I learned something useful in school after all

I would like to publicly thank my clothing and textiles teacher, (whose name I suddenly cannot recall, but I think it began with an H), for teaching me how to use a sewing machine.

I remember my first class. I sat down at the electric sewing machine (as opposed to a trundle one which would have been less intimidating). It was an ancient thing. Very basic. But it looked dangerous.

She had me sew a straight line on a piece of scrap cloth. Not even a seam. Just a line of stiches.

I was terrified that it was going to devour my fingers.

It turns out that your fingers really can’t fit underneath the pressure foot (the little metal piece that holds the material and keeps it from slipping as the needle goes through the fabric) if you’re sewing with it in the down position like you’re supposed to. Believe me, there are ways a sewing machine can hurt you, I’ve discovered them. But that wasn’t until much later.

That first day, I sewed my line of practice stiching with no injury. Even when I went on to learn the difference between flat seams and French seams, basting and how to turn corners, I escaped unscathed. (Yet when I tried to slice bagels yesterday, I almost chopped off my finger. There’s no guitar playing in my near future.)

I even sewed a cream denim jacket when I was 14 that, by the time I had finished it at the end of the school year, was too small for me.

And the other day, I sewed this sling. Really. Aren’t I awesome? Thank you, Mrs. H. It’s all because of you. I may not remember your name, but I remember the skills you taught me.

P.S. I realize it’s past 6 o’clock in the evening and I’m still in my pajamas. I also haven’t showered. But I am on maternity leave and did accomplish something good today. Now back to work with Duncan resting in the sling. Sneaky, eh?

One thought on “I learned something useful in school after all

  1. Mrs. Hastings. That was her name. I know this because she was my teacher too, much to her dismay. I found ways to make sewing mistakes that surprised even her, I think. I remember her because of all the corny jokes she would make and because she was one of the other Canadians in our school. the only one that was a teacher, I think. And she was actually my form teacher in 1st form (the first year of high school, for the uninitiated.)

    Mrs. Hastings’ first name is Sandy, which is interesting, because Sandy Beach and Hastings are, geographically speaking, quite near to each other in Barbados.

    And a comment from the peanut gallery – Duncan is looking cuter every day.

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