Homemade: Knowing Your Limits

I’ve been borrowing my mom’s sewing machine since Brad and I were married four years ago. I think that deep down in my heart I had this plan of sewing my own cute blouses (and of course little baby dresses, pants, etc. when we have bambinos). But today I had to admit that the dream is dead. Here’s the honest truth.

I CANNOT SEW.

That’s it. There’s nothing more to say. I hate everything about sewing. I hate cutting fabric. I hate pinning fabric together. I hate winding bobbins. I hate threading needles. I hate running the sewing machine. There’s nothing about the sewing process that I even remotely enjoy. And that would be okay…except, that I also cannot sew. At all.

This is difficult for me to admit because I wanted to make my own clothes and be self-sufficient in that way. Perhaps if I took some classes or really worked on it I could eventually learn to sew, but at this point I really just want to count my losses (which aren’t many since I only borrowed a sewing machine and didn’t buy one).

It’s certainly a good thing to become more self-sufficient and to learn to make things that we could just run out and buy at Target. For one, it teaches us that someone has to make the item we are buying and that our possessions were made by the time and energy of human beings, made in God’s image. At the same time, I think it’s important to realize where our limits are. It would probably take me weeks and weeks of frustrating, time-consuming work to sew a blouse. If I am so angry at my sewing machine that I want to throw it out the window, it is probably difficult for me to be honoring to God, let alone making sure that I am saying kind words to my husband. The pay off just isn’t worth it.

I never really understood it when people were amazed at my knitting because knitting comes naturally to me. Now I understand. Sewing comes naturally to other people – and wow, I wish that were me but I guess I will just have to be content with the skills I have and thankful that there are other people who have sewing skills. Perhaps a good option would be to trade my knitting skills for someone’s sewing skills. Another option would be to buy sewn goods from the wonderful people on etsy. In fact, I just bought some incredible knitting needle cases from a seamstress on etsy, and I’m so glad I did. If I had tried to make them myself I think the process would have ended in some colorful language and a bashed-in sewing machine.

So, sure, I still think we can honor God, ourselves, and others by making things with our own hands, but we don’t have to make everything. Try new things. See what you’re good at. If you’re not so good at something, try it again another time. If you’re still not good at it, move on. See if there is some way you can support someone who is good at that skill.

So will our kiddos have home-sewn clothes. No. But they will have hand-knit clothes. And maybe we will receive clothes from others who can sew. I think that’s the way community works: everyone contributes what they have for the good of everyone else.

2 Responses to “Homemade: Knowing Your Limits”

  1. BlueflowerTreasures Says:

    I completely understand what you are saying because I cannot knit. I’ve tried many times and just get frustrated. I can crochet. I can sew almost anything and I love to sew and I find it very relaxing. I really want to knit, but after many tries, I now use my knitting needles to turn out corners in the handbags I make. Maybe someday we can trade sewing for knitting.😀
    ~Rebecka

  2. Lou Says:

    Just a suggestion before you give up on sewing. If that is the sewing machine you have been using then you would be having trouble. That’s the one I started off with and its absolute shite! Check any consumer reviews. I bought a better one Brother CS-6000 and the difference is like night and day. Where I live there is a specialty store that sells sewing machines and the owner provides lessons. why don’t you see if there is anywhere you can try a better sewing machine and see how well things work.

    It breaks the thread especially if you use the el cheapo stuff, the stiches aren’t even, the feeding jaws sometimes don’t feed, the thread gets caught up in the bobbin mechanism, its difficult to thread, and sometimes even when you’ve followed the instructions to the letter it still won’t sew.

    Sorry to go on and on but I nearly gave up sewing too


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