A Baby Stitcherer Makes Up Words and Looses Her Temper

There are many hobbies which have caught my fancy which I then laid aside. I have a box of projects, abandoned out of… well, the rain on Tuesday, or the butterflies I saw last month and followed and left the wood to soak out in the rain, or maybe I just ran out of coffee and had to go get some more and whatever I was doing in between was lost, forgotten. It happened with knife-making. It happened with harmonica. It’s happened with so many things.

It got to the point where I didn’t know if I’d ever find a thing I liked to do that stayed with me, and that I actually went out and did with any regularity– I mean, I still love hiking, yes, but how many times do I go out to the woods?

So I wondered how long it would take me to get tired of sewing. I had made my investment little enough, buying a used machine at Goodwill, and cannibalizing scraps of fabric found for free at my old college or handed down from friends or parents. I had gotten sewing books second hand, and filched notions from unexpected places. I made some nifty things, patching knits, re-purposing aprons, and turning guests’ jeans into denim skirts and giving the clothing back altered for having had the audacity to leave their clothing at my house in the first place. Denim waist cinchers. Denim and flannel bikini tops. Miles of corduroy.

And then the machine broke. The bobbin holder cracked while on loan to a friend, who was preparing costumes for an event. I had a few costumes to alter myself. I changed out the needle, switched presser feet, and then all hell broke loose. Seeing my stitches go awry, clumped into knots and tangles no matter what the position of the presser foot sent me into spasms. I shrieked my rage to the sky, battered found lumber into splinters against the side of the house until my hands were bruised and blistered… all because of a sewing machine that didn’t work.

So. I think I found it. I think I know how to tell if a hobby is right for me. If I can’t participate in it, and that stumbling block inspires fits of frothing destruction that take weeks to heal and clean up after… well, I know it’s the right hobby for me.

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