Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Summer Sewing Class

My daughter and a friend signed-up for a 6-week summer course in beginning sewing through a local college. I decided to sign-up too, just for fun.

On the first night of class (held once a week) my machine would not turn on (see July 3rd blog). I finally picked up my machine the day after the last class. The shop honored the warranty -- which was right at the 2-year expiration date -- so I was thankful for that.

I learned during the class that if you have been sewing for a long time, it is not easy to take a class with a teacher who has been sewing even longer. I tried to help Tracy and her friend when they needed advice -- but no matter what I suggested, the teacher had another way to do it. That was fine. There are many ways to do something (and one way is not the only way, or the right way) but it became a laughing matter whenever one of the girls asked for my help and I hesitated -- I didn't want to get them in trouble!

In the end, the girls liked some of my techniques better. They even want to come over for a sewing night.

So, what did I learn during the summer class? That even though I don't know it all, I know enough to teach someone how to sew. And, good teachers may disagree on technique. I didn't want to be an old dog that couldn't learn a new trick . . . but I came to the conclusion that my old tricks worked fine!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Returning to my First Love

It's not like I ever really left, but I did take many long, long breaks from my first love: Sewing. And great sewing is all about great machines that work well and are dependable. Today I own one sewing machine and two sergers...

But, it all started with the Sears Kenmore sewing machine my mother bought me when I was around 10. My mom didn't sew, but she could tell that I was in love with the idea. I spent so much time with an older friend (who had a machine) that she knew if she wanted me around our house I needed a machine of my own. It seems that I had that Kenmore forever -- it was an okay machine, but I really wanted something that did more! 

Fast foward about 24 years. My husband, Michael, was leaving the Air Force and on his last trip to England he bought me a new Pfaff from the base exchange at Mildenhall. It was their top-of-the-line (the Creative 1471) and a great machine that I loved to sew with.  Fast forward another 20 years (are you counting?  I'm in my mid-50's).  The 1471 - was and is - a great machine...but now it belongs to my daughter Tracy. It was time for me to get a new model. 

I selected another Pfaff after doing some research. I have had the new machine a little over two years.  The other day it would not turn on.  Seems something was wrong with the electrical cord (I hoped that was all it was). It was something much more...and of course, the warranty for the motor and electrical was just for two years!  There was an additional 19 year warranty for other stuff.  What other stuff???  The machine is in the shop and the owner says he will do his best to fix it under the warranty.  Doesn't it seem they put something internal in the machines -- a signal goes off that says, "the two year warranty is up so let's break down now."   I have lost a bit of faith in the Pfaff name and I will have to wait and see how things turn out.

Over the years I have sewn many types of items.  From my own wedding dress - to clothes for my kids - to duvet covers and roman shades for my home.  I've made countless pillow covers and curtains and too many clothes that didn't fit me properly.  I quit sewing for a while but I am back in a big way.  It feels great to be in love again with something I let go of.