Tuesday, March 1, 2011

My First Sewing Machine

For many years, I had been sewing. I remember that when I was about 12 years old, I would sit with the neighborhood girls while they played with Barbie dolls. I didn't so much take part in the play, as to sit and create outfits for the dolls, sewing them by hand.

The year that I married, someone gave me an antique treadle machine. I was excited to have a sewing machine, and I attempted a few times to get the hang of using it. Each time I tried, I would find that I was failing at making it do what it was supposed to do. In frustration, I finally closed it up and there it sat, in our apartment, until the day we moved out. At that time, I am ashamed to admit, I had it taken to the dump. What a foolish child I was, but I had no idea as a young bride, that the machine could be worked, or even used as a piece of furniture. I also had no idea that it had value as an antique or that I would one day like old things in my home far better than the new-fangled stuff.

Oh, how I've regretted the decision to discard that lovely piece of history! In the years since that first machine and I parted company, I have acquired two other treadles. One is just the bottom, pedal stand. The other is the entire machine, which I have learned to thread, place the bobbin in, and sew on. I do not use it for projects, though. I use the first electric one that I got for Christmas in 1969. It is a used Montgomery Ward model which will go like the wind and will sew heavy layers, even denims. I have a more modern, zig zag machine which sews nicely, but is slow, and will take only light layers.

So many things have been turned out from that first Mongomery Ward model. My children and grandchildren wore clothing sewn on it, and played with dolls and doll clothing from it, too. Halloween costumes and dress up box outfits, western shirts and quilts too, were stitched on my first and favorite machine.

Though my thoughts often return to my bad choice to getting rid of the first treadle, I think if I had actually learned to sew on it, I might not have gotten my well-used, well loved, long-lived machine which I still use today.

There are reasons for all things, I guess.