6 Hours and Two Tarot Bags Later


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(



4 thoughts on “6 Hours and Two Tarot Bags Later

  1. You did it! You conquered a beast. There’s a lot to be said for that, you know. Well done. Now, I don’t know what kind of machine you have, but if it’s not a good one (let it be simple, but of decent quality) then sewing is going to be a nightmare. It will skip stitches and have uneven tension and beak the thread and totally not behave. The first sewing machine I owned was a singer, and eventually I was so angry with it I almost chucked it through the room and out the window. Luckily I behaved. And bought a bernina. What a difference! Where the singer was a plasticky thing that jumped around on the table if I tried to get some speed, the bernina stayed put. Cast metal rules. Now, I love to sew, but even I couldn’t handle that crappy machine. Unfortunately singer is not what it was 50 years ago, and I know I’m not the only one with this experience. And if you’re lefthanded you totally need leftie scissors. The right tools make a huge difference. Also: ironing is the secret trick to get professional results. Your teacher was right about that.


    • You mean that there’s sewing machines out there that are nice to people? I do have a Singer. A Bernina? Wow. You are probably amazing at sewing to make that kind of investment. At this point I would just like to get something less temperamental than me. I was looking at the Brother cS6000i as a step up. If I can get something halfway decent then I’ll know whether or not I’m cut out for sewing (pun not intended). As for the left-handed scissors, I took your advice and ordered some nice ones today. Thank you for the encouragement! )O(


  2. I love your tarot bags! As soon as I start publishing links to creators like you, I will be more than happy to post a review and help you on your way! They are lovely! Ian


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