Saturday, April 2, 2011

How I Learned to Sew (On a Sewing Machine)

I was about nine-years-old when I asked my mother to sew doll clothes for my doll. No, it wasn't a Barbie. My dad didn't approve of Barbies. My doll looked like I did at that time, cute and, well, flat-chested. But back to me asking my mom to sew clothes for my sweet little flat-chested doll on her sewing machine, like my best friend, Susie's mom who lived next door did for her.

My mother took off her reading glasses, gave me a stern look and asked, "YOU don't know how to use a sewing machine???"
"No," I replied, with a sheepish look on my face.

My mother gave me another look that seemed to indicate that she doubted that she had actually given birth to me. Perhaps they had switched me at the hospital. I was obviously not her child.
She rose from her chair and sat behind the sewing machine and quickly explained to me exactly how one threaded a sewing machine and stepped on the peddle to make it go. She then left it to me. I sat down and did a few experimental runs to get the hang of the thing, but what I really wanted to do was sew a new dress and purse for my doll-- which I promptly did.

That had to be one of the best feelings I had growing up, and it still pretty much feels like that whenever I accomplish something new.

I'm grateful that my mother was a no nonsense kind of woman. Her reaction made me feel that sewing on a sewing machine was such a snap that anyone could and should know how to do it, almost automatically. So I wasn't afraid to jump right in when she showed me how to thread the machine (and later) how to fill and change out a bobbin.

Unfortunately, our sewing machine gave up the ghost not too long after that, so it was all hand sewing from then on up until dad got mom (and I) another one. I think I was in my teens by that time. 

But the efficacy of that initial lesson on the sewing machine by my mother led me to pursue other creative ventures with a confidence that I rarely have to this day in areas other than my creative life. 

So, um. Thanks mom! Thanks for being the kind of mom who didn't make doll clothes for my dollies.

I guess it's like that old addage. Well, my version of it anyway. 

Sew some doll clothes for your kid and they have some really spiffy looking doll duds. But teach your kid to sew her own doll clothes and she'll be sewing for everyone for the rest of her life! (Said with tongue firmly planted in cheek, by the way.)

Love you mom! ^_~ 

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