Today was a beautiful, sunny day and after cleaning the kitchen windows – the better to enjoy the sun – I felt a compulsion rise up and overtake me.
Usually, if I eat something with a lot of garlic or shout “Out, out!” I can defeat the compulsion. Today, however, there was no stopping the Evil Demon of Fabric Manipulation.
I had decided to sew.
I’ve been down this road before. It never ends well. Well, once it did – surprising my wildest imagination, but I think that was because it was for a good cause.
[Since Chef Boy ‘R Mine was going to be the cutest ring bearer in the history of rings, it was only fittin’ that I have a Mother of the Ring Bearer Dress befitting his glory.]
I tried to resist today, but The Domestic Arts Demon took over.
Lamenting the misery sure to ensue, I began the task.
So much time had passed between uses that I had to clean The Thing before I could use it. As I dusted, wiped, disinfected, I cogitated on why it is, exactly, that I have four sewing machines. I used to have five, but The Ex took one of the antique ones.
I have my great-grandmother’s treadle machine. I have the portable one my mother used to sew my first clothes (and my Barbie’s clothes). I have the one a friend of mine just before she died of breast cancer. And, finally, I have the one I bought at the flea market for me to use.
I had delusions I was going to master The Beast and learn, once and for all, how to sew without ending up in the emergency room, the psych ward, or in an alley sipping Mad Dog. My mother says it has a sweet stitch. I just roll my eyes at her and look for a crucifix to hang from the thread holder.
Other than the Ring Bearer dress, I have spent more time screaming at this machine than all of the computers I’ve fixed combined. (That’s a lot of ‘puters – many of them running Windows 98.)
After cleaning the Cantankerous Clothing Constructor, I got out my fabric – yards and yards of a blue I bought years ago that I intended to be a dress, but came to my senses before making the first cut. Today’s project was a simple, no frills, feather bed cover.
For those of you playing along at home, you will need:
- Sewing (shudder) Machine
- Feather Bed (Badly stained by coffee not required.)
- Jim Beam
Luckily, the fabric was exactly the right width. It was a little too long, but I decided to deal with that problem at the end since I had no idea how I expected to fasten the thing.
The plan was simple – fold in half, sew two sides, stuff the feather bed in there, figure out later how to button it or zip it or velcro it. What could go wrong?
Well. It took me 45 minutes to thread the machine. [I have GOT to get my eyes checked.]
After that, I took the aspirin to ward off the coming concussion and splashed the liquor in my coffee to settle my nerves. Sure enough. The Damned Thing wouldn’t go. It hummed and buzzed and carried on like any good demon, but the presser foot would not advance – the needle wouldn’t move. Since I’ve never had a manual, I’m flying blind. I dial knobs around and flip switches and curse like a Marine just out of Boot Camp when finally it decided to play my silly game and let me sew.
I did one whole side without a problem. I gaped in astonishment. Almost always, the bobbin gets the evil vapors and tangles, breaks, snaps needles, etc. Nothing. Quietly, I said to myself, “Maybe it doesn’t know it’s me on the foot pedal.”
I started the second side. Things went amazingly well, until. . .
When I was six inches from the end, the bobbin roared curses of damnation and I spent more time sewing that last six inches than it would have taken to hand sew, but it was the principle of the thing. You know?
I took the cover and, with much grunting and groaning (king-sized feather beds are heavy), I pushed, pulled, shoved and willed it into the case.
Damn, I’m good. It looked like I had wanted it to. (I don’t have high standards when it comes to my sewing.)
Still having no idea how to fasten the ends so I can get the cover on and off for laundering, I dragged it downstairs to drape over the back of the sofa. Since painting this room, the family room is now my favorite.
After three days without heat, I had resolved that I would never be driven from this room by cold again. Four inches of goose down and three puppies ought to keep me warm, don’t you think?
Well. I didn’t think this plan through. (Ha! Like that’s news.) The big, bulky feather bed did not look aesthetically pleasing on the back of the sofa.
It looked right stupid.
I folded it in half, placed it in front of the atrium door where the dogs lay, wallowed on it (oh it’s wonderful – feather beds are a treasure) and hollered for puppies. The little beasties now have the Cadillac of dog beds. They’re well pleased with their surprise.
And I suppose should I lose heat again, the dogs and I can drag that thing onto the sofa and all wallow together. I’ll have to remember to wash that cover often – at least until spring.
The good news? I’m just tucking the ends under. If it’s a dog bed cover now, I’m going to have to wash it twice a week – it’ll save time if I can get that sucker out of there fast.
The other good news? I bested The Beelzebub of Bobbinhood. Let’s hope I don’t develop a sense of false competence and push my luck.