Mar 9, 2011



I learned to drive on a car with a standard transmission, which is unusual, I think. Most young people learn automatic transmission first, and then move on the more challenging stick-shift once they have the basics down. Am I right? Anyway, my boyfriend of many years taught me how to drive on an '85 Ford Escort that was only happy at certain speeds, none of which were the usual speed limit. After teaching me how to effectively cut corners on the Island Highway (I grew up on Vancouver Island, which is hilly — thus the roads are winding), he coached me on how not to freak out like a maniac every time I was at a red light on a hill, which happens often on the hilly island from which I hail. For the first six months I drove (I might still do this if I ever actually drove, which I don't because I live in New York City), I played a panicked game of Chinese Fire Drill every time I was forced to stop at a red light on a hill. Endlessly patient, he'd try and try to assure me that I wouldn't actually roll back far enough to hit the bumper of the car behind me. But after screaming "Why are they so close? They're too close!! Too close!!!" over and over, I'd get out of the car and go around to the passenger side so he would have to switch with me and take over the wheel.

But then I borrowed a friend's automatic for my driver's test (in Ucluelet, B.C., a teeny town on the West Coast) and I was just fucking amazed at how easy it was! I had to parallel park on a hill, which is pretty much the hardest thing to do in a standard. But on an automatic everything seemed easy. Turning the last corner on the way back to ICBC (British Columbia's DMV equivalent, for you American readers), I got my only 5 demerits, for apparently not shoulder-checking before the turn, which I still believe was bullshit because I am OCD about shoulder-checking due to a huge fear of hitting a cyclist, and that the tester just didn't want me to have a perfect score. I should have told him that the only reason I was able to get a perfect score was the fact I learned on a stick-shift and was accustomed to so many more challenges.
Anyway, what I'm trying to get at here is my new serger. Sewing with it is like making the switch from standard to automatic.  It takes like four fewer steps to do everything. It's so easy (if you study the manual sufficiently) and saves so much time. If you can afford it (mine was only $219 US on, get one. I have much yet to learn, but so far I have:
Finished seams on this peach silk blouse that is still a work-in-progress:
Used it to gather ruffles and do shirring:

AND...drumroll please...sewed a rolled hem, which I think looks very nice on this silk (see the edge of this ruffle and the sleeves):

I'm not one for naming appliances. But if I were, I'd call it Sergio. But only so I can post this video from Jon Hamm's appearence on SNL:

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