Sunday, September 15, 2013

Recovering Bankrupt

Today my friend Gloria from Recovering Bankrupt is doing a guest post. I have known Gloria for oh so many years, and Gloria is definitely a talented individual.And I'm really glad that she has decided to do a guest post for me today. She has started a new blog and I recommend that all of you stop by and visit the blog.

Gloria on the left and Me on the right

My friend Heidi and I are guest blogging on each other's blogs. My newest blog is recoveringbankrupt. I started it because I am writing a book about my experience in chapter 13 bankruptcy, which was converted to a seven. Anyway, here's my guest post.

Do you ever come across something while cleaning and you are like “wow!”? I have a small house and some of my parents's stuff. I've done some cleaning, and while I've made progress, there are some things I just couldn't bear to part with. One of those things was my mother's sewing machine.

My mom could sew. She used to make matching mother/daughter dresses for us. She also made stuffed animals. I think the last time she used the sewing machine was 1984. She made an outfit for my brother's wedding. She never sold the machine, or talked about selling it. There's a lot of stuff in my house that I don't use on a regular basis. The sewing machine sat in a closet in a spare bedroom for at least 10 years, if not more.

My sewing experiences have been limited. I can hem pants and sew on buttons. The last time I actually made something was in middle school. I think I got a C on an apron. I felt bad, because mom could sew and I felt like I was letting her down. Kind of like when I got a B+ in Spanish. That was dad's native language, and I felt like that grade wasn't good enough.

So I never touched the sewing machine after that. I'd watch mom sew, but any attempts to teach me were wasted. I was too impatient. Still am.

But I bought a new smartphone. I wanted to make my own smartphone case for some reason. And so I started experimenting with felt. I sewed it all by hand. My first attempt was a simple felt sleeve. My second attempt was a laughable felt case that was way too loose. I tried to make the cellphone case to look like my dog, Daphne. I'm still messing around with designs. Then, I thought, if you get out that sewing machine, your seems will look better and you'll be able to work faster. So I got it out.

Thankfully, mom had kept the owner's manual, and it was in the first place I looked for it. It had drawings as well as instructions, and despite not having been used in nearly 30 years, it worked. I used the thread that was still on it (brown) and changed the bobbin thread purely by instinct. Mom's dress for my brother's wedding was a pastel green, so I can't think of what other thing she made that would have been brown. So I practiced with some pink fleece I had. After a few practice runs, I decided to try something.

I cut out some fleece and decided to make a double drawstring bag. I had some orange ribbon, so that's what I used for the drawstring. It's a cute, cozy little bag, and I can leave my phone in it while I charge it. It's just wide enough to be snug. I realized certain things, however. Some seems are easier to do first, I discovered. Also, you need to make the fabric cut outs bigger than what you think you need, because if you are sewing the item inside out, then turn it back, the item shrinks. But I'm learning.

And I also feel empowered. I can fix clothes! If I find something at a thrift shop with an iffy hem, I can run it up on the machine, and the stitches won't look like they were made by my five-year-old self. I can have an item with honest to goodness even stitching and everything! And maybe, just maybe, I might end up being able to make my own clothes, or make a pile of some cute smartphone cases. It will take time and practice, but who would have thought my mom's sewing machine would make for an exciting toy with possibilities?


  1. Thanks for the shout out, Heidi!

  2. I bet your mom's old machine works a million times better than anything you would buy new today. Enjoy!