Thursday, April 23, 2009

Does Easy Really Mean Easy?

Many, Many moons ago...I begged and begged for none other than a sewing machine.

Why, You ask?

I have this dream of being homemaker-y. Yes, I do love my job. Yes, I do have to work. Yes, I do want to work. But...I still, in some ways, want that Leave it to Beaver picture.

For Brady's baby shower - one of my longtime, very good friends sewed me some baby blankets. They were adorable. Nothing fancy. Not perfect. Just super special and rather cute. I then decided - I shall sew.

That was over 5 years ago.

Right after Brady was born, the Hottie gifted me my very own sewing machine. To say I was excited was an understatement. I quickly opened the sewing machine and began dreaming of the masterpieces I would soon create.

The thing I didn't realize was this...sewing is a talent, it is a skill - you CANNOT be gifted a sewing machine and automatically have the ability to sew. You may have the machine - but, you must also have the knowledge and skill to use such machine. And...I did NOT have said knowledge and skill.

My sewing machine - the beautiful wanted appliance, sat.

And sat.

And sat.

For Brady's 1st Halloween - I was determined to put this machine to use. I was able to coerce my friend Stacy into helping me (making me) a costume for Brady. Not only did she "help" me, but I stole her costume idea. Brady was a baseball - and I must say...we (and I use that word loosely) we made a heck of a costume.

Following the one-time usage of the sewing machine. I carefully packaged the machine back up and gently placed it within it's very own carry case.

We moved soon after.

The machine moved with us and was given it's very own home in one of the garage cabinets.

The machine sat.

And sat.

And sat.

For years. Literally years.

My hopes of the homemaker-ness never dwindled - but, my faith in myself did.

Recently, I have been doing a lot of blogging, and etsy browsing. People all over sew. They are crafty. They make things. I wanted that, too.

I remembered my carefully packaged sewing machine sitting ever so gently in it's very own garage cabinet. I was determined to make a go of it.

I began to browse the fabric and patterns at Walmart. Did you know Walmart even carried such items?I started off thinking I would make Lil and myself a matching dress/skirt combo. I couldn't get ahead of myself. I would start basic. I found a cheap, yet cute pattern for what seemed to be a simple toddler dress pattern. The pattern even said - *easy.

I brought home my hopeful supplies.

They sat.

But, only for 1 short month.

Finally, one night I decided it was time to tackle the machine. I called out to Bryan, "Can you get me my sewing machine from the garage?"

He almost fell over in hysterics.

"I'm serious. I am going to sew Lily a dress." I fumed.

As the hottie grabbed the sewing machine (while laughing, of course) I set up a small card table. I grabbed my cute little sewing kit, the pattern, the fabric, and the iron/ironing board. Since I had already washed the fabric - I decided I should iron out all the wrinkles.

I figured a couple hours maximum - the pattern says *easy, right?

I opened the pattern. I was dumbfounded.
Wrong side?
Right side?
Different stitches?

I took a deep breath and read through the directions multiple times. I cut out the pattern pieces. I ironed them. I pinned them. I cut the fabric. I ironed again. I was ready to sew.

Wait...oops...I had no idea how to use the machine. Yes, I had dusted it off, and cleaned it even. I made the cute little card table into a sewing center. I had all the needed supplies. Yet, I had no idea how to use the machine.

No worries. The machine has an instruction booklet and a video. No time for the video - the hottie was watching TV. And...we don't even have a VHS player - so it really was no good anyway. I read through the instruction manual - and actually easily understood what I was reading.

I was getting it!! I beamed.

I began to sew.

The first few steps were *easy. Then, I got stuck. Baste/gather/slip-stitch? I had no clue what I was doing. I ran to the computer - thank goodness for youtube...I watched some videos on different stitches and seams and sewing methods.

I continued sewing. Around 3am - I was only 1/3 of the way done. I had been working on this *easy dress for 6 hours now.

I gave up for the evening and went to sleep.

The following day - I took another stab at the *easy dress. I worked for a good 4 hours. Sewing. Making mistakes. Watching youtube. Ripping seams. Trying again. Sweating. Crying. Laughing.

I gave up and played with the cuties.

Day 3 - one last try. More sewing. More youtube. More mistakes. More ripping of the seams. More attempts. It was finally coming together.

Finally, I was done. I had completed the *easy dress. And, it looked rather good. Not perfect. But good. I didn't care - I was just glad to be done. This *easy dress had taken me 3 days. Over 12 hours.

I ironed it (again). I hung it in Lil's closet. I had to find the perfect time for her to wear it. As a working mom, the best outfits I like to save for the weekends. This way - I get to enjoy them, too. Is that weird?

Finally, this past Sunday - the hottie's birthday - I proudly dressed Lily in her *easy dress. It looked good. Not perfect. But good. I was proud.

We celebrated the birthday at Bryan's Sunday night softball game. The whole fam was there. I showed off my masterpiece and explained the difficulty of the *easy dress. No one even noticed the minor flaws, or rigging I had to invent to complete the dress.

As we left the ballpark that evening - I re-thought my decision on choosing this day for the *easy dress reveal. It was filthy. Stained with popsicle, candy, and orange dirt that did not in any way coordinate with the fabric.

Oh well, I can now say that I sew. I may not be speedy or down with the seamstress lingo or perfect. But, I can do it. Sewing is a skill. One that takes practice. And studying. And lessons. And patience. And a new language.

*Easy definitely doesn't mean easy to everyone.

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