Sewing is something that I have been interested in since I was 10 years old. My Girl Scout leader taught us how to sew a running stitch by hand as we made stuffed Christmas ornaments for our parents. From then on, I was hooked and sewed anything I could. Pillows, Barbie doll clothes, hats for my baby cousins, you name it. They were all pretty shabby looking but no matter. That Girl Scout leader opened up a new world for me.
Around the time I got married, I started thinking about a sewing machine and sewing lessons. I remember asking anyone I could think of, if they had a machine that I could use. No one in my circle did or were willing to let my novice hands use it.
Well, my Daddy worked for my Granddaddy for a time, installing burglar alarms. He used to meet the most interesting people and got to know several of them because he was in their home for a week or more, putting in keypads and glass break detectors.
One customer that he met was particularly interesting because she lived in a beautiful cottage near Mynatt Park, in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. She had a pet squirrel who lived in her home and it would sit on her shoulder while she did her household tasks.
While my father was there working one afternoon, she asked him if he knew anyone who needed an old sewing machine. It worked, but she was getting older and just didn’t use it anymore.
Lucky, Lucky Me! I will be forever grateful to my Daddy for accepting that old Singer from the lady with the pet squirrel!
Now, the only experience that had up to that point with a sewing machine was sitting near my great grandmother as she magically whipped out dresses for me on her old Singer. I knew how the machine oil smelled and the smooth sound of the motor, but that is all.
When I got the machine, it had black spool already threaded on it and being way too intimidated to take it off, I left it on and promptly went to the fabric store to purchase pink and beige fabric to make curtains for my newlywed home. I was so proud of those curtains……black thread and all.
Thanks to some wonderful ladies that I worked with, I was able to learn how to thread my machine and wind the bobbin. (This was 1995, so there was no You Tubing it)
Why am I telling you this story? Well, I want to use it to encourage you. If you want to learn a new skill and don’t have the means or the opportunity at the moment, don’t give up!
If someone tells you your work is shoddy, use that information to improve your work. Don’t tell yourself, “I can’t”, especially if someone else is discouraging to you. Find a way and just do it!
In the beginning, I didn’t have a machine or anyone to teach me but I asked for help when I could and read every book I could get my hands on about garment construction and sewing in general. Yes, my work was wonky in the beginning but I learned to slow down and read directions and my abilities improved greatly!
Now, 19 years later...... I can sew anything! Curtains, pillows, quilts, garments for myself and my daughter, an old timey sleeping shirt like Mark McCain wore in the Rifleman (because my son wanted it).
If you are a craftsman or have an interesting skill, be a coach, mentor or an encourager to a young person. You never know how you may affect their lives if you just give a little time or a kind word to them.