Saturday, September 13, 2008

Sewing Together Some Family History

Introducting my new baby, the Brother 2600i.

It's been a wierd day. I'll just blame it on the weather and leave it at that. Cub woke me up at 6:30 am and I couldn't go back to sleep after laying out her breakfast and turning on her morning shows. Ugh. We even missed our trip to the farmer's market today. I can't complain, my vegetable bin is still stuffed from overstocking last week. So far there has been some top cleaning, playing outside with the neighbors, a great movie, "Madeline in Paris," given to Cub by daddy for her birthday and...the very exciting purchase above!

I finally took the leap and bought myself a new sewing machine. This is B-I-G for me for many reasons. For one, I taught myself to sew in my late teens on my mother's 1967 Singer machine. It was a work horse and a beautiful machine. I toted that thing along with me wherever I went and in college I began quilting as I followed a certain band all over the country...Yes, that machine accompanied me to my first cross-country move to San Francisco. A year or two later it died and I could not afford to have it repaired.

Many years later when I moved to Portland, Oregon, the first thing I did when I touched down, was buy a new sewing machine, a basic Brother model. I made mostly curtains and pillows and furniture coverings and stuffed animals. When I left three years later, I left it with a friend, a single mother of four, who really needed it at the time. And that was my last connection to a machine until today. I'm not exactly sure why. My years of living in the city flew by in a flurry. So what if I haven't done any machine sewing in twelve years? Oh, boy...has it really been that long?

I'm not worried. Sewing is in my blood. It's the one little gift I know that was bestowed upon me by the heavens via my beloved great-grandmother, Johanna. At age fourteen, she ran away from her home in Budapest, Hungary to come to the US with a dream of working as a dancer. She ended up dancing in Burlesque in Manhattan. Later, she married my great-grandfather, Daniel- who was a hunchback and therefore, did stand-up comedy, also in Burlesque. She became a mother of four by the time she was twenty-one. From what I understand she had her own tool box, worked on cars, gave all the local kids hair cuts, and sewed her fanny off! She made a set of satin dolls for my mother with all the clothes and costumes and so much more. She had a funky asthetic, too. Most of her dolls had rainbow, blue, or pink colored hair! Right on, Johanna. Love it.

I didn't want to spend a lot on this basic machine. I figure I'll use it for a while and when I'm ready to step it up, I'll put this aside for teaching Cub how to sew. She is already cutting up her Barbie dolls clothes to mix and match tops and bottoms. It's in the blood, I tell you! After weeks of research, I decided the Brother 2600i was perfect. A friend who just started a sewing class at FIT told me her instructor highly recommended it for basic clothing and craft construction. So, that sealed the deal. Best of all, it couldn't be more affordable.

And of course, I had to finally purchase this book. I've already read through it, after securing a copy at the local library. I can't wait to sink my sewing needle into those adorable apron, tote, and pouch projects!

What better way to pass the time at 6:30 am on a weekend?

What's everyone up to this weekend?


MySweetThree said...

That was such a wonderful post...Although, your blog has yet to let me down! :)

I am telling you, Cyndy...You just may be my inspiration to start teaching myself how to sew. I think I would fall madly in love with it..if I took it up. It really does seem like something that would be daunting for me to learn, but I imagine it can turn into an accomplishment of gigantic porportions. At the very least, it would be something that I wouldn't forgive myself if I never try. And I so would want to teach my girls one day...such a rewarding activity.

Please be sure to share your creations..each and every one!

karmabutton said...

wowowowow!! that was such a great story Cyndy! i love how much you pass on to josette! can't wait to see what you make and maybe play one day!!