Saturday, October 24, 2009

New Sewing Table

Yesterday Karl made me a new sewing table. I have two sewing machines. One is a Juki 4-thread serger and the other an antique Japanese-made Singer clone. The clone sat in an old, rickety cabinet which folded out and had room (if not strength) for my serger to sit alongside. But the whole business was unsavory. Karl re-purposed the legs of the original cabinet to make a wide table that sits my clone flush with the surface and my serger on top. It still needs sanding and painting, but I couldn't wait for that before I tried it out. I was so excited, in fact, that I didn't sleep until very late because I was sewing. There is also another big thing left, and that is the lid. He is making a big, solid rectangular box lid that sits over the whole thing and doubles as a bench. My machines will be safe when not in use, and I will have a bench to sit at when I open them up! I am sure he will make a big post about how he made this, all I can do is rave about how much I love it so far.

If you are uncomfortable reading about human feminine cycles, do go away.

The sewing I was doing was for me. See, after more than 2 years of pregnancy and nursing, I am a woman again! I could probably count on my fingers alone how many cycles I have had since I first became pregnant with Tristan. Mostly I have had only one before conceiving again. So feminine items have not been high on my list of priorities, except for postpartum needs. But this time it is my intention to require 'mama-cloth' for a long time. That's right, we have four children and are 'complete' (ly overwhelmed) as a family. For now.

I bought the Fern& Faerie contour pattern because I wanted to follow someone else's instructions. Have you ever felt that way? Sure, I have my own pattern for cloth pads, and I used to sell them. But much like a sandwich made by someone else, even with the same ingredients you would have used, it is just better that way.  I was also intrigued by the use of cotton batting. So far, so good. I have made 10 of them, mostly out of items I had (I bought a yard of sale anti-pill fleece to try as backer fabric, and I am happy with it, though my scrap felted wool fabric works just as well). I am enjoying choosing scraps of topper fabric that please my eye, and using up stash fabric is always good.

I want to make enough of a stockpile that I only have to wash once, at the end. My reasoning is that in the not-too-distant future we will not have a diaper pail full of diapers to wash alongside. (We will always have a pail in the bathroom because we use cloth wipes instead of toilet paper.) So I am thinking I need about 40 of these in different sizes. And cute prints, too, of course!

I wanted to write all of this before I showed pictures, because anyone who is squeamish about such things might be put off by the pictures of the table and pads in question. As I write that, though, I honestly wonder who in their right mind would be squeamish about something so obvious, natural and just plain normal.  I mean, I will give teenagers a little slack because the thought of women (and men) as reproductive animals is quite new to them. I am a married woman and mother of 4, and Karl delivered them all- there is no squeam here.

Here is the table with machines. Both of them are now set up so I have knee control instead of foot pedals.

You can see all the fabrics I found scraps of. There is the orange flannel from Rome's romper, Tye-dyed flannel from a dress I made Kassi when she was 2, leftover pajama flannel from last year. The pink velveteen flowers was from an old, ripped dress of Kassi's. That blue flannel I bought as a remnant when Tristan was tiny and I had just learned to sew. These are great for using scraps. And I happened to have the Warm & Natural batting already, too!

I have an industrial snap press. If I didn't, I also have a pair of Dritz snap pliers, but I really dislike them. Luckily, the press allows me to easily add snaps to everything I make, so I am a virtual stranger to the buttonhole. It's nice.

I am so happy to have the new table. It is an extension of all the wonderful things I have in my life, including but not limited to: A loving, strong and capable husband who does not squeam, four beautiful soulful children, a safe home in a relatively free country, food like kings on the table, and a love for everything home.
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