I attended York University in Toronto, studying Theatre Design and Production - an institution which taught you to design and construct using the school of thought that you should "just do it". So as a clueless under-grad, there I was teaching under-grads with even less of a clue how to sew, draft patterns and otherwise "get it done" for whatever piece of theatre we were currently trying to stage.
There are a surprising number of ways that people can screw up a simple seam. There was the guy who sewed the bottom of a skirt shut (I asked him how you would get your feet out to wear it and you would have thought I asked him to explain the theory of relativity). There was the girl who sewed her own sleeve to a period gown and another sad individual who sewed right through their own hand. Yup, learning a new skill can be pretty hard. One thing I learned from that early experience of teaching people to sew is that you need to make them laugh.
So, I told them to talk to their sewing machines. I advised them to whisper sweet nothings in a nauseating voice designed to keep their sewing machine on "our side". This made them giggle. Especially when I started to spew pet names at the machine and pet it in a loving manner.
One day, a hapless first year named Katherine got her thread wrapped around the machine in ways that were bound to lead to her imminent meltdown. I sat at her machine and I said:
"First you talk to the machine". I demonstrated this procedure complete with aforementioned crooning and petting of the machine. She laughed. I told her to press very lightly on the industrial machine's pedal to free up the hand wheel, give the hand wheel a wee jiggle and the jiggle would allow her to remove the offending thread. I though nothing of this routine demonstration.
But the very next day...
Five hapless first years were screaming for help. I was the only person present who know which end of a sewing machine was up, so I gave them all a number and asked for their patience. It turned out that one of the waiting number had the exact same problem as Katherine had the day before. Katherine volunteered to help the girl for me, giving me once less person to sort out.
Katherine sat at her fellow first year's machine and she said:
"First you talk to the machine". She then delivered the entire demonstration ver batim and with actions. The other first year laughed and was able to keep going. I wonder if that first year ever forgot how to talk to a sewing machine? I wonder if she ever passed on the "How to talk to a sewing machine" lesson to anyone else. Who knows how far my wisdom (or should I say nonsense?) has spread.
At first, I was a bit hesitant about having any form of "advertising" on my blog. However, as an ebuzzing blogger I can choose which brands I write about and which I don't. I only choose to participate in campaigns that will fit into my blog and that I feel my readers would be interested in. All the posts are written in my words with only a few bullet points, links and images that have to appear on the post. ebuzzing is a completely free service to join and the strict code of ethics at ebuzzing ensures that all posts are clearly marked as sponsored.
I thought my readers would "put up with" my ebuzzing posts, but these sponsored posts generate more positive comments and e-mails than I ever expected. Having to come up with ways to make different brands and topics fit into my blog has forced me to be creative and it is has really stretched my comedy muscles. I now think that ebuzzing has made my blog content better than ever.
If I had a dream brand that I'd like to ebuzz about, it would be Janome sewing machines. As I've said, I really know how to talk to a sewing machine. I've used more different brands of sewing machine than I care to talk about (or to) - first in theatre wardrobes and then in doll making classes. I have a soft spot for Janome. Janome machines always seem to pose fewer problems than other brands, at least in my experience. Janome really knows how to make a sewer feel warm and fuzzy and definitely ebuzzy. Of course, it wouldn't be hard to get the doll making and crafting world buzzing about Janome because sewers always like a good sewing machine brand debate. It's like a prize fight for us, we're all hedging our bets on who the heavy weight champion would be. I have the inside track on who would win though - my sewing machine told me!