361: Sewing It Up


I broke down and bought a sewing machine. I was trying to get by with hand sewing what I needed done, but then my next door neighbor asked if I could make her daughter’s new school uniform. In Panama, NOW is the school summer vacation – in FEBRUARY. I’m not sure I get this, since we are not in the southern hemisphere, but there it is. I can only surmise that it is because it is Panama’s brief dry season…when it does not rain EVERY single day. Whatever.

When she asked if I could help make it, I knew I was in trouble. I can sew – crafts, garments, home accessories…whatever. With a machine. Doing it by hand is pretty much limited to repairs, because it takes so much time to stitch seams by hand. Time I ain’t got lots of right now, because the school where I work is not on the Panama schedule. We are an American format school (even though the school is a Panamanian Judaic one), so we have been in classes since returning from our “dry season break” which just happened to include Christmas – even though Christmas is not mentioned in a Judaic school. Go figure.

So, I screwed up my courage and asked to borrow my friend’s machine to get this school uniform made. BIG MISTAKE. I had the uniform done in the spare time I could scrounge over the next two days, and then I started on the stuff I had been postponing until I had the extra money to get my own machine. I was whipping out decorator pillows, cushion covers, new dresses, skirts, a new blouse and a vest…….and then my friend, whose machine I had borrowed, asked me why I had not already bought my own. Oops.

Well…I did price one at the local Panama version of Sam’s Club, called PriceSmart. But the last few times we had been there in her car, so I could put it in the cargo bay instead of lugging the thing home on the public bus, they did not have any of them on display. I know this because I looked for it again, so I could at least admire it. But she claimed that every time we had been at PriceSmart, she had seen the machine.  Now, I really did call myself looking for it (that’s a southern expression meaning that I really did try). I do have a credit card, and I would have, maybe, probably bought one (I would have at least drooled on it again)…..and I did not find them. But NO, she insisted…..

Hmmmmmmm…I am getting the distinct impression that she is telling me to buy myself a damn machine, and quit using hers. Jeepers, it’s only been three days. So, we went to PriceSmart, and sure enough, there is a fresh pallet full of sewing machine boxes, fresh off the truck and forklift. Dammit. So, I bought one, brought it home in the car, and returned my friend’s machine, with some extra empty bobbins as a thank you for the loan.

Well. At least my neighbor’s daughter has a brand-spanking new school uniform to wear this year – and school begins for them on Monday. And *I* have a brand-spanking new sewing machine, anytime I want to use one. All’s well that ends well, I guess.


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