Saturday, February 20, 2010
The Twenty-first Century Luddite
So far I've done almost all my hat construction by hand. I have a preference for hand sewing because it gives me more control in the shaping and because I don't want to risk messing up my sewing machine, a vintage Spartan. When I was a kid I had no problem with sewing machines. I started sewing on my Mom's old Singer, then dragged my grandmother's treadle machine down from the attic and put it in my bedroom. I just don't remember either machine having a lot of problems. Years went by when I wasn't sewing very much and I decided to buy a new machine. What a hunk of junk! Before the darn thing was a month old it had gone out of balance and, no, not from sewing thick felted wool. Machines now are computerized with tons of stitch patterns I'll never use and plastic parts that are just waiting for an excuse to break. When I found my Spartan I could not believe my luck. It must have come right from the original owner who had to be someone who took great care of it. The problem is, I'm afraid to use it. I feel like Charlie Brown clutching a new kite, looking up at the kite eating tree. There must be a class on machine maintenance somewhere and I need to find it. If I really understood my old warhorse of a sewing machine, I could just get on with it.
Now the other issue complicating matters is that I am a natural born Luddite. If I'd been in France during the industrial revolution I'd have been throwing my sabots into the weaving machines. (My ancestors were actually weavers so maybe this is genetic.) I know I'm inconsistent. I sit here blogging on the net and can't stand the thought of not having that instant access to inspiration and information. But there is such an abundance of cheaply made crap cluttering the world!
This is not an internal war that I will settle anytime soon. For the time being I'm sticking with the tried and true, handwork and actual paint and brushes.