally went to the doctor to get a note about going on stress leave.  But I really don’t want to turn this blog into the All Epilepsy All the Time Channel, so today I’m going to talk about my birthday present.

The truth is, my birthday isn’t happening for a month yet, but I, um, went and bought myself my present yesterday.

It all started a couple of weeks ago when I decided to sew a body pillow for myself.  Michael has complained about the many pillows taking over the bed and I thought maybe a body pillow would make a good substitute for a few of them.  One pillow instead of three!  The body pillows I found in our local stores weren’t long enough, though, so I bought a body pillow case instead and I stuffed it with some leftover pillow stuffing that I’ve had sitting around for, oh, five years or so.  To stitch it shut, I hauled out my very old sewing machine, a lead-bottomed beast that once belonged to my mother.  It’s so old that the plastic body is crumbling.  I’ve often thought that I would sew a little more often if the beast weren’t so awkward to haul out and if it weren’t so temperamental.

How temperamental?  On the evening in question I plugged in the machine and started stitching.  Every time I pushed down on the foot pedal, a little puff of smoke would emanate from the motor.  (This is actually not new, but it does make me rather nervous.)  Every few inches, the light would go off and the machine would stop working — no power was getting to the machine, but I couldn’t tell why.  I’d advance the needle manually by turning the handwheel (still faster than stitching by hand, anyway), and then after a minute or two the light would come back on and I could use the foot pedal again, generating yet another little puff of smoke.

In the end, it took about ten minutes to stitch up a foot of fabric, a job that would’ve taken less than a minute with a non-delinquent sewing machine.  Also, instead of a nice neat line down the end of a pillow, it wobbles and doubles back on itself; a drunken sailor could have done a better job of it in the middle of a storm.  The whole experience left me so paranoid that I decided then and there that this sewing machine had absolutely had it.  In fact, when the power went out 10 minutes later, I thought maybe I’d tripped a breaker somehow, even though I wasn’t even using the thing anymore.  (The power was out in the whole neighbourhood, though, and even at 12:30 at night and sleep-deprived I’m not paranoid enough to think I can shut down an entire neighbourhood with a faulty sewing machine.)  I told Michael the next morning that I wanted a sewing machine for my birthday.

Yesterday I went out with Jade to find a few things for her new room, including blinds for the window.  I couldn’t find anything the right size and decided that blackout curtains would work better, but they require a bit of alteration.  Which requires a working sewing machine.  Since I was at Wal-Mart, it was simple to pick one up while I was there.  Jade was too restless to stay in the shopping cart, so she wandered around the fabric section while I tried to read the features of the different machines while keeping an eye on her.  (She’s having so many seizures these days that I don’t dare let her out of my sight for more than a few seconds.)  I decided on a machine fairly quickly, hauled it into the overflowing cart, and hurried home to feed Jade some lunch.

The machine isn’t actually out of its box yet, but I have read the instruction manual, and I am revelling in the sleekness and non-crumbliness of it.  The only thing I regret is that when I picked Michael up from the airport yesterday (he was in Yellowknife all week) and told him about my birthday present, he said, “Oh… what did you get?”  He sounded a slightly amused and slightly put out when I told him.  Apparently, he’d already spent some time researching sewing machines in anticipation of buying me one for my birthday.

But isn’t it wonderful to know that he was really paying attention?

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7 Responses to “Sew’onderful”

  1. Kara October 18, 2008 at 10:01 am #

    Hurray!!! Have fun sewing! And glad to hear that you are taking stress leave. You need the break to focus on your family!

  2. Meandering Michael October 18, 2008 at 12:13 pm #

    That husband of yours sounds like a really sweet guy.

  3. Rachelle October 18, 2008 at 6:32 pm #

    I, too, own a hand-me-down sewing machine. Mine is from my old middle school. It dates back to the 1970s and must weigh a good 40 pounds. It is all-metal, so no bits flaking off, but man is that thing loud! CHUNK-ah-CHUNK-ah. Also, it eats thread for breakfast in tangly, mangly knots.
    Maybe I will follow suit and buy myself a birthday present, too!

    Enjoy your new machine and the many projects it will help you to finish!Can’t wait to hear more about your handiwork.

    :)R.

  4. Captain Momma October 18, 2008 at 7:39 pm #

    Awesome! Sewing is one of my passions and something I have not nearly enough time for. Once we unpack and I get to set up my sewing room, I have about a bizillion things to sew!!!

    Happy sewing to you!

    Kelli

  5. JenL October 19, 2008 at 3:48 am #

    I bought a body pillow very early in my 2nd pregnancy and had a hard time giving it up! They’re a wonderful thing! My mom bought me a new sewing machine when I was about 18, I gave it back to her last year (unused!). If I need something sewn I just take it to her, or her neighbor who has been a seamstress for her entire adult life!

  6. Marian October 19, 2008 at 6:10 am #

    Enjoy! My sewing machine was bought when we first came to Canada (40 years ago this Halloween) and it’s still going strong…..some tension issues, but who doesn’t have those?
    Happy early birthday.

  7. Bubblybunny October 19, 2008 at 1:26 pm #

    Kudos to you for buying the sewing machine instead of the body pillow. I actually went straight for the body pillow (a Snoogle – expensive but well worth the money) and didn’t even think of making my own. I do own a sewing machine by the way, and it’s quite easy to use. I’m just too lazy to dig it out of boxes.

    Hope you like your new sewing machine!!

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