Fly on The Wall....

First of all this video is an experiment, I'm not really expecting it to be ground breaking. When I first started sewing I needed to see real people sewing real things.  All the books and tutorials are great for learning techniques but I craved seeing how it all came together at the machine. Here I ignore the camera while I sewed three pairs of pants assembly line style.  I think you'll see the pockets come together.  You'll notice no ironing or pinning just folding and sewing.  In this case I'm using the Pfaff 138 for it's speed not it's strength.  Strong but not heavy thread and a size 80/12 needle which has come to be my favorite size for general sewing.  I'm obviously a total sewing nerd because I could watch stuff like this all day....  Real people sewing real things, hopefully no nose picking....

Introducing Sophie....

Sophie and I have worked together for a bit more than a year.  I had hired her as an instructor at the other sewing studio and when I left she followed me.  Sophie is also self taught and it shows in her ability to take on rather ambitious projects with little worry they may not succeed.  She has a very much "Make it work" attitude when it comes to sewing.  Making it work is an excellent skill to have when you teach sewing classes, especially to kids.  Sophie has much better design aesthetic than I do and most of the design elements you see in the studio are her doing.  Our skills compliment each other and we make a good team. 

Sophie sews at home on the Bernina 530 which I gave her as a gift when it was clear she was due for a machine upgrade.  The knee control on this machine is for sewing, not for lifting the foot.

When the lights go out....

I guess they didn't have 6'3" men in mind when they designed these?
Boston didn't get hit with hurricane Sandy nearly as bad as other parts but many of our neighborhoods did loose power and still have not had service return. Most of the damage was from high winds, luckily it did not rain enough for the widespread flooding that could have been a very real possibility.

I grew up in the country side of Northern California and it was routine to loose power for days or even a week at a time in the winter. Mom still lives in the house I grew up in. She has the monitor heater and electric baseboard units but she will never give up her wood stove. When the lights go out she knows that at the very least she will have the fundamental comfort of heat and that makes her feel safe.

One of the things that bothers me most when the lights go out is not being able to sew. Just the idea that I can't sew anytime I want makes me anxious. In my head I consider the possibility that the power may never come back on and then what? I'd have a huge collection of useless machines and equipment and in that case a HUGE need to be sewing as a necessity.

Last year I purchased an old treadle sewing machine from the early 1900s for $40. The iron base and wooden top with drawers was in great shape, the machine attached, not so much. I removed the machine and replaced it with a newer Necchi BU with chipped paint from the 1950s with zigzag and reverse stitch capabilities. I had to remove the middle drawer so my knees don't hit when I treadle. Now I have a very functional and "modern" non-electric treadle sewing machine.

Now when the power fails I know that somehow it's all going to work out. Even if I don't do any sewing by candlelight I still know that I can and somehow that makes all the difference.

What brings you comfort when the lights go out?
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