Monday, 25 October 2010

Old habits and new machinery

I can remember learning to sew as a young child. First the embroidered felt coasters, then clothes for my dolls and then clothes for myself. I remember helping my mum by blind stitch hemming the clothes she made for us whilst I was still too young to be trusted with a sewing machine. I took dressmaking classes at school and still remember the teacher telling us that the iron was as important a tool as the sewing machine. We had to tack (baste) all our seams by hand before machine sewing them and we weren't allowed to do gathers on the machine. They too had to be done by hand, and the stitches had to be really tiny and even. The teacher pulled them out if they weren't!
Some of these methods have obviously stayed with me for life as I still work with the iron permanently on and I do prefer to hand baste, even though it does take a lot longer to do.
I love the rhythm of hand sewing. I stitch away, listening to the radio or just quietly sew, dreaming away of all the new projects I'l make next.

That said, I love my machinery too! I have a Bernina sewing machine that was most definitely a luxury buy and three years on I'm still finding new things that it can do! I also have an overlocker (serger) to give seams a professional finish and which enables me to sew stretch fabrics beautifully.

I am lucky enough to have the space to set them up side by side so that I can switch from one to the other as I sew. My laptop sits by my side and I can watch for emails, listen to music and feel totally connected to the world whilst at the same time being in my own little stitching reverie!

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