I have never been a successful sewer. I’ve always wanted to be able to whip up dresses, or make my children baby quilts. I took a sewing class as a freshman in high school. I don’t even like thinking about it because it was a total disaster. Even so, many years later when I was pregnant with my third child, I was asked what I wanted for my birthday. I said I wanted a sewing machine, and I got what I asked for. I was going to make that baby quilt, dammit! Besides, how hard could sewing little squares together be? And so I made my daughter a baby quilt. And no, I don’t have any pictures of it, and only I know where it’s hidden.
I also went to a sewing class a few years later. I went faithfully every week for almost four months. That means four months of lugging that stupid sewing machine fabric and sewing kit back and forth, setting it up, then taking it down. There were three of us in the “class” all working on our own projects. I was attempting to make an a-line dress, something easy. I figured, even the pattern had the word “Simplicity” on it. Sad, but true.
The instructor would go from one of us to another, helping and guiding, reminding us to press the seams, iron this, fold that…sew a few inches here, leave a gap there, go press the seam again… Who knew a “simple” Summer dress could be so complicated? I grew to dislike the class, especially when I compared my progress to others. I began going less and less and disliking the dress more and more, so much so that I finally just threw it in the garbage with a “good riddance”. I could really use that fabric now,
Then there was the time I tried sewing a Greek peplos at the very last minute before a party. I was really impressed with myself for having zipped through it so fast with no problem. But when I slipped it over my head I couldn’t find the arm holes. That’s because there weren’t any. I had sewn the thing completely up both sides.
So that’s when the sewing machine got put in the garage.
And stayed there for years. Until today.
I had my husband drag that beast out of the garage and take it to the studio. I spent the better part of the daylight hours in there working on sewing Tarot bags for the decks that were gifted to me. And in all that time I ended up making two bags. I bled, sweat, and shed tears. A labor of love I suppose. So when I look upon the final result of hours of frustrating work, I force myself to look past the uneven stitching, the odd choice of fabrics, and the sheer mess of it all. I look beyond the fact that I can’t make a buttonhole, or that I can’t cut a straight line. But I learned some things.
I learned the hard way that if I am to continue attempting to sew these…these…things…, I will have to break down and buy a pair of left-handed scissors. Trying to sew a straight line along the edge of fabric that looks like the dog has chewed on it is totally impossible.
I also learned that I won’t bleed to death by being jabbed in the fingers by sewing pins. Nor by accidentally stepping on or sitting on them.
And I learned that I could keep cutting up old valances I don’t like or clothes I no longer wear and continue to make Tarot bags for all my naked decks and maybe even a few for my friends.
So I’m going to continue making these “upcycled” bags and pouches until all of my decks without boxes have a soft place to rest. Now, if only I liked to sew…Who knows, maybe I could learn to like it someday. Stranger things have happened.
Many Blessings on Your Journey )O(