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A Brief History of Me + the Machine

SewingTabatha HansenComment

I met my first sewing machine when I was in the fourth grade, my aunt's house. Within minutes I had developed a jumble of knots with the bobbin thread. I silently backed away and pretended I had never touched it. 

I met my second sewing machine when I was twelve, I took sewing for each year of middle school. I can't remember my sewing teacher's name, but in my mind's eye she wears a white turtleneck, a patchwork vest, a long, tiered skirt, wears her medium brown banged hair in a half-pony and is bespectacled. I carefully walked my sewing foot through a maze drawn on paper and quickly moved onto quilting blankets, sewing pillows, and in a shining moment I created a three-eyed white rabbit. The rabbit I gifted to my boyfriend and best friend of high school. It was a beautiful creature. 

At sixteen, I bought a Brother sewing machine for $62 and used it to sew in the hip arc on pants, modify garments for dance and occasionally sew a poorly fitting garment such as this: 

I wore this to go hiking in Colorado. I paired it with pigtails and a pair of strapless, kelly-green 1" heels that I threw at my mom when she proceeded to hike a hill. 

I wore this to go hiking in Colorado. I paired it with pigtails and a pair of strapless, kelly-green 1" heels that I threw at my mom when she proceeded to hike a hill. 

That very Brother was the one I cleaned up to use a few years ago when I began sewing again. The sewing wasn't because I thought I had a seamstress inside of me who wanted to possess my body to create a million miniature garments. Christina asked me what I could do outside of customer service jobs that wouldn't result in vomiting at every shift. We were trying to have a baby, and I literally stopped doing everything that involved me using my emotions or body in any way. I stopped dancing. I stopped bicycling. I extricated myself from all family drama. I sat on my ass and drank chicken broth and dreamed of babies and the courage to sing out loud. 

The tiny shoe decision was quick to arise, I think because I have had a longtime love of mini socks. I made a few shitty pairs of shoes and then a few pairs of less shitty shoes and now it's been three and a half years and I'm in marriage counseling with sewing. 

In case you were wondering why I'm sharing all this, Doctor.