Pretty soon my friends and family are going to think I’ve become a house wife of the 1900’s. I now officially own a sewing machine. I have wanted to learn to sew for a while, mostly because I hate getting a rid of an essentially valuable piece of clothing because of a repairable flaw. How many shirts have I thrown away because of a tear that I didn’t know how to fix even if I had the proper tools? A few survived with poorly executed hand sewn repairs, but not many.

So this year, for my birthday, I asked for a sewing machine. I will admit it is a beautiful Brother model with 50 different stitches. Of course, herein lies the problem. How am I ever going to learn how to use it? Unfortunately, most sewing machine manuals seem to assume you already know what you are doing and that the terms are self explanatory. Sorry, but terms like feed dogs and throat plate don’t make much sense to a sewing newbie. My husband bought me a great book on learning to sew, so I’m going to give it my best shot. If nothing else, I’d at least like to be able to repair clothes and do a few basic sewing projects with scraps. I’ve been planning to make some draft blockers out of old jeans and replace the Velcro on my daughter’s bumGenius pocket diapers.

After nearly an hour of reading the manual my husband was able to get the machine set up. I would have been hopeless. Who knew you had to be mechanically minded to use a sewing machine? I attempted a few easy stitches and practiced getting used to the foot pedal. So far, so good. Chapter two of my sewing book is titled “You and Your Machine: A Love Story.” While hardly love at first sight, I still hope this may be true. I fell in love with knitting and cross stitching with just a how to book and a few basic tools. But I don’t get the feeling sewing may be as easy. Hopefully this will be a love that lasts a lifetime and not a short passionate affair that ends in pain and violence. (I can see the headline now: Local woman throws sewing machine from second story window) Seriously though, I’m both excited and totally intimidated by this new piece of machinery. The sewing gene doesn’t run in my family so I’m hoping my own efforts can overcome my natural abilities. Wish me luck.