My sewing machine was a gift from my husband over 40 years ago. I felt like a queen when I got it, not only because it was an expense that didn’t fit into our budget, but it was one of the best sewing machine available at the time. It was first used to create little fashions for my growing children. In those days it was fairly economical to sew. The kids wore matching outfits for most holidays until they realized it wasn’t cool.
So I turned to making doll clothes for our youngest. I soon came to my senses. Sewing Barbie fashions requires perfect eyesight, delicate fingers and tons of patience, of which I have none. No price is too high for Barbie clothes.
Instead I turned my Viking Husqvarna into a means to eek out a little income. This wonderful machine could pierce through leather. It could embroider. It required little maintenance. Soon I was making a little extra money doing alterations – or altercations, as one of my customers called me. I made saddle bags for motorcycles, vests out of deer hides and went through about 45 sewing machine needles a week.
When I began teaching drama, this wonderful invention created more costumes than I can remember. There was the three headed queen, talking trees, caterpillar, Humpty Dumpty, Tweedles Dee and Dum, poodle skirts, aliens and on and on. Once, as I fashioned some little lamb costumes, I ran my finger under the needle along with the fluffy fabric. Talk about putting your blood into your work. A few stitches to sew me up and I was back at it.
It has been a while since I worked on that machine. It now sits in a corner of the laundry room – untouched until just recently when I attempted to make some masks. I probably could’ve started a whole new enterprise, but moving that portable contraption from its comfortable place into a spot that would be more workable, took every ounce of strength I had.
And so it remains idle. From time to time I think about trying again, but I quickly dismiss that idea. It’s really cheaper to buy stuff that’s ready made now than it is to sew. At least that’s what I keep telling myself.
I must say that the gift given me so many years ago has served its purpose. It has paid for itself many times over. My Grandfather was a tailor. I never got to meet the man, but I think he would be proud to know that his granddaughter picked up on his craft. I wonder if he had a sewing machine as good as mine.