Life's Little Details: Knitting, Sewing, Green Living, Frugal Living and Cooking In A Little Corner of Southern French Countryside.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

A Thing of Beauty

I think it was about five years ago that I got a sewing machine for my birthday. At the time, I really wanted to make curtains for the temporary house we were living in. The machine is a white plastic no-name brand with a variety of stitches available. I have enjoyed using it for years, even if, aside from the one that covered the open area under the kitchen sink, the curtains never got made.

Five years have passed, and here we are in our new house, finally (that temporary home turned into the most permanent home I've ever known), and I find myself sewing curtains again. I've still got that same sewing machine. It runs well, but it could probably use a little TLC that I don't fully know how to give. Not long after I bought it, the instruction manual disappeared somewhere in the house. I figure I'll find it in a box some day. Until then, I'm always a little nervous my machine needs some oiling in places I'm not familiar with.

Luckily for me, I have a back-up machine. It's a complete fluke that I even have it. The year I got a machine for my birthday, my sister-in-law also bought me one for Christmas (a lack of communication, I suppose). There are many people in my husband's family, so we tend to draw names for the adults. One person to shop for usually means one very nice gift. That year, my sister-in-law really outdid herself. She bought one of the most lovely sewing machines I have ever laid eyes on. Thing is, though, I have never actually used it. It's only able to straight sew, and I kind of like my bells and whistles. Plus, the weight of all that metal made it a chore to lug it out of its hiding place.

I'm not sure what prompted it, but I decided to give the old girl (or is it a guy?) a go today. I spent some time fiddling with it and its manual in order to familiarize myself with it. Imagine my surprise when I found a funny little extra foot in the box. I had no clue of its use, so I whipped out my trusty sewing handbook. As it turns out, I am the proud owner of a narrow hemming foot or rolled hemmer, which is a handy-dandy thing to own. It folds and sews narrow hems all in one step without too much effort from me (If you look at the picture below, you'll notice it even works on some pretty badly frayed edges - I had done some zigzagging close to the edge a while back, but didn't even trim, and it made a much nicer edge after the hemming. I'm not being too particular with this hem, because it's just curtains for under the bathroom sink.). No more burning my hands on the iron trying to press out those narrow seams. This is a happy day, indeed.

The machine itself is so beautiful, I decided to take several pictures to show it off. Somehow in all the visits my mom has made to my house, I never managed to pull this beauty out to show it to her. Now, she'll finally see it over the net. I can't even tell you what brand it is. There's no brand on the manual and the only brand on the entire machine is on the motor, which isn't necessarily the same brand as the machine itself. Doesn't matter. I've fallen in love. It hums pleasantly while it sews. And, it sews quickly and smoothly. Despite its age, I suspect that it will outlast my other, more modern machine by far.

Look at that green! Isn't that a wonderful color? They just don't make things like they used to. I feel like I'm traveling back in time (though I still get to use my computer to tell you about it) every time I sit down in front of this machine. It's just a thing of beauty.

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