Thursday, January 13, 2011

I hate you Martha Stewart

Sewing Machine of Doom, originally uploaded by CidnieC.
I've been able to put off attempting to sew the girl's berth enclosure and the port light curtains for want of a sewing machine. I was going to borrow my mother's, but her's needs servicing. When Mark would ask "how are the sewing projects coming along?" I could answer truthfully that I was not able to get moving as I had no access to a machine. Truthfully, I was hoping that Mark ( who is a crafty, technical, DIY perfectionist super genius) would realize that the sensible thing to do is to hire out these little sewing jobs to someone more capable, I mean- someone with a working sewing machine.

Its not that I am lazy, its that I well remember my attempts at sewing garments for Barbie and her kid sister Skipper in my youth. It did not go well. They ended up wearing an assortment of togas and sarongs. Yes, I understand that basic sewing is simple. I understand that children are able to do it. I also know that I am horribly, irrevocably craft impaired. I've tried to teach myself sewing and knitting for years and the end result usually looks like something a kindergartner would have made. That is, if that kindergartner had free access to vodka and apple juice martinis and no adult supervision.

Mark called while out of town for work and told me "I've bought you a sewing machine. It should be here within the week". Ummm... would you believe that the machine arrived via the post the next day? Nothing ever ships that quickly. Nothing unless it is the Sewing Machine of Doom, then it will defy all the laws of physics and postal ineptitude and appear almost instantaneously upon my doorstep.

Mark called the next day. I told him that what I believed to be the sewing machine had arrived and was sitting in a large brown box on the table. He asked me if I had opened it up to check it out. "No. I am too scared to open it".Mark asked "Why on earth would you be scared? Open it up and get on with it". "I will", I replied " I just need some time".

It took me three days to open the box. Three days of reliving every painful detail of every failed crafty attempt I ever made. Memories of Barbie clothes fashioned out of fabric and embellished with duct tape and safety pins. Memories of the horrible skirt I made for myself in junior high and insisted on wearing because other, more stupid girls were sewing themselves beautiful things and Andie in Pretty In Pink managed to make her PROM dress so surely I could make a simple skirt.. I can still hear the snickers of the more craft abled girls as they appraised my lopsided, badly hemmed garment. which made me appear to have one leg approximately 7 inches shorter than the other.

Time marches forward, we grow up and learn to embrace challenges and we learn to overcome adversity. I opened the box. It was going well until I spotted HER on the box.

'Handpicked by Martha' was inscribed on the box right next to a smarmy, smiling photo of my arch nemesis, Martha Stewart. NOOOO!

Martha Stewart has been stalking me, mocking my ineptitude since the big kid was in preschool. All the other mom's would bring cookies to the holiday parties. Cookies that Martha had showed them how to make and decorate. "Look! I baked cookies in the shape of each child's head, adorned with a pre-Raphaelite likeness of each child executed in Royal Icing and for a little holiday flair, I knitted little cookie cozies from the wool I gathered from my own sheep. What did you bring?". My usual answer was "Doughnuts. Kids like doughnuts. Shipley's does them for $4 a dozen." I would hang my head in shame as Martha's Crafty Minions would prepare to carry out their Supreme Leader's directives at the' Its Springtime and Martha says thats a great time to embroider eggshells in celebration" party.

Cruising was supposed to offer me refuge from this kind of malarky. I am supposed to be involved in a pursuit that places value on my ability to navigate my quickly way to my desired destination no matter how lost I am (seriously, that's my super power). My inate ability to make do with what I have, to adapt, to figure out a solution with only the items on hand, to always be all right in the end- these were what cruising was supposed to value and most definitely, most assuredly THERE WAS TO BE NO MARTHA STEWART!!

I suppose the great lesson here is "that which does not kill us makes us stronger'. No one will be harmed if the berth enclosure is not exactly straight so long as it is strong and well attached. If the port light curtains have an uneven hem, no one will notice. If they do notice, they can unexpectedly meet the boom during a surprise jibe.

Ok. I can do this. I have to do this because I can not live with HER face, smiling from the box on my table. It is creeping me out. The box must go and the berth enclosure must be finished. If I can do this, I can do anything.



  1. I am LMAO here about to pee in my pants. From one craft impaired mama to another, I hear ya. My neighbor gave me a sewing machine and I have used it 2 times in the past 2 years. The F^@#ing thing is smarter than me and it mocks me even when I only want to sew a straight line. A pattern? HA! My naive husband thinks I am going to make us a bimini one day. Sorry honey, you knew what you signed up for when you married me. :)

  2. We need to stand in solidarity and burn multiple copies of 'Martha Stewart Living'. I hear vodka is not only good for erasing Craft Based Shame, it is good as a fire accelerant.

  3. Oh my god, Cidnie!!! Did you read this on my blog?

    Sing it, sistah. Sing it.

  4. AWESOME post Laureen! Thanks for the heads up. I'm adding you to the Blog roll...
    I will put your name on a bottle of vodka...

  5. How is that woman even still around!?!?!? Much less haunting sewing machine boxes. I HATE sewing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm all for baking though. :-)

  6. Jill, she is like an Undead Queen of Craft. Prison didn't even stop her. The only answer is to drive a stake through her heart and expose her to the light of day.

    Its a slippery slope Jill. First you start looking up cookie recipes, next thing you know you've crocheted a cozy for your Honda....

  7. this post is awesome! i tried learning to sew last winter & seriously made the ugliest nighty i've ever seen.

  8. You can do this. YOU CAN DO THIS. And I will be cheering you on. Hit me up if you have any questions. I placed my order with Eric for materials for Cora's seaberth enclosure. As soon as he sends it in, I'll be working away on it and will share my secrets!

  9. Too funny!!!! I refuse to crochet a cozy for my Honda!!!! Older Gal's Toyota ***MAYBE****!!!!! She has to park outside, after all.

  10. Hi-

    Chuck in San Francisco here undergoing a complete re-fit of my Aries-32, "The Chester P". I've enjoyed your postings, and the note about MaineSail (as it happens, I grew up in Maine and learned to sail there). Regarding sewing- I'm a guy and I can do- so of course I have the opinion that anybody can. I've been fortunate to have been loaned a Sailrite LS-1 ( It is a very simple machine. There is a more complex model that does a zig-zag stitch (LZ-1, I think). In any event, my girlfriend, on discovering my hidden sewing talents, has since taken advantage of this knowledge in order to have some jeans shortened and hemmed in between the construction of winch covers and the new dodger canvas. Pix of The Chest P are on flickr/photos/chuckbullett. I agree about the polishing, and professional machine polishing has been an important asset to my project since there's so many other things to manage. As far as re-bedding the port lights though... I'm leaving that project for next year. BTW- Sailrite often has sales on sunbrella and other sailing fabrics- just keep your eye on the website. Also, the magazine "Good Old Boat" will be a great resource for you too. Cheers and fairwinds! Chuck

  11. Thanks for the kind words Chuck. Yup, GOB is on the shelf here at our casa. You do tailoring?!?!? Does your girlfriend want to loan you out?

  12. lol... not too likely! The sailrite site, btw, has a number of on-line videos detailing how to constuct things like curtains and winch covers. Good Luck!

  13. I am sitting here reading this blog and laughing at my screen. This is too hysterical and of course poignant.

    I haven't had this much fun alone since... oh never mind...

  14. Hilarious! Way to take a stand! The other day I was looking at Christmas presents for my nephews, and I found a pirates' treasure chest that I thought they would like. My sister says, "why don't you just make one?" and I reply, "why would I do that?" She then told me about how she made Will a treasure chest, buried it in her backyard and drew a map for him to find it. Needless to say, she also reads Martha's magazine.