Friends, apropos of recipes for a happy life, I think it's essential for us to be able appreciate our successes and forgive our mistakes. We're always doing the best we can with the information we have at the time, and yet how many people continue to punish themselves for errors of judgment made in the past even though it makes them unhappy? I know I do!
Remember when you started sewing, how many items you needed to purchase in order to get started? Relying as I did entirely on the beginner sewing book, Sew Everything Workshop, I accumulated a number of things recommended there that turned out to be a waste of money. But what did I know? Fortunately, these were minor notions, like the magnetic seam guide pictured up top. I don' t think I've ever used that thing, I mean, what's the point? The measurements are on your throat plate, and even if they're not, you can mark your seam allowance measurements with tape. Please don't tell me you use one!
Anyway, I've been thinking a lot about good sewing purchases and bad, my best and my worst. There are so many of each, readers!
Here's a good purchase, my Black & Decker Digital Advantage iron. I've used this iron regularly for two solid years and only once did I have a mishap, when it dripped water on my taffeta dress -- and even then it was entirely my fault: I hadn't let it fully warm up to the setting I'd selected; when it does, it beeps. What a pity that the model has been discontinued and none of the new Black & Deckers are garnering positive ratings on Amazon. If this one died I'm not sure what I'd do.
UPDATE: It looks like it's back in production -- and more expensive.
You're probably tired of hearing about my Brother 1034D serger -- another good purchase. Readers, rest assured I do not receive any compensation for plugging this wonderful machine on my blog (though I'm not entirely closed to the idea, Brother). This serger is easy to use, very well priced, and has a well-earned reputation as being a workhorse. Even though I generally try to avoid buying new things, I have no regrets.
Which leads us into the topic of bad purchases -- in fact, the worst purchase ever. That would be my vintage Huskylock 535D serger, shown here in its semi-permanent, last-stop-before-dumpster home at the back of my not very large closet.
Readers, please understand that I blame myself more than Huskylock for the endless frustrations this machine has caused me. I bought it used on eBay knowing
The saddest part of it is, I STILL can't manage to get rid of it and this is where the happy life/forgiveness thing comes in. I should just donate it to the Salvation Army with a taped-on sign that says As is, or For parts only, or For masochists only. For all I know, the serging equivalent of Rain could repair the darn thing and be happy to have it. The other option is to put it outside on the curb and run. It's taking up precious closet space that could be used for so many other unloved, impossible-to-get-rid-of items. I can't look at it without thinking, You idiot -- and I'm not talking about the serger. That Mickey Mouse phone was no prize either but I digress.
Getting back to the positive, here's another good purchase, my vintage Singer buttonholer. Not all Singer buttonholers fit low-shank straight stitchers so if you're in the market for one, make sure you're getting the right model. They make lovely buttonholes and are very easy to use -- and fun in an old-timey way.
Here's another good purchase, my Pfaff 30 sewing machine and table.
I paid $40 for this machine and I use it all the time, or I did until the plug snapped off. I really should rewire the whole thing.
Back to bad purchases, this flat-felling foot. Why did I bother?
Finally, there is the category of Jury's Still Out.
I am sorry to say that my Elnapress has not proven to be the life-altering ironing miracle I had been led to believe by a certain MPB reader who knows who she is and fortunately I'm not the type to hold a grudge Kidding aside, I love the idea of the Elnapress, only I never use it. It takes up more space than I really have, it takes a long time to heat up and even longer to cool down. Maybe someday it will prove its worth -- like when I'm interfacing concert costumes for the entire Von Trapp Family.
Also in the JSO category...
But let's stick to sewing.
Friends, time's running out and I need to know: What is your best sewing-related purchase and (juicier fun, let's face it) what is your worst, the one that keeps you up at night and has you cursing fate every time you look at it?
Let the self-forgiveness begin!