, , , ,

I’ve been thinking. What if I learned to sew and made my own crib bedding? I’m a smart girl… surely I could learn how to do it in the next 9 months. Jennifer seems doubtful, which of course makes me more determined. She’s been taking a sewing class, and has picked up on it very quickly. Now Sue’s on board too… made herself the cutest pillow this past week. I’ve been refusing the sewing lessons – not because I don’t want to learn, but because I want my own sewing machine before I learn. Dumb, I know. I just have this idea in my head that I would actually learn more slowly if I learn on one machine, then transition to another.

According to Consumer Search (which I like because it’s free, unlike Consumer Reports), the Brother XL-2600i is the best beginner machine. Runs about $100, which is a bit much for an impulse purchase. But what if I were actually good at it, and actually began making things? Just think about all the things I could do… pillows, clothes, window treatments, crib bedding… oh my, I could be a seamstress extraordinaire and my house would be bursting with lovely fabrics. Yeah, may be overstating a wee bit… I tend to get really excited about stuff, and then lose interest a week/month/6 months later.

There are a few hiccups in my plan, however… the initial investment (sewing machine, supplies, fabric, etc) could be potentially painful. We have some points left over on our AMEX account which could potentially translate to a free machine.. but I would have to purchase online, which normally isn’t a problem, but I feel very insecure with this whole sewing concept, and kinda have a very outdated urge to go to an actual store and buy from an actual person. And then there’s the issue of space – assuming I go through with the purchase, I would have to designate a sewing area… and right now, our house just doesn’t have an available area. So hmmm. Will have to ponder all this a little more before making the commitment.

And for a subject change that’s actually somewhat related, Brad and Rosemary came to visit last weekend and there was some very interesting conversation floating around. Brad is a research hound… he’s seriously one of the smartest (if not THE smartest) person I know. He’s doing tons of reading on consumption and the dismal state of affairs in our world today – I’m sure I’m misstating, but that was the general drift. Anyway, the one conversation that really struck me was one about the idea of self-sufficiency… decreasing our dependence and consuming less. And although his big-picture idea is EXTREMELY big, and may or may not be attainable, the daily steps are completely doable. Reducing debt, and wiping out our dependence on credit. Reducing our consumption of resources – gas, electricity, etc. Supporting local businesses – going to the local produce stand instead of the grocery store, or even better, growing your own garden.

Scaling back, reducing, localizing… it’s all been said before, but I don’t know if I’ve really listened. My and Bobby’s foray into the world of Dave Ramsey has done a lot to introduce the idea of cutting back into our everyday lives… but we applied it to our finances and not much else. Take Walmart, for example: the prices are almost always cheaper, which, if the budget is the sole focus, makes it the clear store of choice. But Walmart is the epitome of everything that’s wrong and evil… it’s huge, it’s greedy, it’s a monopolizing monster that will suck the life out of everything it touches if given the chance (here’s an example, in case you’re interested). I hate Walmart. Dunno if you picked up on that. So that’s where the budget and localization potentially conflict, and even though Walmart may be few dollars cheaper, it’s just not worth the icky feeling of self-betrayal that I have when I come out lugging my 20 plastic bags of stuff.

Anyway. It’s an interesting thought. One that I will continue to think about. And one that my sewing idea fits into nicely, I think…. As long as I don’t buy my sewing machine from Walmart, that is :)