This week has been real. The US primary season has been getting on my nerves, money’s been a little tight, and I entered into a cooling off period with the man I’ve been seeing. Things have been low.
And then my sewing machine broke – on a project that was supposed to lift my spirits. While machine basting the shoulder straps of the nightgown, my machine ran into a particularly nasty thread jam that knocked out the timing.
For two days, I did other sewing-related things like ripping seams for refashions and cutting layouts, but I felt pretty lost without my machine. On the morning I could get to the repair shop, Chicago was pounded with a snowstorm that left me reluctant to take my machine on the bus. I figured if I was going to pay for a cab, I might as well make a stop by the record store and sell a couple things I’ve been holding onto for no particular reason.
The stars were in my favor that day, because the amount I got for them somehow turned out to be exactly the amount it cost to fix the machine, and the guys at Goldblatt had it fixed in under an hour. I was back in Pilsen within two hours of being in Wicker Park and back to work.
Like anything else, sewing setbacks are a matter of perspective. For a long time, I was lucky that I had a machine that never experienced any issues, but I’d also been sewing a lot less. Over the past few months, sewing has occupied a few hours of my day – with that much use, it’s not all that surprising that the machine would eventually need a tune-up.
It’s lucky we get to do this hobby at all – how many times have you told someone you make clothing, and they’ve reacted with
“I wish I could do that.”
We’re lucky to have sewing as a creative outlet. We’re lucky that we have access to the skills, tools and materials we need to make our own wardrobe. We can have beautiful, custom-fit clothing that suits our aesthetic. We’re able to walk away from consuming fast fashion. We have the confidence to keep growing our craft and view garment construction as an art. It’s a great feeling.
Now that my machine is back, I’ve made up for lost time. Here’s what’s been keeping me busy this week.
I signed on to be a pattern tester for Sew DIY’s upcoming Nita wrap skirt. I’m not going to do a full post until the pattern is released, so I’ll just say it’s a really well-written pattern. I did the midi version, and have some kimono silk earmarked for a mini soon.
This thrifted bag has seen better days – the lining and top seams were totally shot. It’s been sitting in a corner in my sewing room, waiting for me to get the courage to tackle removing a lining and tempt the fate of my sewing machine by sewing multiple layers of leather. It was great for practicing hand sewing – after ripping out the old lining, I re-attached the pieces that had come apart and drafted the pattern from the former lining.
But trust that the old lining was in bad shape – wait till you see the photos. Ripped doesn’t even begin to describe it – more like clawed apart by a lion.
The nightgown that knocked out my sewing machine. The pattern is Butterick B5932 – the nightgown itself is done, and right now I’m stuck on picking out a trim for the neckline. Look for a pattern review on the blog soon.
Another Nita – next time, mini-skirt version
A whole backlog of refashions