The battle between my shaky fingers and the needle lasted about 7 minutes; after much struggle I was finally able to solve the arithmetic equation called electrical sewing machine. With great delight, I started sewing the fabric – slightly gliding it through the machine, imagining what the outcome will look like. From stitching the hem to adding the band and invisible zippers; I watched as time passed by – it was 5:35pm by the time I looked at my wristwatch (how time flies). I could hear my facilitator sounding a warning that we needed to wrap up with the skirt and move to the next outfit – an off shoulder top. I looked at my fabric and I was nowhere near the perfect skirt I envisioned.
No, No No…. this cannot be happening; is this how the sewing thing works? How many hours does it take to sew one outfit? Before I knew what was happening, the ship had sailed without me – my facilitator started the tutorial for an off-shoulder top. Do you remember that feeling in school when others are asking for extra sheet in exam hall and you haven’t even finished writing on the first page of your answer sheet? That’s exactly how I felt. I was forced to put away the skirt to start sewing the top. Just when I thought the task will become less tedious (after all it’s just a top), it became even more complicated – this time we were drawing circles and the measurement was another set of calculation (abeg where is my tailor oooo?). This one don pass JAMB question and the time was already 7:52pm, when are we going to finish??? Hunger, anger and impatience hit me all at once, I had only small chops in my stomach since morning so my intestines were beginning to question my loyalty.
As I was calculating how to finish sewing this top, a lady beside me just packed her bag and stormed out saying, “abeg tailor work is not for me”. As she walked away, I realized this sewing matter no be beans, you need loads of patience, people skills, an analytical mind and a sharp intellectual sense. Did I mention I’ve been trying to call my tailor since Tuesday? Her number didn’t go through but today it finally connected; you need to see the way I spoke to her – with deeper understanding and appreciation of her expertise in this field. The more I tried to perfect my stitches during the workshop, the more appreciative I was of tailors and their work. I left the sewing class by 10:17pm looking extremely tired, the photo below is what I made for myself – on a scale of 10% – 100%, what will you rate my skirt and top?
As I drove home, I remembered all the time I shouted at my tailor for not delivering on time; now I give her a deadline that is 2 weeks before the day I want to wear the dress so I don’t get disappointed. As much as my first day was a struggle, I will keep practicing this equation because sewing is a skill I want to master for myself and eventually for the benefit of others – as an “Igbo gial’’…. we gotta tie some monetary value to the skills (winks). So it’s a challenge I’ve taken up and will continue to push myself till I become a pro, you may just be watching my debut collection someday on the runway (who knows).
If you know how to sew, please drop some tips – what was your experience like? How long does it take to sew an outfit? I’m guessing the speed improves as you master the craft; so any advice for a newbie like me?
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