Not long ago, I left a promising career. It wasn’t meeting my expectations or needs. One of the advantages of quitting a nasty job is not having to buy a lot of new work clothes. You are no longer a victim of the dress for success code. You don’t have to care what other people think. I never found it fun to go shopping once every fall like clockwork. It helps that you can do most of it online, but frankly I don’t like returning things that don’t fit. While I have a good old sewing machine that my mother handed down to me as a wedding present, I am not much for alternations. I want to buy something ready to wear with no fuss.
I recently discovered the old machine as I suddenly found a willingness to mend my worn clothes. It is a frugal and practical approach that appeals to me; plus I have newfound time. Mending is a lot less work that converting a dress in the wrong size. I have learned not to trust the sizes of most clothing websites. Those dimensions they give don’t work. I haven’t operated this old boy in so long that I wasn’t sure I could remember how anymore given the years that have passed. In that it is not one of those ultra-modern computerized models, it shouldn’t take long to relearn my former skills. When I found it languishing and neglected in the hall closet, I was happy to dust it off and set it up on my work table—a converted desk. If you saw the machine, you would gasp: it’s so out of date. I would reply in a heartbeat: it’s not old, it’s vintage.
The word vintage now gives some cachet to the appliances of yesteryear. I wouldn’t trade this relic for anything else now. The new models are too complicated. You must read, and reread, a huge manual. I don’t need more stress in my life. With this model, I can mend most anything from a delicate blouse to sturdy jeans. It involves a simple change of setting. It is all manual unlike what is required these days with the upgraded styles. I suddenly enjoy the relaxation of sewing. When you concentrate on the task at hand, you can clear your mind completely. Sewing is absorbing like few other hobbies.
Over time, I have been pleased with my results and have even taught a friend or two how to sew. Most want to make curtains, repair a torn bedsheet, fix a hem, or restore a torn seam. I have gotten much farther along. After a bit of ordinary mending, I am now making some items from scratch. I have also fashioned a garment or two for my husband. He enjoys going with me to pick the perfect fabric. Necessity has enriched our lives. We now have something to do together once in a while.