New Hobbies


Anyone else in the habit of taking on complicated hobbies that you have no use or equipment for?  ME TOO!

At some point this summer I started getting antsy because I hadn’t done anything creative in a while. So instead of being normal and doing some kind of creative photography project, I instead decided to overwhelm myself by learning new and completely random skills.  I eventually signed up for two local workshops involving leather working and sewing.  Why?  Several dumb reasons:

1) I can’t sew.  I have never been able to sew.  I am emotionally scarred from my last sewing experience when we learned how to make a pillow in middle school home economics. It was a struggle. This piece of crap pillow was simple to make – 9 stupid squares of fabric, some stuffing, and one large piece of fabric for the back. I think the instructions read: sew it together.  I used an actual sewing machine too, and I still couldn’t do it.  I used the seam ripper more than any tool in the classroom.  I don’t remember my grade. That was the last time I’ve touched a sewing machine.   I have to either redeem myself, or accept this lack of talent.

2) I like things I can’t afford, like leather bags and clutches.  Maybe I can start making some stuff????

3) Seriously, I have to master that damn sewing machine.

4) I get a little crazy if I’m not working with my hands.  Kind of like how you have to occupy small children with construction paper and safety scissors.  I hear pattern cutting paper is the grown-up version of this.

5) I LOVE the smell of leather.

All of my scattered thoughts combined to form a loose plan.  First, leather working.  Then, sewing class.

I signed up for a leather carving class at the Artisan’s Asylum and learned how to cut, carve, and stitch leather.  Naturally, this meant I had to visit Tandy Leather to sniff all the leather get my supplies. Tandy Leather is awesome.  I walked in right when they opened on a Saturday morning and asked them a billion questions and they didn’t get annoyed (or they hid it really well).  Great people there.

When I got back I surveyed all the tools. I had no idea what most of the tools did, and I just stared blankly at the huge piece of leather. I was clueless, but I WANTED TO MAKE SOMETHING.  I waited impatiently for my next class.


During class, I started making a cell phone case, but I cut the leather pieces too small, so it will now become a sunglasses holder. My failures usually result in a string of profanity followed by a “this was my plan all along” delusion. This was no different.

I still need to finish my case, and I’m obsessed with the idea of making a clutch, which I’d like to do on a sewing machine.  I WILL master that beast.  I think they teach me how to make a scarf in sewing machine class. I don’t think showing up with the huge chunk of leather instead would go over too well.  Also, I think I need an industrial sewing machine to sew leather.  I’ve already searched used machines on craigslist because hauling an industrial sized sewing machine into a tiny apartment to sew one clutch is perfectly logical.

Finished products to follow…only if they look better than the middle school pillow.





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