Saturday, June 11, 2011

Bidding Farewell

My mom bought her first sewing machine in 1971. A year before I was born. In the day, it was the hottest thing around. The best Viking Husqvarna on the planet (or so my mom would tell me) She loved that machine. And so did I.

At age 6, I sat under my mom’s sewing machine, playing with scraps of fabric while my mom sewed me the most amazing book bag. It was a tan satchel type bag with applique letters spelling my name. She wasn't quite done when school was starting. I talked her into letting me stay until she finished my bag so I could take it with me to school. But, before she was finished, I pressed the pedal down and sewed right through my mom’s finger. She didn’t even get mad at me and finished my bag so I could take it to school – albeit late.

A few years later, when I was 9, my mom made me the most amazing coat I ever had. The first time I saw the fabric I hated it. I was so appalled at the idea of having to wear THAT in a coat – to school!!! But then, the fabric magically blended together into the most beautiful princess coat I have ever known. Warm with fabric and love.

By the time I was 12 my mom was tired of me leaving messes around with my “toilet paper Barbie dresses” and turned her lovely machine over to me. I don’t remember her using it after I commandeered it.

I began with making clothing for my dolls. I loved the praise I received for making something but I hated it when my mom would point out that I had sewed something on backwards. She never made me go fix it though. She would just say, “well, if that’s how you want it to look, then leave it be.” Of course, that was all it took for me to pull out my seam ripper and start again.

By age 15, I was making most of my clothes. Since I had to buy them myself, I was looking for cheap ways to get a wardrobe. I would go shopping with my friends, then head to Hancock Fabrics and by that same night, I had copied what my friends had bought for only a few dollars.

I made most of my formal dresses – some of them turning out quite hideous actually. I found the fabric for my wedding dress for $40 and decided that I was going to make that as well.

As soon as babies came along, I began sewing blankets, jammies and outfits for them. To earn a few extra dollars I began sewing formals and wedding dresses (and everything in between) for others. I made wedding dresses for family members to save them a few dollars.

All of this was done on the same old Viking machine my mom purchased in 1971.

Finally, in 2005, I decided to “upgrade” to the newest Viking Husqvarna – the best in the world I would tell you.

And my mom’s machine was retired.

I kept is oiled and ready to use for emergencies. In its whole life, it has been serviced maybe four times. Its always worked. And its always been there.

Until now.

My little, old Viking, that I inherited from my mom, has bit the proverbial bullet. At 40 years old. To repair it would cost more than it is worth – more than most machines are worth.

I can’t rid myself of this machine. It holds too many memories. It is part of me.

But a machine like this deserves a fond farewell. And I will give it the best storage spot in my house.

1 comment:

Suzee Sanders said...

What wonderful memories. It looks like my moms machine that I learned to sew on.