Sunday, 20 May 2012

A Sewing Machine's Disillusionment

Now I'm not my sewing machine  ("WHAT?!", I hear you all exclaim), but if I were I would not have been able to predict the uses I would be put to in the short time living in this house.  I imagine my sewing machine may have been thinking along these lines:
"Oooh I have just discovered consciousness!  What am I?  I appear to be inanimate (bummer) and I am shiny and white with moving parts... could I be Keanu Reeves?  No wait, I'm a sewing machine!  A pretty nice sewing machine if I do say so myself.  I'm not exactly the Porsche of sewing machines, but I am a reputable brand and a nice basic model.  I'm probably not going to be used to sew the next haute couture garment to be wrapped around Kate Middleton's shapely rear, but I might make some nice things for a keen sewer.  A nice dress or two, some cute children's trousers... that sort of thing.  I'm feeling quietly confident.
Hey!  I'm being packaged up!  This is it!  I'm being shipped to someone's house!  My owner awaits, full of enthusiasm for creating garments of originality and style and I will be a central cog in this process.
Excited hands are unwrapping me... And there is my owner!  She looks pleased to see me, this is a good start.  Yes, there is a small child who lives at this house so no doubt I'll be making cute children's clothes.  I wonder what I will make first?  It's being discussed already!  So industrious!"

Obviously my sewing machine is yet to understand that I *am* enthusiastic about starting projects, not so great at finishing them.  We'll leave it happy in it's ignorance at this stage of the narrative.  I am interjecting to tell you a little about the kind of mother I am as it's relevant to my First Sewing Project.  I've always been quite into dressing up.  I mean this in both the "making myself look a bit fancy" sense of the word and also the "going all out for a costume party" sense.  So it was only natural that when I had a baby, I would take full advantage of the fact that I had the power to dress someone else and, at this stage, they have no ability to argue about what I dress them in.  Excellent parenting stance, I know.  You'll quickly discover that I am a Top Mum in many ways.
I have this fabulous group of friends who were all having babies around the same time as me.  Instead of forcing myself into relationships with a group of women simply because they turned up to find out about labour at the same time as I did, I just gathered my lady-friends around me.  Not that you can't make great connections with the women who turn up to find out about labour, it's just that I didn't need to.  This fabulous group of friends, who I will tell you more of at a later date, share my enthusiasm for costumes so when it came to Halloween, we jumped at the chance to dress our progeny in ridiculous outfits.
But while my friends did "cute little giraffe", "cute little All Black", "cute little pirate", I walked a slightly darker path.  I figured that it was Halloween, you're supposed to be scary (I confess that a pirate could be scary, but Mae is so delicious it was never going to be anything other than cute).  I also figured that I must be able to create something from Edie's existing wardrobe.  As it turns out, it's quite tricky to make a scary costume from the wardrobe of a 5 month old baby.  Babies don't generally wear many knives, hockey masks etc.  They don't usually even have that much black.  But what Edie DID have was a double-breasted thick cotton jacket with no collar.  So I made the obvious costuming choice: I dressed her as Kim Jong-Il.  No brainer.
Dressing your little baby as a North-Korean dictator is not a "no brainer" for most people as it turns out.  In fact, it causes quite a lot of... comment.

This reveals a lot about the workings of my mind and leads the way for my sewing machine's first project.  So back to the narrative...

"A COSTUME PARTY!  Oh brilliant!  I will help make a cute costume for a little girl.  That's such a *lovely* first project for a sewing machine.  The theme is 'favourite book character'?  Oh all the possibilities for adorable outfits; what will my new owner do?!  No, I suppose it doesn't have to be a children's book... no I guess a 10 month old doesn't really have a favourite book character... yes I guess she won't really know what she's wearing... strictly speaking I suppose she doesn't have to be a female character...  Hmmm..."

At this point, I imagine my sewing machine was getting a little worried.  And it had good cause to feel this way.  The first project I attempted on my brand new shiny sewing machine was hobbit feet.  Not a dress, not a simple repair; a pair of fluffy slipper-like objects with hideous faux hair attached to the top.  To dress my child as Frodo seemed like a perfectly logical decision - she has hobbit-like curls, she's small, she owned a pair of knickerbockers.  Hello Frodo!

I did make a little cord pinafore dress and matching pants for Edie as my next project, I do have some idea of propriety.  But I'm sure my sewing was equally dismayed today when I used it to repair Phil's car cover; a huge blue sheet of waterproofing that seemed to fill our entire kitchen & dining area (admittedly not that difficult a feat).  It had holes.  They needed fixing.  I had something that would do the trick.

I'm sure my sewing machine waits with bated breath for the next endeavour.  Will I make a cute outfit, a lovely skirt, a nice blouse?  Or will it be a bizarre amalgam of fur and frill designed for some crazy one-off wearing that will reappear in my daughter's 21st photos?  I'm hoping that my sewing machine is coming to terms with life in my possession.  I think it will come to value the eclectic life it's destined to lead in my hands.  It's a roller-coaster ride but it's not boring.