I Hate To Sew

And with good reason.  First, I never took Home Ec.  I managed, during a time when it was a requirement for girls (and I guess boys had to take shop) to not take it, because we moved enough that I needed other things to graduate, and so they waived it.  At the time I thought, “Well, isn’t that cool?!” but now I realize I lost out, because while I managed to teach myself to cook, I think learning the basics of sewing would have been very valuable.

I don’t understand patterns, and so I don’t use them. This is probably at the basis of my hostility toward sewing.  Patterns are written in some sort of unbreakable code by people who clearly hate me.  But, in addition, sewing usually requires those instruments of torture  –sewing machines.  I have owned several in my life, which is odd for someone who hates to sew.

My first sewing machine was my Mom’s old Kenmore.  It came to me with a number of gadgets and gizmos which I recalled from my childhood, but I really had no idea how to use.  It also had a distinctive odor when I used it, sort of a warm motor smell, that always made me think of my Mom sewing.  Yes, my Mom, while not the most domestic of people did knit and sew.  Anyway, I only used it to sew straight lines anyway, and never used all the paraphernalia.  I made some baby clothes (don’t get excited –just those sack things) and a very sad quilt and a few other things with it.  I remember I always dreaded the moment it ran out of thread or I had to do anything with the bobbin.

Eventually I convinced my husband that a newer machine with all of the parts and pieces and  instructions would be a good idea, and maybe I would love to sew.  So, he bought me a new Kenmore machine, and I did actually sew a little more.  Halloween costumes, a few more craft items.  But still, I hated threading that thing and trying to recall which way the bobbin fed, and never used any of the various parts.  What good are bells and whistles if you never ring them or blow them?  So, Most of my sewing was still a thing here or there, mostly repairing something, and my machine stayed in the closet, lonely.

Then, I decided to make a little clutch purse, because I wanted to do something with some paper mache buttons I had made.  I dragged it out.  Now, it’s been awhile since I’ve used it.  We have lived here 7 years and I know I have sewn with it only once since we’ve been here.  After sewing about 10 inches it needed thread in the bobbin.  I couldn’t recall how to do that, so I just wound some on popped it in and hoped for the best.  Ha!  If you sew, perhaps you know what I mean when I say the words BIG WAD OF THREAD SEWN ON THE BACK SIDE!  Took awhile to snip it out without ruining the fabric.  I couldn’t find the instruction book, and of course, nothing online either.

Let me stop here and say, I have the kindest husband in the world and cut to the chase.  I now own a nice new Singer machine.  It does have bells and whistles that I may or may not use, but I think I’m determined to try to do a little more with this one.  It does sew beautifully, threads very easily, has a picture right on the machine how to thread the bobbin (they must have had me in mind) and is about half the weight of my old machine.

If you’ve read this far, I won’t make you click to another page just to see photos of the clutch I made.  I didn’t do a tutorial because it would have just been pictures of me tearing my hair out.  But here is the finished clutch.  It’s not perfect, but I did learn a few things, and I may make another one, and I will do a step by step.  This is a fabric I’ve had forever (and by forever I mean probably 25 years).  I think I may have bought it to make placemats, but I don’t recall.

There were a number of things I would do differently, and a couple of things I intended to do that I forgot, but there is something they say about the best laid plans!  Anyway, I would say, it’s a small success.  And I did learn a few things.  Maybe I should have taken Shop Class with the boys.

Clutch Untied

Untied Clutch

Homemade Paper Mache Buttons

Homemade Paper Mache Buttons

Finished Clutch

Finished Clutch with Tie Closure


  1. Irene says:

    Hi Susan,
    You did a wonderful job on the purse and the buttons are beautiful! Do you sell buttons?
    I enjoyed reading about your experiences with sewing. I did take the home ec class, cooking, sewing and all and loved it. I’ve always loved to sew and continue to do so. I used to sew my clothing and clothes for my kids but have moved toward quilting now.
    I can’t find a place on your blog where I can follow you so I don’t have to keep bugging you for the link…
    Your fb and now blogging friend,

  2. Susie says:

    Irene, when I was younger I was stupid! 🙂 I didn’t think I’d ever want to sew and I was already cooking, so I guess I didn’t see the need. Obviously I a typical short sighted kid, because I really wish I knew some of that stuff now.

    As for following, can you click on the orange box with the little white lines in a triangle? It should take you to a page and then somewhere on the right “subscribe” should be an option. Let me know if that is not something you see. I see it at the bottom of this page right above the calendar and also in a tab on the right side of the page. But it might depend on your browser. Of course, I never mind giving you the link, either! 🙂

  3. Lau W says:

    Hello !
    This is a work of art! You say you do not know sewing, and I remain in awe of this creation!
    I would have liked to know how to sew. My mother did a lot of sewing in her youth and I am disappointed not to have learned. In hindsight, I tell myself that I really wanted to go to a sewing school!
    Susie, you say you’re the best husband in the world, I thought it was me who the most wonderful husband in the world! There are therefore two copies? hihiii!
    Congratulations on your achievement, I admire !
    Have a nice day my friend !

    • Susie says:

      I missed seeing your post! I always enjoy your comments. 🙂 I suppose you can learn to sew now too. I think my photo looks a little better than it is.
      And yes, my husband is very good, maybe there were a few copies made, since you apparently have one also. 🙂 Aren’t we lucky?!

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