Sunday, June 1, 2008

Conquering a childhood monster

For Christmas 1985, I received a Sears Lockstitch child's sewing machine. I was so excited, because my Aunt Fern had her own sewing business, and my sister and I would sometimes go to her shop after school and go through her box of fabric scraps. I really, really wanted to learn how to sew, and now I owned a real life sewing machine of my very own. I couldn't wait to get started sewing clothes for my Barbies and dolls, making my own dress-up clothes and maybe even real clothes.

Well, guess what. I never could get that silly machine to work right. I would take off stitching and the little monster would create a mess of loops and tangles on the back of my fabric! Shortly after I got it, that machine went back in its box and stayed there. We moved and that box sat in my closet at the new house and stared back at me mockingly everytime I opened the door. I was convinced that the machine was a piece of junk or I was never destined to be much of a seamstress. I didn't learn to sew until I was in the seventh grade and got to take a home ec class. Turns out, I was pretty good at this sewing thing. The Sears Lockstitch stayed in my closet in the box.

Several months ago, my mom sent the little monster home with me so it could now live in my adult house. I couldn't believe we had never gotten rid of it, but I know I kept it because I felt guilty selling a gift that my parents had given me, thinking I would love it. Plus, I felt guilty selling anyone a piece of crap sewing machine that never worked right. I didn't want to frustrate some other little girl! We were getting ready for a garage sale about a month ago, and the Lockstitch box came out of my cupboard. I left it sitting on the floor for about a month, thinking I would eventually open it and see what kind of condition it was in.

So, this weekend I opened the box and pulled the little monster out. If I could not figure this machine out as an adult, then it really was a piece of junk. I loaded it up with 4 D batteries, read the instructions carefully, managed to get a bobbin wound and set it up next to my big adult Singer. Guess what. A beautiful, perfect straight running stitch with no weird loops and missed stitches. I was thrilled! Even though I never played with it much as a kid, the Sears Lockstitch is staying with me. Granted, I'm probably not going to use it much, but at least I can use it as a fun little, retro display piece, without it bringing back sour childhood memories. The monster is conquered, and now I can enjoy its pink, plastic cuteness.

Seriously. It's cute, right? I love the pink plastic cover that it came with. I had to laugh, because it really is in collector's condition! I only used it a few times before I became totally fed up with it. The box still had the original instructions, three bobbins, a spare bobbin cartridge and two spare needles - all original! Not to mention samples of the stitching that drove my 9 year old inner seamstress to tears! But, we've made up and are friends now.

1 comment:

Marie said...

What an adorable sewing machine!