15 March 2010

In the bower, sewing no seam

All I really wanted to do this weekend was sew.

I haven't done much sewing recently. Heck, I haven't done that much sewing in several years. About the time we stopped being active in the SCA, I stopped sewing. Partly it was burnout from having to do tunic production for the Viking, partly it was stress from being stuck in the authentically-mediaeval groove, partly it was because my sewing machine was on the fritz.

Yes, I am (or was) one of those snooty Laurels in the SCA, but I never wholly bought into the 'everything I make for the SCA must be entirely handsewn' way of thinking.

Handsewing is good. It's an important skill for a serious re-enactor/recreationist to have. Many things are better handsewn than machine sewn, especially when we're talking about pre-20th-C clothing. I have made some things entirely by hand and am the wiser for it.

But long straight seams on the ten tunics you're trying to finish before Pennsic? Shrub, please.

Back to the story: my sewing mojo was drained dry, and took a long time to refill. This weekend, I was ready to knock out a few skirts for the first time in a long time. But there's still that fritzy machine problem.

The short form of the machine problem is this: they really don't make Singers like they used to, and it would cost nearly as much to fix as it would to buy a new machine.

It's not entirely unusable, but a lot of things that ought to work don't, and while I can work around some of them, it's far from ideal.

Still, I thought I could put a couple simple skirts together; at least get them to the point where I could hang them up and let them settle before doing the hems. It's all just straight seams, right?

Ha. Ha ha ha. A-ha. *cough* Ahem.

Yeah, that didn't work out so well. I am not normally one to fling things across the room and scream in frustration, but this time I made an exception. I may also have hopped up and down and uttered unladylike words. I was visibly and audibly irate enough that the Viking noticed and remarked upon it, which is saying something. Usually he just lets my fits of pique pass without comment.

Instead he got up and headed to the laundry room. 'Do I need to put on clean clothes and carry heavy things for you?' he wanted to know.

Well, no. I've been shopping for a new machine for a while, knowing that the mojo would refill, and so I knew already which model I wanted and that Sears would ship it direct to my house. All I had to do was log into their website and place the order.

Which I did. Wonder of wonders, sewing machines were even on sale. I spent this weekend organising fabric, patterns and notions -- of which I have plenty -- so I'm ready to go as soon as the machine gets here.

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