The other day I had a long talk with my new Singer sewing machine. No, not a talk with, sewing machines don’t answer you back, thank goodness. It was a monologue peppered with some more colourful language than normally is my style. The system with the underthread is completely different from my old Singer and I do. not. like it. Bits that were made out of metal in my old Singer are made of plastic on this one and I have to be careful with them. In fact, the whole old Singer was made of metal. This one's plastic.
I miss my old Singer. I bought it in 1972 when my sister got married and took her Singer with her. About ten years ago my Singer started having problems that pointed to probable bigger problems in the near future so I was advised to get a new one.
I’ve looked around, the underthread system is the same in all sewing machines now, apparently. They’re probably all made on the same conveyor belt at the end of which they just glue different logos on them.
I still have my grandmother’s old Singer from the 1920’s. The belt is broken but I have a new one.
What am I sewing? I am sewing produce bags. I don’t like the thin plastic bags in markets and food stores, I wanted something I can reuse. I wanted thin, thin cotton, but as I couldn’t find thin, thin cotton I bought sheer curtain material, polyester, argh. It is very slippery and everything has to be basted. The curtain material is three metres wide, so I now get ten produce bags, heh. My niece has asked me to remember her -- maybe I can bear to part with a few bags.
I’ve done the side seams now. I can unpick the basting while I watch television. And when I can keep my hands occupied, I don’t eat licorice. Or dark chocolate.
A finished bag weighs 12 grammes. As the food store scales have taken into account the maybe three grams of their flimsy plastic bags (I think), the price effect of my bag on apples, for instance, is a little over one eurocent if I weigh them with my bag. I can live with that. And I can weigh them without the bag if I want to.
I took my design of the produce bags a step further. You know when you just happen to see some lovely produce somewhere when you’re not actually shopping and you’d end up taking a bag from the store? I made a little pouch for a bag, so I can slip it into my hand bag for these just in case situations.
The electricity company texted me a warning for power cuts in the coming days. They are on standby and we consumers should be likewise. I don’t see there’s much I can do. Thunder storms are ahead. In fact, I heard ominous rumbling several hours ago and took an early evening swim. The storm isn’t here yet and I feel like another swim.
Anyway, a contingency plan is needed. During thunder the TV, radio and antenna get disconnected (and the land line, yes). I can always read. I can always start painting watercolours (my sister threw me a tough challenge: a rainy view into a garden with many, many shades of green; needs a lot of thinking). And I can continue my needlepoint, which I found in my closet, hidden underneath my strawhat (first I wrote ”hiding underneath my strawhat”, but then you’d think I was hiding there). I don’t think I’ve touched it for nearly ten years.
Many years ago I bought a book by Frank M. Cooper, Oriental Carpets in Miniature: Charted Designs for Needlepoint or What You Will. It is such a pretty little book. It’s still available. I don’t have it with me, but I seem to remember he got into tiny oriental carpets when his little daughter wanted rugs for her doll’s house. What a lovely idea! And great way to get your mind off things.
I’ve done one needlepoint earlier, a savoy cabbage by Kaffe Fasset. It’s a pillow now. After that I thought I’d tackle his cauliflower, but I couldn’t get hold of it anywhere. A bit later I found this book on oriental carpets. What I’m making could, I suppose, be turned into a pillow. Or what you will. It would be a rather big pillow - maybe something to sit on? A lot of stitches are needed to finish this one, but I’m in no hurry. Hot weather slows me down a bit as my hands tend to get sweaty. Finishing this won't take another ten years, that’s for sure.
I'm Piisa and I will be sharing with you my thoughts on this and that, maybe even on whatever.