Q & A: Building Sewing Skills Part II

I've been thinking about Claire's question about building sewing skills, and I have something to add to my earlier post.

When I was younger, my mother tried to teach me to sew with a machine.  I tried to learn, but she had an old machine from the 1970's that seemed to break every time I touched it.  I would get discouraged, tell myself I wasn't good at it or that the machine "hated me," and move on to another medium.  I watch my sewing students go through the same situation when they sit down at the machine for the first time.

Getting to know a sewing machine is like building a relationship.  It takes patience and perseverance to get through that awkward beginning stage of getting to know each other.

When my mom gave me my own machine three years ago, I went through the same awkward period - things would get tangled and jam, I would get frustrated.  But instead of giving up, I gave him a name: Silas.  I talked to him when was loud and grumpy.  I thanked him when he did things really well.  It took me a while to learn about what he likes - how to thread him just right, how to load the bobbin so it points the way he needs it, with the extra thread hanging out just so...

Now I can do it without thinking - we are very in sync.  And I still talk to him all the time.

So stick with it.  And if you find yourself saying "this machine hates me," give it a name and keep getting to know each other.



  1. Maybe I should give my machine a name...perhaps it would start behaving! :-)


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