Tonight we went over to Curtis and Kathy's for dinner and some craftiness. Kathy was having some trouble with her sewing machine not working at 100% and we figured we could noodle over it for a bit. I had brought my old sewing machine and some accessories over, just in case we needed a control case to compare her machine's stitches to. When I opened the case, the machine itself greeted me with yellowed plastic, multi-colored tape markings of measurements long forgotten and a somewhat musty smell of projects long gone. But after taking the canned air to it and giving it some fresh thread, it stitched a perfect straight seam just like old times. I had forgotten how much I love my old sewing machine.
It was the first purchase I ever put on a credit card (if only I knew then how long it would take me to be free of credit card debt). I was a freshman in college and home for Thanksgiving or Christmas break. There was some group selling "home economics" sewing machines out of a hotel banquet room and my parents and I had gone to check it out. My father actually ended up being the expert on sewing machines as he had done most of the repairs and maintenance on Mom's cabinet model. He said it looked like a decent find and would hold up to my various projects. I can still remember standing there agonizing over spending the $150 on the machine (or was it $120? It seemed like a lot at the time). I'm still glad he convinced me to spend the extra $20 or so on the hard plastic case because it's the only reason I still know where the manual is and it's still in decent shape 12 years later.
I sewed almost all of my current medieval garb on that sewing machine. I've sewn leather cambok balls on that sewing machine. I sewed my first wedding dress on that sewing machine. We've been through a lot together. The plate on the bottom got loose so I had to tack it down with book binding tape (an odd combination of my medieval hobby and my life in the library at the time). And somehow over the last two years in storage all the plastic has turned the color of a heavy smoker's teeth. But for all its wear and tear it still runs like a dream.
I don't use it much anymore since I realized my computerized embroidery machine also makes a nice computerized sewing machine. But I don't think I'll ever want to get rid of it. Playing with my old sewing machine today reminded me of all the fun I used to have making new patterns and strange projects. I was talking to Rich last night about how I don't really play a lot of video games and don't share his talent and enthusiasm for them. I do, however, share a strong enthusiasm for crafting patterns out of nothing and solving the puzzles of how to turn not enough fabric into just the right outfit. So I think I'm going to try to use this as an impetus to get crafty again and remember all the joy I had from that.