Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Finding My Old Friend

Do you know my friend Bernina?  She's been around since I graduated from college and she's tireless.  We've done some wild things together. 

When I graduated from college, my mother gave her to me and my grandmother gave me the serger.

Also a Bernina.  I think they might have both been floor models so they got a great deal on them both.  I remember my friend j-ster thinking it was a ridiculous gift for graduation from college when I didn't major in home ec!  She wasted no time taking advantage of my skill with these machines and I've made her and her family no end of things with these machines.  Including fixing a ripped seam on brand new jeans that her husband "blew out" playing kickball at work.

I love them.  I especially love the sewing machine because it's not plastic.  It's the real deal.  So few machines are made of metal anymore, even the high quality brands. I swear I got the last model made out of metal or maybe it's ceramic?  I don't know, it's something heavy and cool and very smooth and definitely not plastic.  When I touch it, it just inspires me to want to sew things and do a really nice job!

The serger has a lot more plastic.  It's all plastic, actually.  I like it because it finishes things so nicely and gives them a professional look.  I have no real idea what I can do with it except finish seams because I didn't take the lessons that came with it, which my mother is probably still mad about.

My sister is a wizard with her serger and I should probably learn something from her some day.  She has an elasticizer.  I wouldn't even know where to start with that! 

I can't even recount the tales of  all of the things I've made with these suckers, but they've made at least a million curtains for myself and others, quilts up the wazoo, clothes, outdoor pillows, indoor pillows and endless repairs of things for me and for others.

And one time?  20 pairs of mariachi sleeves for the high school Winter Percussion Team.  That was probably the most bizarre thing I ever made with them.  I bought red, orange and yellow polyester, cut them into strips and serged them in black so the color would pop.  Then I took a pattern for a long sleeve dress, cut out just the sleeves on muslin, gathered the strips and sewed them to the sleeves.   It was like a clown convention exploded all over my sewing room.  Then the girls tacked the sleeves onto their black leotards.

Wow, just thinking about the project makes my head spin.  It must have taken FOREVER.  I can't remember, I just remember I made a pretty penny and it was cheaper for them than renting them.

I go through phases where I sew like crazy and then many months go by and I don't even look at my machines.  Part of that is because I keep them set up in a room upstairs which is really hot in the summer and really cold in the winter.  There's about a 2 week window in spring and fall that are ideal for sewing and otherwise, it's just too hot or too cold.  I can turn on the heat in the winter but I always feel guilty wasting the heat in such a poorly insulated part of the house.

I like having them set up so I don't have the excuse that they are all put away and it would be too much hassle to get them out, and I'm glad I have a room where I can do that, but it's perpetually cluttered.  I have no cabinets there either a running theme in my life so everything is just everywhere.

So after last week's curtains, I decided I should get right on to the pillow covers that I told someone at school I would make.  Many years ago, I made her covers like this from some curtains she had.

She loves the ships and there were a couple on each curtain so I finagled a way to cut them so she could have a ship on each pillow.

This is the same woman who had me make the mariachi sleeves.  She believes that I am a genius with the sewing machine.  Anyone who knows anything about my skills knows that pillow covers are something a monkey could make and those sleeves were only genius in the way I decided to make them, not in how they were actually created.  Again, if I had shown a monkey, he could have done it.

Over time, the ship pillows faded, so her daughter found her some fun fabric that I almost stole and I said I'd make her another set but she had to get it to me right away because I was on a sewing roll.

I have no use for this fabric in my house because it's orange.  Otherwise I might have told her I'd lost it somehow and just kept it for myself.  I'm not sure what color I would like, maybe a red and white.  Does it look like seaweed or coral to you?

She had enough for 4 pillows.  She hoped to get a bolster out of it too but a) she doesn't have a form and b) I will have to do something creative to make that work from the scraps, without having it look like a bunch of scraps.  She envisions a long bolster but the longest I could find at the fabric store is 14 inches and I think she was looking for more like double that.   I had a vision of getting two forms and wrapping some batting around the center so there wouldn't be a line but we all know there would ALWAYS be a divot in the middle.

I make envelopes from the fabric so the pillows can just pop right in and not have a gap in the back.  It's easier than trying to put in velcro or zippers.  Inevitably, I do something ridiculous with at least one cover and end up spending way more time than I should when I make them.  I usually hem up the wrong side and I did it TWICE this time.

A monkey would probably not do that.

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1 comment:

  1. I am so jealous of your serger. I have wanted one FOREVER.


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