(the misadventures of an expatriate corporate dropout)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

farkle family sewing - just call me sparkle!

as mentioned, I bought a sewing machine last week in the thoughts of taking a sewing course...that didn't pan out. But I still have visions of sewing grandeur and so made my way to a fabric store and bought loads.

after staring at the pile for a number of days ... on a particularly foul snowy morning I decided to take the thing out of the box and at least see if I could operate it. given that the instructions are all in French and I couldn't find an English version online, I was a little nervous. but only a little.

until I remembered my eyes. tiny problem. I arrived here with 2 pairs of eyeglasses and quickly proceeded to lose one pair (my favorite, of course, and the newest). The 2nd pair had been soundly abused in the states, the lenses scratched ... and were supposed to serve as my 'back-up'.

I'd been holding off on eyeglasses until my Carte Vitale was all sorted out...one of the immediate horror stories one hears about is the horrible wait for an eye doctor... I of course started calling in November or so, when I got my health insurance ... and everyone was on holiday until January. because of that, appointments were indeed backing up...so mine is now the beginning of March.

In the meantime, being Kim (and a farkle by trade) I paid absolutely NO undue care to the remaining pair ... who are now in 3 pieces ( the part with the lenses and then each side bit broken off ).

Returning to the topic of threading the sewing machine ... do you have any idea at all just how SMALL that stupid little hole in the needle is? forget about that, the drawings demonstrating the 42 step obstacle course for getting the thread to that hole was also unfathomable. for my poor eyes.

I doubt the glass of red wine accompanying the process was of much use, either.

I tracked down a needle threader in one of those complimentary hotel sewing kits. I KNEW I'd been saving and hauling around those things for a reason. I have about a dozen from my jet-setting days.

But to use the needle threading device, one still must be able to see the hole to stick the damn thing through.

So there I was. In my left hand I held the scratched remnant of a pair of eyeglasses to my face. With my (now slightly trembling) right, the threader ... after several misses, I got it through and then had to repeat the process with the thread itself...

I'm not convinced I got the thread guided correctly through all of its many stops.

I only attempted one project. I made a draft stopper for the door ... not using any of my pretty NEW fabric but some recycled curtain leftovers in a 70s mustard gold velour. heh heh. I filled it with kitty litter.

As far as adjusting the tension, refilling the bobbins, or attempting one of the 16 other stitch varieties, that will just have to wait.

For either another freezing cold day with a fire and a bottle of red.

Or new eyeglasses.

Anyone wonder why our family moniker has been "The Farkles" for as long as I can remember?


softinthehead said...

Oh Kim I wish I was just around the corner and could pop by and help you out. Although saying that I do still need my 17 yr old to thread the needle for me! I can send you some cheapie Dollar Store glasses if you are desperate, let me know :) I forgot to take my glasses to work the other morning, needless to say it wasn't a very productive day :(

Kathleen said...

I just went through this same experience... the old sewing machine in our guest room in Lyle was finally opened up and it took me at least 30 minutes to thread it and then another to thread the bobbin... I obviously didn't do it correctly because my stitches came out all uneven and it wadded up the material something fierce... I passed by a Sear's the other day, walked in just to see what sewing machines look like and was shocked to see the new technology... my machine is about 100 yrs. old but it's in a gorgeous cabinet and it's black with gold trim that says "White", written in lovely, old script (how could I resist when I found it at the antique store?). Of course, that manufacturer went out of business eons ago...as for my eyes.. well, that's another story!

The Pliers said...

Ah, yes, the eyes.

I always tell the young woman who does my eyebrows, "You know, you could get rich just doing the eyebrows of 'women of a certain age' who can no longer see to do their eyebrows without their glasses and with their glasses cannot see their eyebrows to do them!"

You have my admiration and atta girls to spare!

Non Je Ne Regrette Rien said...

soft~ its a good thing I'm not blind as a bat sans lunettes or I'd be in real trouble.

kathleen~I had the same problem, my thread kept breaking. I adjusted the tension from "muscle memory", as it was too tiresome to contemplate transating the guide! xx

Non Je Ne Regrette Rien said...

pliers~ c'est vraie!

Rosie said...

a friend told me that as you get older, the fluid in your eyes turns to the colour of tea, which must be why I need theatrical spotlights to see anything close theses days...I should get sewing while you still can...

the fly in the web said...

Sympathise with the spectacle problem...I broke my best pair by sitting on them when they were in my pocket on the Eurostar...two other pairs of cheapo spectacles have fallen apart at the same moment, so I'm down to my scratched computer spectacles...which of course are now never by the computer.
Appointments round here are up to six months....mother will send me some more cheapos over from the U.K.

Paulita said...

Don't they have reading glasses on display in all the pharmacies like they do here in the States? Ah, well. They probably don't work that well anyway. I love that you filled the draft stopper with kitty litter. Ingenious!

Non Je Ne Regrette Rien said...

rosie~ not sure I like the thought of that!

fly~I thought I had an old pair of readers somewhere but can't find them either..ha, but I was surprised about the app't ... when everyone came back from holidays in Jan and I reached an opthalmologiste, I was offered a February app't (about 4 weeks out...) but because I wasn't sure if I'd be travelling I opted for March.

Paulita~welcome! no...not the same as the Walgreen's experience here! ha...and as far as the kitty litter goes...yep, I was thinking of beans or rice..but hey ... I EAT that and hate to waste food of any kind! turning into a miser here...so decided to try the kitty litter. I would have recycled the sand from my garden but it is winter wet... :-)

Tish Jett said...

I see you here and there and have never visited. Now that's over.

Off subject, but here goes: I have the most respect for those who reinvent themselves, who have the courage to dare. Bravo, bravo for you.

You're very funny btw, so refreshing. You sound like you're happy here.

I shall now follow along to see how things are going in your life.

Warm regards,

Non Je Ne Regrette Rien said...

Tish, thanks for the visit! and the kind words...all in all, I'm very content with my life...it took forever to get my courage up and it is still a bit rocky from time to time...but worth every shudder!

I'll have to return the favor and check out your doings...à bientôt..

Eli said...

as someone who is resisting bi or even tri focals I appreciate the needle problem!

I wear contact lenses and that prescription has stayed the same which is a little wierd.

Trouble with the pharmacy glasses is that the lens in each eye is the same whilst my left eye is very bad and right one is only a little off.

Have learnt to put glasses on a hard surface to stop me sitting on them!

Wish I had the money (and the courage!) to have laser treatment.

See signs in Paris for 1hr glasses but as its usually Johnny Halliday in the adverts I am always a little wary!

I joke with my Parisien friends that they are all short sighted hypocondriacs as every other shop is a pharmacy or opticians!

Non Je Ne Regrette Rien said...

well, I do agree that the French are more heavily medicated than most...seems there is a tincture for anything...and loads of pharmacies to show the way. I have a need for progressive lenses...I find they work well for me.

I'm not full on blind by any means...mostly a bit nearsighted but still beyond the support of readers. damn computers did this to me, I know it! lol

Riana Lagarde said...

hey kim- i dont know if you know, they changed the rule in december that you had to go to an eye doctor (impossible to get appointments). the eye glass store can now do it officially. you can just walk in to any optic 2000 or whatever store and have it done there and it's free (with the carte vital). you are entitled to one pair free per year so find a store that is doing buy one pair get one pair free like i did. my eyes get worse and worse each year. happy sewing!!

Anonymous said...

It was an awesome post to read. I enjoyed it thoroughly. Keep rocking like this!