Debi van Zyl


An Exercise in Self -Control, by Debi van Zyl

To my huge surprise, R gave me a sewing machine for my birthday last week. After years of hinting about wanting a machine to anyone who would listen, and years of asking my mother to hem my pants for me, I finally have one of my own. Finally!

So, R gave me this lovely present over a week ago and until last night I've let it sit in its box right by my desk, unopened. I've walked into the studio each and every day with such longingness to open the box and start sewing; it's been torture. I should have worn blinders or something... seeing that box out of the corner of my eye was killing me.

Why you ask? Why not just open the box? Because I know myself too well... opening that box would have created such a distraction from "real" work that I never would have made it through this last week of deadline madness. I would have been sewing non-stop. I don't even know what I would be sewing, but it I'd be sewing it. I've collected so much fabric just for this purpose, it's crazy. The poor exhibitions I'm working on would be dust in the wind; I would have forgotten about them as soon as I threaded my first needle. And no one would have come to my friend's wedding as I would not have completed her invitations. It's all true... I'm not exaggerating.

And so, last night after the last set of drawings were off and the invitations were in the mail, I finally opened the box. And I threaded a bobbin. And I threaded a needle. And then I went home.

Since R and I have been crazy busy with work we've not seen each other much lately. Going home to make a nice dinner sounded wonderful, though I admitted to him that the sewing machine was luring me back to the studio... he graciously said to go, but again, I had to exercise a little self-control. I would have stayed up all night sewing!

So this morning, I got up early, letting R sleep in-ish (of course he heard me get up!) and I stole away down the hill to the studio on foot in the rain to be reunited with my sewing machine!

Now the flood gates are open, now I can sew to my heart's content! Of course I have to practice before making anything. The last real time I sewed with a machine was in Grade 8 in Home Ec (do they even have that any more?) and I made an apron. I need an apron, I was just telling R the other night... looks like I have my first project.

The End.

{Wow. That was a long story.... Thank you R. You are an amazing gift-giver... I'll see you in a few days when I'm done with the sewing frenzy, ok?}
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