Sewing the Seeds of Addiction

“Oh, Honey – it has so much more to offer than mine!”  These are the words of my addict wife – an addict to sewing – about a machine she is getting up and running for a friend.

My wife loves to sew.  Originally she would only sew a few items occasionally – mostly repairs to various items we were not ready to get rid of.  She owned a fairly simply Singer sewing machine and I probably used it nearly as often as she did for the sake of sewing patches to my uniform.  Sewing was not a big deal – it was a once and a while event.  It gave my wife a little pleasure and neither of us thought much of it.  We did not realize that her simple Singer was just a “Gateway Machine.”

She went for years happily using her machine a little here and a little there.  Every so often she would go on a bender and make some larger than average project but that was rare.  Her sewing was confined to personal use and only at home.  Then one day she was invited to a sewing party.  The ladies were making dresses to send with missionaries to give to little girls in Africa.  It seemed safe – sewing for charity has to be OK, doesn’t it?  When she got there she was exposed to a wide variety of machines.  Much harder stuff than her simple Singer.

Soon she was experiencing the “Buzz” of buttonholers, fancy stitches, and the fancy feet that can handle any fabric and any stitch the little buzzing electric motors could make the needles do.  Soon the simple Singer was not good enough, she needed a bigger and better fix.  The gateway machine could no longer give her the buzz she was looking for and she was in the market for something more.  Before I knew it she was working a deal to get her hands on a Necchi sewing machine.  It had so many more features than the Singer and was exactly what she wanted; she would need nothing else – or so she claimed.  Before long she was hosting the sewing parties in our home.  Some were for the sake of making more dresses for the missionaries.  Some of the parties were for making baby quilts to give to new mothers.  All of her sewing maintained the air of respectability.

One day when I got home she told me of the party she had held in our home that day.  She told me how many dresses for Africa they had made.  Then, she revealed that her addiction was growing more fierce.  “One of the ladies in our group has a serger.”  I replied, in my ignorance, “What is a serger?”  Only to hear, “It is exactly what I need.”  That is when I realized I had become an enabler – the next thing I knew I was locating a serger on eBay and buying it for her.  Within a few days her Juki serger had arrived and she was off to new heights in her habit.  “Now my edges have a professional appearance!” she exclaimed.

By the time we left our last home she went from hardcore user to a pusher.  More and more I saw young girls coming in to learn how to sew, make small projects, and even work their way up to making dresses of their own.  She was sewing the seeds of her addiction in others.

We have been away from there for three months and without a sewing machine the entire time.  As my wife sits next to me scratching her arm like a junkie jonesing for a fix, she says the currently inoperable borrowed sewing machine in the living room makes her feel better just sitting there and that she cannot wait to get her sewing equipment delivered – “I already have people here who want me to teach them how to sew.” she has explained – the pushing is about to start again.

Why do I share this story with you?  It is a a word of warning.  If your spouse tells you about how great it would be for her to sew – it could even save you money – stop the addiction in its tracks.  Hold an intervention and just go to a tailor.

Seriously – if you would to learn more and support the terrific charity supplying dresses for small children go to Little Dresses for Africa

God guard you and keep you,


the Rev’d Dr SG Rindahl

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