Gather around, friends and foe … allow me to regale you all about the sewing machine venture of 2020. This is a tale of triumph, loss, fear, sadness and simplicity. It is a tragi-comedy and simultaneously a play of love in three acts. I suppose this is to warn you all before entering the mysterious woodland, alligator-infested, forest that is the Facebook Marketplace. Not-so-unfortunately, I have never had the pleasure of using the marketplace, and I’m not sure I’ll ever use it again. However, Justin Bieber never will, nor will I, ever say never. I had only ever ventured out to the olde thrift shop, Depop or the side of the road to find second-hand things … until I decided one odd day.
FLASHBACK. It’s Oct. 20, a bright and benevolent day, or so I thought. This was the day I went looking for my little bobbin-filled pal on Facebook Marketplace. Recently, I went to Joann Fabrics with high hopes to find myself some fixings to sew a baby doll dress. The fabric I picked was somewhat of a grandma-esque pattern with lots of daisies and peonies and a muted yellow background. I had outrageously overestimated my sewing skills and soon came to the sad, yet true, revelation that if I wanted to make this dress a reality, I would need a sewing machine. The only time I’d ever used a sewing machine was in eighth grade when I was in a tech theatre class, and we had to sew vests for the production of “Newsies.” The worst part is that I belonged on the stage, not behind the curtains … Anyways, I digress. I made the most tragic vests of my life, and they STILL used them in the production, HA! These things look like little baby spiders made them and then cut them up with scissors. The only memories of using the machine were intense confusion, broken needles and dissatisfaction.
Back to the story, I ended up looking through lists and lists of sewing machines. Some broken, some new, some expensive, some blue! Haha, no blue but fun rhyme scheme, right? Anyway, many of these listings were tens of miles away for a sewing machine I didn’t even know would work. Out of the grace of God, I found … let’s say his name was Herb. Herb had a fairly good machine for, originally, $200. Very funny, Herb. The machine brand-spanking-new was $200. He had recently lowered it to $150. I bellowed at the audacity and mustered up a ripe counteroffer. *Cue the wild west music* “I’ll take it off your hands for one Benjamin, buckaroo,” I remarked. “You drive a hard bargain, cowgirl, but I’ll take it,” he remorsefully uttered and tipped his hat. The conversation was something along the lines of that … The next day, I made the trek, with my mom for safety measures, and secured the apparatus. I told myself I wouldn’t use it until I finished my work and prior projects.
Then, the magical day was upon us. The day where I finally got to use my sewing machine! WOOT! I plugged it in and started clowning around with it. To my dismay, I heard what sounded like rocks falling off a cliff. These “rocks” were bolts on the inside. My luck never continues to amaze me. Frowny face. Thusly, I asked my mom to help me troubleshoot, knowing full well none of us knew about the deep, dark and intricate inner mechanisms of any sewing machine. Nonetheless, there we sat, iPhone flashlights and screwdrivers galore, trying to figure out what in God’s name happened inside my machine. After maybe 30 minutes of savior-complex fueled defeat, we decided to bring it into the shop the next morning. Sad but true, the best things in life are worth waiting for.
Nonetheless, I brought it in, and the wait time was around two weeks. In a normal pandemic-free world it would have been maybe four days, but since everyone and their dog started sewing during quarantine, the wait grew! It only took one week, though! I was beside myself to have my little machine back in my arms! I brought it home and started daydreaming of all the things I could, would, should and will sew! However, I have never sewed before and, once again, grotesquely overestimated my sewing skills.
Perhaps there’s a pattern emerging of my ability to overestimate myself.
FLASHBACK TO MODERN DAY … I’ve tried and lamentably failed at sewing a slip dress, a meek coin purse and some masks. Maybe it’s my scissors, yeah, we’ll blame the scissors! Be that as it may, it would be an understatement to say I’m juiced up to get on the thread horse and travel into the sewing sunset.