#41 - Stitches


I just bought a new sewing machine. It's a Janome in the 400 class. I already had a Janome in the 300 class and, well, I broke it again. I was making a purse and the fabric layers were too thick. I pushed or pulled a little too hard. It didn't go over the hump and that bent the needle and threw the timing off and this is the second time this has happened.

I cannot begin to describe my extreme panic at being without a source of mechanical stitches. I sew. I make cloth dolls. I've made them for years, art dolls and folk dolls and what have you but my latest thing is purses.
I am prone to obsession. When I start doing something I do it full-tilt boogie and here I was, mid-purse, and I had no working sewing machine. I fiddled with it and said to myself, “Maybe it's the thread and this and that and back and forth then, finally, I bit the bullet. I found this lovely place where they come to your house on a service call. Sure, it costs you but they come and tinker with your machine and make it work again. However, I was NOT going to be in the position of having no sewing machine ever, ever again!

I wanted to buy a second machine. I thought of buying one that does heavier stitching but, guess what, they're commercial class and they start at $700.00 for the most basic, used model and go up from there. No, thanks. Then I thought of getting a reconditioned machine, maybe a Singer with only straight and zig zag stitches, not top-of-the-line, and already having seen some use. I found out I could get a newer Janome, which is my favourite machine brand, for half as much again as I would pay for a reconditioned machine.
I had to reach into my reserves to get the new machine but, again, I bit the bullet and bought it and, boy, am I happy with it! My new machine does smocking and buttonholes and, Lord knows what all. It is familiar because it's similar to my repaired Janome but it has more features.

Speaking of needs and wants, what I really needed was a decent, large, flat-screen computer monitor. I play war games on line. I need to spare my eyesight. My large CRT's flicker was doing me harm, but when I found I was without stitches my choice was clear. I needed a flat-screen monitor but I wanted a new sewing machine. The sewing machine won.

I'm very happy with my new sewing machine. Having reached into my reserves for it I'll now be able to save up more quickly for the needed computer monitor. I'm stitching away making a Humbug bag, in the shape of a British hard-candy of the same name. I'm knitting purses and doing linings for them too.

I'm really into retro purses which look like they are from 1920 or 1930. I've figured out how to get old vintage photographs on to fabric, using special paper-backed fabric for the printer. Once printed I cut them out and stitch them onto the purse or create a crochet flower border to stitch around the printout, so the purses have a little nostalgic touch. I can add old fashioned buttons too. I use the kind of handles that were once fashionable. The vintage aspect of all this is really fun. There's a whole crafting niche our there of ladies who make purses of various kinds, some of them artitistic. When push comes to shove you only need one of the darned things. When you wear it out, you get another purse in basic black or navy and you're ready to roll. That's much too mundane for we ladies who sew purses.

Now, when I go out I have a different purse to take with me each time. I have one with an African-Violet, patterned fabric that I take to African Violet club meetings. It's what's called a wristlet, a simple zippered rectangle with a strap that just hangs from your wrist and contains just basic stuff - a comb, a wallet and your keys. I'm making a bunch of wristlet bags for people. These handy items are themed on what the person is interested in. In one case it's a lady who is obsessive about her pug dog and she's going to get one with a pug dog playing a drum kit on it. She's in the music business.

My young niece is into cherries. They're a fad at her school, so, obviously she's going to get one with cherries on it, and so it goes.

I'm pleasing myself and pleasing my friends and family. I've got a new sewing machine and a redundant machine that's been repaired and I'm one happy camper!



© Sonia Brock 2006

I can be reached on the web at    http://www.soniabrock.com

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