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.