Thursday, May 22, 2008


It's awful. You sit there on pins and needles, your throat is dry. Please, please, please you plead inside your head. Please, please, please.

The room is quiet, maybe too quiet. But not the relaxing kind of quiet. It's the hear-every-little-movement quiet. You-hear-your-heart-beating quiet. The light shifts as you bend over, squinting in concentration and your hands start to shake a little.

Your foot stretches out as you place the fabric under the presser foot. You position it carefully, lining it up as straight as can be. The fear is welling up inside you as you breathe in, then out. Your foot hits the pedal and you're off.

The machine clangs a bit and then you hear it; the dreaded noise, the barely audible noise you know too well, the noise from your worst nightmare. You scream, realizing it's happened again, like Charlie Brown when he hits the ground as the football is pulled out from under his foot. The freaking thread. Again. Broken again!

You sigh and in desperation, frantically grab the one thing you have never grabbed in this moment before. The Holy Grail. No, not the wine. The Singer Sewing Machine Manual. You flip through the illustrated pages of how to thread bobbins and realize you are looking at the Spanish version. More flipping. The pages hum as you look for the right one. Troubleshooting. Thread breaking = tension too tight.

The tension has apparently been too tight for years, since I was first gifted this machine by Nature Boy. One turn of a knob and freedom! The thread glides through seams four layers thick! I finish the bag in less than an hour. This is what sewing can really be like! Who knew?

Here is my new Vegas Va-cay Messenger Bag.

In the last pic, you can also see the radiator cover Nature Boy finished. Well almost. We are going to draw a pattern and punch holes in the metal panels to one, decorate and two, let out the heat. He also wants to paint it and I of course will be sewing a nice cushion for the top for the kitty-kins to relax in regal ways upon while gazing upon the fowl cavorting on the estate. (Translation: salivate over pigeons).

So the bag. It's made of a discounted sheet I bought for $5 in a cheapo outlet store (was once a pricey Urban Outfitters sheet meant for some dorm-living-hipster). The lining is made from a shirt I bought at a thrift store. It's got white oak leaves and acorns on red print. I made an outer pocket and two inner pockets. I hope to make a matching wallet--look out Chel!!!

I have a large gigantopithicus amount of the blue and white fabric left, so don't be suprised if my next sewing projects all incorporate it in some way.

What have I learned? Here's the short of it:
1. Read the instruction manual if you can't make something work right.
2. Sewing is almost fun!
3. Don't cut fabric that is too short for something.
4. Don't sew crap and then discover it's upside-down. Pin it and flip it first!
5. Stuff you make can still be cute if it's upside-down or lopsided.
6. Cats aren't always scared of sewing machines.

7. Nature Boy will not notice something sitting there unless you direct him too. Like your new bag. That you made all by yourself, design and all.

The knit continues slowly. I am on the front of the Green Chemise, the upper lace insert. I hope to finish it by Sunday night but we shall see. Yes, kids we shall see.

Tension. Stupid tension!


affectioknit said...

Very pretty bag!