My love affair with sewing and craft really began when I was 18-years old, living and training in the UK. I had just purchased my very own industrial Singer Sewing Machine which was a huge deal for a student on a budget. It had been owned by a friend who was a sewing machine mechanic (yes, those were a thing back then) so I knew she'd work well. At the time I was a junior clothing designer, I would put together pattern ideas and bring them to life on my trusted Singer. I’d spend hours on it, making and creating, and doing what I loved.
My craft was my work and my passion. I was lucky like that.
This machine was life changing, not just because it had the horsepower of a jumbo jet but because it was the first piece of craft equipment that I grew sentimental about. It would come with me whenever I moved – usually taking a few of us to carry it down a flight of stairs or out a front door.
Recently this beautiful piece of equipment started to shriek. She slowed down. Like all of us in old age, she couldn’t do all the things she used to, and soon – she stopped. Oh no! My Singer!
I found a repair person who could fix it but even then, she wasn’t the same. I held out hope. These Singer machines were made at a time before planned obsolescence, they were designed for repair, not to be replaced by a special at a craft mega store. She would work again I told myself.
It took my husband and I days to work out the mechanics. We took her apart piece by piece, draining her oil, replacing it, cleaning each mechanism, scouring YouTube tutorials, and eventually putting her back together. Afterwards, I sat down to sew, tentatively switching her back on. She started slowly, then after a minute or two she whizzed and purred, sewing up a storm like she was brand new! Hoorah!
You might think I’m a little crazy writing an ode to my Singer, but this machine has been with me all my adult professional life. It’s travelled with me across the globe, it's helped feed my family, and it's let me create up a storm. These days, when I’m not teaching craft workshops, I use her to make my clothes - and fix-ups for my children and grandkids - but I still have her there, always, perched proudly on her sewing table.
Nowadays I spend my time teaching the benefits of slow craft and basket making (online now too *shameless plug* but my starting point was way back then as an 18-year old pom, fresh as a daisy with a powerful Singer Sewing Machine. Everyone of us has a starting point: the beginning of their craft journey.
If you can remember, what was yours!?
If you'd like to check out my workshops - including my popular online basket making workshop- please visit me at https://www.craftschooloz.com/workshops