Old Dog, New Tricks

Sewing has entered and exited my life many times for more than fifty years. Each time I picked it up again I had to get up to speed and often my rusty skill set wouldn’t be up to the challenge. Hand embroidery, my earliest skill, has always been the first to recover but I have wadded up many a larger (an more expensive!) garment (thereafter known as a wadder) because I’d get lost with nowhere to turn.

But when our seventh grandchild came into view and I was retired, I had to try sewing again.

The landscape of the sewing world I reawakened to was astonishing. Why?

  • The Internet. It seems quaint to capitalize the familiar word now but for today’s purposes, let’s just give it that little boost.
    • One reason I have been able to renew old skills, relearn processes and learn new ones so quickly is simple: There is a blog, a tutorial or a YouTube video for everything.  Not to mention online classes. All hail Craftsy!
    • Moreover, my fabric and notions shopping opportunities have opened up to the whole world. I’m no longer confined to what box stores and fabric chains have to offer. This is especially significant because we live pretty far from the beaten path.
  • Bloggers. Where did all you whippersnappers come from? Mommy bloggers in Utah, chic Scandinavian knitters, twenty-something New Yorkers sporting dresses my mother wore when she was a twenty-something New Yorker…the whole world is sewing and writing about it. Beautifully, I might add.
  • Sewing Computers. My thirty-five year old Kenmore sewing machine went to its final resting place to be replaced by a Bernina B580 Sewing computer in 2012. Ninety percent of my frustration level disappeared on the spot. It’s cool that it has lots of stitches and an embroidery module but what I really love is its flat out reliability. It allows me to be fearless.
  • Smart phones. I snap pictures of ready to wear (RTW), fabrics, street fashion and my own work incessantly. Why my own work? I swear I can see things better that way. The camera imposes a distance between something in which I’ve invested time and allows me to see it more objectively. Or I think I can.

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