Community is…

…a borrowed sewing machine.

I am particularly a fan of the carrying case, eerily reminiscent of the special X-ray machine box that Will Smith carries around for the entire length of The Pursuit of Happyness.

A few weeks ago, I bought some cool fabric at IKEA (hooray for deals in the clearance bin) and set out to make some curtains and a few pillow covers. The only problem was that I did not own a sewing machine, nor had I sewn in many, many years. My debut was a stuffed animal, a purple coiled worm actually, in eighth grade (family and consumer science project), and I think the only other time I used a sewing machine was in college when I made a random pair of PJs for J. That said, I remember thinking back in eighth grade that it didn’t seem very hard, not even the bobbin-changing part, so I thought I could handle it now, fifteen years later… if only I had a sewing machine.

Luckily, I have a network of ambitious folks I know in my little town, so I sent out a query e-mail asking if anyone had a sewing machine that was actually portable. The truth is, I didn’t know what that would look like, but I assumed it would exist. The first reply I got was “I don’t even know how to sew on a button,” and that person shall remain nameless. But then I got four more responses–all positives!

So, voila! A sewing machine at my disposal. As it turns out, the bobbin-thing is kind of tricky, but courtesy of the internet, I was able to find instructions for this particular brand of sewing machine, complete with pictures. I was impressed with myself, if I do say so.

I made two sets of curtains, one over the sink and one in the laundry room, and two covers for throw pillows in our living room. If only I could get myself out to Fallmart for some white thread, I could finish up the other curtains I have planned. But my anxiety about that place has been described elsewhere.

Oh, one other thing: I didn’t even own any straight-pins when I started the project, so I borrowed those, too. I’ve been wondering why everyone I know has one of those stuffed tomato things to hold her pins. My mom sure did, my grandma did, J said his mom did, and these borrowed pins came with a tomato. Why? Why a tomato? Why not, say, an orange? Please shed some light on this.