Sunday, January 6, 2013

The Blood and Guts of Sewing

Except for a broken front tooth when, at 7 years old, I face planted into a sidewalk, all of my major injuries have been sewing related. The first occurred a few years ago. My mother bought me a new Bernina sewing machine as a combination birthday/Christmas present to replace the very old but very sturdy machine I had received for my high school graduation. What to do with the old machine?

I decided I would try to inspire a new generation of sewer, so I packed up the machine and brought it to my cousin in Connecticut, who was then in high school. I can sew, but I am not well versed in tailoring or in pattern fitting, so the dress we made together that weekend was a bit big for my petite cousin. I know she was disappointed, and I am not sure she ever tried sewing again, but I left with a permanent reminder of our sewing weekend.

While rushing to finish the dress before Emily left for dance class, I got up to press the hem. On the way back to my seat, my foot entangled in the cord and down I went. I finished the hem, and acted brave, but driving back to Boston with a broken big toe was excruciating!

More recently, I was home from work sick. Even after sleeping away most of my weekend, I was exhausted. By 9:30 Monday though, I felt as though I could get up. A nap later would work out well, but I could make a start on the pillow I wanted to sew for my husband's Christmas present.

I ironed the fabric, calculated my measurements, and lined the piece up on my cutting board. The fabric was wider than the board, but no problem, a few quick cuts would take care of that. Or not. Instead of cutting the fabric, I ran my rotary cutter into the palm of my hand. I watched the blade sink into the fleshy part of the base of my thumb and wished my husband hadn't left for Massachusetts the day before.

Thankfully, the wound didn't bleed much. I wrapped my hand in a towel, drove to my doctor and got six stitches. After that, I decided to go back to bed. I should have stayed in bed to begin with, but who knew sewing was a contact sport?

Five weeks after the injury, I have a permanent sewing line adjacent to my life line. How appropriate!

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