Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Guest Post - Lona

This post contains a photo which some readers may find unpleasant, (blood covered sewing thread). If this is not your thing, please do NOT read on. Thank you.

This here lady is my sister from another mister, Lona Aalders and she's awesome. She's also as mad as a box of frogs as she's convinced her sewing machine hates her. Actually it might do. Read on to find out why. 

I love sewing. I love being creative, making something pretty out of someone else's trash. I also like the feeling of pride when someone compliments my clothes, clothes that I either made myself or, as happens more frequently now that I am a 'supersuccesfull grown up career person': refashioned. 
I like wearing things that fit well, things that are not from Primark or H&M. Nothing makes clothes more unique than being handmade, or hand fitted.

Oh, what I also like is buying clothes in the sale that are too big, and thus very cheap, and then sewing them so they do fit me. New dress for 5 freakin 'euros. Hell yeah.
But what I never tell people is how there are teethmarks in my tabletop, from all the times it was all I could do to not throw my sewing machine out the window or actually get dressed, go out, buy a sledgehammer, cycle back home and thrash the bloody thing to pieces.
Or taking it outside to a busy road, waiting for a truck to drive by and over it, killing it for ever.

I am convinced my sewing machine has a soul.
A nasty one. When I think of my sewing machine as a person, which I often do, I always envision her to be a bitter old hag, who has one great talent (namely being a sewing machine who helps me make cool stuff) but is too obsessed by all the couldawouldashoulda's in life, and so makes sure I don't get to enjoy her one great talent as fully as I could have had she been a dapper little soul, content with being marvellous at that one thing. So this is what I deal with. A bitter hag with mood swings.
I think my sewing machine is selfish and doesn't want me to be happy.

You see, my sewing sessions always start out the same way. Very smoothly I set everything up, prepare with patience. This is a big deal for me, having been diagnosed as a VIP (a.k.a Very Impatient Person). I make sure I do it right to the point of control freakism. Subconsciously I am probably trying to please the machine, trying not to upset it. The right threads and settings to match the fabric, the right posture,  no sloping shoulders, being careful and kind. And it works. I'm running the fabric through the machine with no trouble at all. Corners? No problem. Hemming? Piece of bloody cake, sir. Stretch fabric? Challenge accepted.
The first hour, if I'm lucky, is always a bubble of pure creative bliss and I start to slip into a trance, become all zen, and dream about becoming a seamstress. This must be my calling. Because I feel so content and full of joy.

And then it happens. Just as I am really getting into it. The machine can feel my joy and she hates it. The thread snaps. My head snaps up. What the fluffy unicorns is this? I am suddenly taken over by shakes and terrible flashbacks of previous sewing abuse. All the traumas I managed to block are trying to come over me in waves, but I manage to stay on top of it all, so I can continue. Must have been just me. Block it! Must have been a freak little accident, RIGHT?


From this moment on, nothing seems to work. The machine is in full hate mode. The thread keeps breaking, threads get stuck, the needle keeps getting stuck or breaks or attacks my hands. You think I exaggerate? Check out this photographic evidence, taken after my machine was a violent bastard:

Yes ladies and gentlemen, the sewing machine with a soul tried to kill me, piercing my thumb and narrowly missing my vital organs. It only happened once, but not for want of trying. 

So for crying out loud, what is it with that thing, once it starts to go all belly up it's useless to continue, ugly profanities escape my mouth, I pick it up and throw it back down onto the table and it's all very ugly and not very zen at all. And I end up with bodged up hems, because I had to do the last bit by hand and forever have a pile of clothes that I have yet to finish, because the machine didn't wanna play anymore? Surely no one machine should have so much power? Surely this is the first step to machines taking over the world completely? Is anyone out there experiencing the same horror?

So why go back, I hear you ask. A valid question to be sure. Why not sell the machine and let someone else live the nightmare? Well. I do love sewing, I really do. And those moments when it all works are the best. When we are in sync, we rule. No relationship is perfect and this love is too great. 

I just hope I get to keep all my fingers.

All images ©Lona Aalders

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