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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Craft Snobs

I have the utmost respect for people that are experts in their field. Lord knows I am an expert of nothing worth talking about. I just really can’t stand a snob.

I use a sewing machine that I have had for over 10 years. I love it. It is simple, efficient, and it was a gift from my Mom. I sew along merrily and it makes a little chugchugchugchug sound. Until recently. Now we fight. It makes a very ugly CHUNKCHUNKCHUNK and if it could it would surely spit at me. I have no idea where we went wrong. I have tinkered around with it a bit and thought I had solved our problem but the last time I tried to sew it could not hold tension at all. My stitches were all wanky and there was thread everywhere! Finally I resigned to taking it in for someone to look at. Much to my surprise, in a town of roughly 349,407 there is only two places who fix sewing machines. The first place made perfect sense, if you have a vacuum, sewing machine, blender, weed whacker, or any other small appliance they will take care of what ails it. I walk in and a very nice man tells me to simply clean and tune up my machine it would cost $79.99 and take thee to four weeks to get it back to me. Wha?!? Forget it. I am pretty sure for not much more than that I could have a brand new, albeit simple, machine (which without the sentimental value would feel empty). So off I go in search of the other place.

The fabric store moved down a couple blocks and opened into a fabric store/home decor/craft-splosion center. In the center of their showroom-o-fantastic ideas there is a sewing machine shop. I grab a cart and wheel my beloved machine and my smallest child back to their register and greet the smiling lady in front of me. She looks at me, looks at the machine case, looks at me and asks how she can help us today. I tell smiling sewing machine lady that I need my machine repaired. She grabs a repair ticket and asks all of the appropriate questions; name, address, phone… and what kind of machine is it? “Kenmore, basic” I reply. Now what happens next I can not accurately describe. I just don’t know how to put this action into words. It would probably be the same reaction I would have received if I were to walk into the Maserati dealer un-showered, with my two children, holding a sword and announce “I’ll take five!!!”.

Quite simply she had mistaken me for someone who was joking so she asked to see it then looked me in the eye and said “you should really think about an electronic machine”. As we are standing over my apparent ghetto dinosaur another lady walks up holding the foot petal to an ancient sewing machine. That stupid smiling bitch  lady dropped me like a hot rock for the woman with the obvious antique. Really?!?! She commented how popular that piece was in the 30’s and told the antique she would be with her momentarily and turned back to me to say “Anyway, you should really think about an electronic machine. We can do something with this but it will cost you $59.95”. I notify her that the person on the phone the day before said it would only be $54.95. And I quote: “That person was wrong (I am pretty bad with names but I am almost positive it was her!) but I guess I can honor that price. We are going to need a deposit. (All of a sudden?!?!) Can you give me $10?”. I say sure, hand her a $10 bill from my wallet and wait for my receipt. She digs one more time before she takes my machine from me “Have you ever even tried an electronic machine? With a computer element? It really is superior.” I tell her as nicely as I have left in me that I am not interested in sewing with a computer and as far as I was concerned my machine was already electronic since I did indeed have to plug it in to the wall before I was able to turn it on.

There was an embroidery sample laying on one of the sewing tables that my son remarked was beautiful. I agreed with him and the woman who I cannot even describe as smiling anymore tells him “it was done on one of our computer assisted embroidery machines” like he gives a shit, he’s three! “I guess the fine art of hand embroidery is dead?” I say. “Why bother when my machine can do it so much faster with fewer mistakes? You should really think about looking into one.” she replies. Is this person just the thickest?!? “No thanks, I sew because I enjoy it, not because I have to.”

This, my friends, is exactly the problem. Why do something considered an art form, a craft, a talent, a stress reliever when you can just have some stupid machine do it for you. I am not talking about ironing here, it’s sewing! I do not run a sweat shop nor do I have to sew anything at all. I simply like to do it. For fun. Weird, huh?

The sad part? I will forever be looking at “handmade” items with skepticism. Was it really handmade or did someone just use their hands to plug in the coordinates to a machine and let it do all the work? It’s not like I am weaving the fabric and then stitching it together with my own hands. I am just the idiot running a very basic sewing machine, and loving every minute of it!     


  1. Oh my goodness, this is too humorous...I mean, kinda sad, but still...your car dealership with a sword comparison had me LOL!

    I'm so glad you've found a hobby with such meaning too. Someday I would love to learn to sew!

  2. Thanks CM. If you are ever in my corner of the Midwest I will teach you! :)