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Sew A Drawstring, Ye Seamstress

Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by Nuzhath, May 23, 2020.

  1. Nuzhath

    Nuzhath Finest Post Winner

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    About a decade back, I 'inherited' my mom's dear old sewing machine. I think it is a 1972 model. Thanks to the internet, I was able to check the model number and stuff. We live with this all pervasive internet all the time. I have also learnt that it is called a treadle sewing machine. For about two years, I would just clean it, get a service guy to service it and look at it now and then and remember her.

    By now, the service guy had visited more than 5 times. He strictly told that a machine is meant to be used and not just left idle. I told him my mom never allowed us to touch the machine. We could only sit and watch her stitch. Once in a while, she would ask for help for threading the needle.

    But, being a person who follows orders and generally gets dominated, I started to think more about his stern remark. And so, the sewing saga began. Eight years of crazy experiences with a piece of metal and wood and motor cannot be filled in one post. But I think I will start with my travails with the straight stitch. A stitch should run straight. Simple logic. Nothing to naysay about it. It is when you try sewing one, that the pain of failure hits you.

    I initially started with the drawstring that you use in pajamas and shalwars. I would see my mom just zip through her machine and stitch one in a few seconds. Easy project. First you need the fabric. There was some left in her stash - which I had preserved and used to cut out square pieces and use them as wipes or waste cloth. Many people asked me to throw it away and move on. But they desisted after they saw my angered reaction. It used to be an inexplicable reaction..I gave away all her clothes, sarees, threw away her diaries, old crockery - but her fabric stash? There must be something useful to do with it.

    Anyway, the drawstring project took its birth peacefully. I just cut a random piece of fabric, random size and just folded and stitched it. Voila, it was ready. Wait, it was uneven and wobbly at the edges and I had forgotten to 'enclose' the edges. The needle seemed to have danced away happily along the edges.. bravely climbing back after falling off the edge. There was a gap somewhere. So I just sewed on the gap with force. Much like ironing a stiff pant. Was happy. Until I noticed a wrinkle along the folded edge. I glared at the piece I had created. If I was in a fashion school, I would have failed miserably.

    It was time to call the experts in the family. My sister told you shouldn't run the machine at such high speed that mom used - since you are a novice and need to learn how to control the speed. A few more tips from her left me awed. All this for a drawstring?

    After about hours of research and practice, I learnt about bias, fold, measurements and tools. And this called for a visit to the local thread and needles store. I gave the man a list I downloaded from youtube. He asked me if I was planning to open a boutique. A drawstring boutique? That would be a new one, I mused.

    I was ready with the hip rulers, set squares, wooden rulers, threads, needles. I even went to the interior gully market and found a footer that matched this model. The zipper foot, I think it is called. By now, I was excited and had dropped the drawstring project. It was fun and turning out to be a stress buster to shop for all things small and big for my mom's machine.

    Needless to say, I had a basketful of drawstrings of various sizes and colors. Of what use are they, when everyone wears a legging or elastic waisted pajama pants. It was time to obsolete this project. And like the Eureka moment, I suddenly realised I could use these to create drawstring bags! That would be an easy project. Just take her fabric squares and sew the sides. Easy? You think.

    Think twice!
     
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  2. Thyagarajan

    Thyagarajan IL Hall of Fame

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    :hello:@Nuzhath
    That is sixth great post great after a long hiatus.

    2.A meticulous stitch in time with fabric of yore. I enjoyed reading it from top to bottom and then again from bottom to top.

    3. A seamless story in times of pandemic transporting the mind of the reader to his or her mother.
    Thanks and Regards.
     
    Nuzhath likes this.
  3. Nuzhath

    Nuzhath Finest Post Winner

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    Thanks. Agreed - not a day passes without remembering parents. like a friend told me once, dont worry - they will live in your heart forever!
     
  4. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra IL Hall of Fame

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    @Nuzhath

    A generation enjoyed sewing as meditational while synchronizing mind, hands, eyes, and legs coordinated in perfect harmony in the action of creativity. That kind of perfection that your mother enjoyed requires a lot of devotion to stitching as a service (SaaS). That generation never hesitated to stitch any material they have in possession or even stitch for clothing the needy without expecting anything in return. Stitching is the greatest opportunity to live in the moment, watching the series of rapid motions happening in perfect harmony. Sometimes, I feel creativity is nothing but a series of repetitive actions done in harmony with nature. For those who consider stitching meditative, they don't see the cloth yet to be stitched but the cloth that is perfectly stitched in the mind's eye. It is like sculpting a statue using the chisel carefully to carve every part of the statue with precision. I have nothing but admiration for your mother for her devotion to stitching.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2020
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  5. Nuzhath

    Nuzhath Finest Post Winner

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    Wow! You got the feelings just right on point. Many folks wonder why I even bother to attempt sewing, with all the busy life. Its just the connect with her. Once I was returning home late for my daughter's birthday - Had arranged all the party stuff but just couldnt leave office in time. When I came home, she had stitched a dress for me. She said she knew I would not have thought of buying a dress. Her BP was around 170 that day. If my BP shoots up by 10 units.. I will be exhausted and panicky - she just stitched away.. Am sure all of us have our mom and sew snippets. Thank you very much for your insights. Appreciate it. Looks like you know a bit of Cloud services :)
     
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