“A time to rend, and a time to sew;”
My sewing machine is forty-five years old. Like me it’s getting older and has some minor maintenance issues. Amazingly, it still does its job well. I was shocked and surprised when my Mom bought this sewing machine for me. She had a “Singer” brand sewing machine and said this brand new “New Home” would be mine. It’s been with me through so many sewing rooms, craft projects, broken needles, and tangled thread that it feels like family.
With my new sewing machine and a small sewing kit my grandmother mailed me for Christmas, I was ready to start the seventh grade and my Home Economics classes. Back then, I was much smaller and it took every effort I could muster to carry that heavy machine to class and set it up. I, often, had to have help. (Although I’m bigger now, it’s still heavy. Lol.)
The machine had many attachments and knobs that were rather overwhelming. I recall the salesman selling my Mom on its many “special features.” It could embroider, make button holes, install zippers and had different feet for the various tasks. I’ve never used all of its functions, but still use it for my general sewing.
Learning to Appreciate the Machine
My sewing machine reminds me of my Mom. She never failed to inspire and challenge me to always be open to trying new things. I’m in awe that my parents made such a sacrifice, with four children and limited resources. This valuable gift not only gave me the ability to learn a useful skill, it provided a means for me to care for my household and encouraged me to develop my creativity and craft-making skills too.
Learning About the Machine
I was so anxious to push the pedal and sew for the first time. However, my teacher insisted that we learn “about” our machines before we could plug them in. She made us read the manual to get familiar with each part and function. We also had to be able to thread our machines in less than a minute before we could sew a single stitch. It was killing me, but I finally got it and can still thread it quickly today.
Learning How to Use the Machine
I thought my home economics teacher was picking on me. She was fierce and wouldn’t let me quit no matter how frustrated I got. Turns out, she just wanted me to learn to sew correctly. To do that, I had to know how to use my machine.
I dreaded hearing her give us our assignments. As she instructed the older girls on their next steps, she would tell me, “Beth… you rip out what you did last class.” I don’t know how many times she told me to rip out my work and start again. But, let’s just say, I logged more hours on my seam ripper than on my sewing machine. She honestly had me believing that the verse in the Bible about “sowing and reaping” was about “sewing and ripping.”
When I finally completed my first sewing project (with a good grade) it was sweet. In the process, I also learned that tools become wasted resources, if we don’t learn to use them. Today, I can say, I’m thankful for the tool, the training and time to use them both.
Bring It Home
Do you have a sewing machine? What type is it? What do you enjoy sewing?
Praying for you as we grow together,