Attention Span + New Sewing Gadgets

Hello, my friends! How are you? Are blogs still a thing? I’m committed to updating my little space at least once a month, but I get the sense that the collective attention span has been rapidly dwindling (including mine for sure) and Instagram is so much easier, isn’t it? Despite my amoeba-like attention span, I can spend so much time just consuming images — which perplexes me. There have been times when an entire HOUR (or more!) will have been frittered away while I mindlessly scroll through my feed. Yikes. Intellectually, I understand that I’m getting dopamine hits with every new image or a “like” for something I’ve posted, but I make sure to read super interesting books just before going to bed and have noticed that I can barely make it through two pages before my mind wanders off. There’s something about just looking at fun square photos that feels easy and addictive and lately, reading can seem like too much work. This is a travesty for someone who considers books to be the very lifeblood of existence. So I’m actively working on weaning myself from social media.  Although I’ll continue to post on Instagram every once in a while, I’m going to dramatically cut back on the time I spend ogling at all the pretty feeds. I don’t want my gravestone to read, “She excelled at Instagram, the viewing of.”

I also like to watch my cat, Katara. True to the cliché, she’s a curious creature and is constantly exploring all the smells and sounds and sights around her, and her attention span is ultra robust. Her ear twitches back and forth in this cute way when she catches an unusual noise that my ears are incapable of hearing. We have staring contests sometimes and she beats me every time. It’s so fascinating to see how primal and deeply encoded many of her actions are. For example, when she chooses not to finish her food, she’ll scratch the linoleum all around her food bowl. I found out that it’s a genetic predisposition from ancient times when cats lived in the desert and would bury prey in the sand to save for later and to hide it from other animals. Katara’s never been near a desert or even a sandy area as far as I know. It makes me ponder our human encodings — what do we all act out unknowingly, instinctively? Marketers and advertisers and social media developers seem to have a full grasp of our primal instincts of wanting validation and constant change within a comfortable nest of familiar safety.

Anyway, I wanted to pop in and ramble digitally for a bit.

Also! Earlier this year, I treated myself to a cover stitch machine and a new serger (to replace my dying Brother 1034D). I am completely intimidated by both machines and have only used them once. I did figure out how to thread the snazzy things, but I feel very shy around them, like they’re the cool kids that might reject me. Anyone have recommendations for tutorials or resources for using the Juki MO654DE and Janome CoverPro 1000CPX?

I’m off to go give them another whirl. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend, my friends, and I’ll keep you posted on my serging/cover stitching adventures!

20 thoughts on “Attention Span + New Sewing Gadgets

  1. It is a joy to leave a comment here, bc I _literally_ have Sewing Happiness in my hand, just purchased. So consider this comment my thank you note! Lovely to see my trusted Janome coverstitch standing there. I’m still learning, got her this fall. I own a different serger but very much recognise the feeling on both. But now, I cannot imagine life without either of them, especially my serger. I took a morning sitting in the garden watching a very comprehensive series of videos on the model I own, with a baby on my lap and coffee within reach, and after that I dared to venture forward, of course having forgotten most what was in the videos. And then it turned out I just had to make mistakes, permit myself a learning curve.

    The sane went for the coverstitch: I watched a lot of videos and I loved reading about the technique on http://www.coverstitching.com/
    She doesn’t use the same machines but her site is *very* comprehensive (when things go wrong was my favourite section 😉 ) turns out the Janome, and I suspect any coverlock, is by far the most simple machine to use of the three applications that I use to express in fabric the idea I have in my mind. So… have fun!

    1. Thank YOU so much, Anne! I’m so delighted that you’re enjoying SEWING HAPPINESS :). I’m with you on forgetting video content as soon as I finish watching them, and I couldn’t agree more that it’s really just a matter of plunging in and making all the mistakes! Thanks for the reminder!

    2. Blogs are still a thing. Personally, I am not really sure what I would blog about, but I do like the idea of having a creative space that us my own. I am into a sewing phase right now. Usually, my sewing lasts from May to June, when I realize I want to make cool things, but I won’t have time or space once my kids are iff school. I like your new machines. I have no idea what those do though.

      1. I’m not quite sure what my new machines do either, Max! The serger seems to be a much better quality than my old one, and I don’t think I’m using it correctly yet. Ditto for the coverstitch, which is supposed to make hemming knits a walk in the park. Have fun sewing! I get that same zest for stitching things up just before school is out :).

  2. I read blogs. I don’t do Instagram or other social media. Pretty pictures are nice, but they need stories and explanations to go with them, or (as far as I’m concerned) they’re a little pointless. It’s the difference between looking at a catalog, and reading a letter from a friend.
    Then there’s the script-creep, whereby old computers / operating systems / browsers don’t play well with all the bleeding-edge coded glop.
    And the fact that Google has infected everything (Spies! Everywhere!!).
    Yours is one of the few blogs I like that hasn’t yet disappeared completely.
    I am a dinosaur. Ah well.
    And that is a pretty cat.

    1. Hi Kate! So glad that there are still blog readers out there. It’s so fascinating how Google and the interwebs seem all-knowing. I get a little freaked out when something I was looking up on Google shows up as an ad on Instagram. And we think our cat is pretty too and love her like crazy. 🙂

  3. I have the Janome New Home Coverstitch- I’ve actually had it for 3 years and I just can’t seem to get used to it. Skipped stitches are my problem, although recently tried wooly nylon thread in the looper and it seems to be helping. Regarding blogs- it’s still a thing for me! I really miss kicking back and reading posts, it felt like having a conversation with a friend. Instagram is ok, but it’s just not the same.

    1. Thanks Kelly! I’ve read that wooly nylon is helpful for coverstitch sewing and I’ve been looking into getting some. Although I haven’t sewn with my machine much, I did notice a few skipped stitches too and was wondering about them — good to know that I’m not alone! Happy to read that you’re still into blogs. Instagram feels so much more fast-paced to me, and I think I’m just inherently slower-paced. I’m still trying to figure it all out!

  4. Delighted to see a blog post from you! I have a different serger and coverstitch machine. When you are comfortable with them, you’ll find sewing knits to be much easier. I look forward to future posts, as I’m selective about which blogs I read. I always enjoy reading yours!

    1. Thanks so much, Tammy! I tried out my new serger yesterday and I’m astonished by how quiet it is compared to the Brother serger, which was not only loud but cantankerous too. I’m working on re-threading my coverstitch machine right now, and I’m excited to get to know it better!

  5. I always welcome seeing a post from you! They are inspiring and calming—as is your book. (For some reason, gmail always puts your emails in spam, although I always indicate “not spam.” It’s not a problem, though.)

    1. Oh, thank you for the sweet comment, Madeleine! I’m sorry that my emails keep landing in spam…I’ve been thinking about upgrading my email subscription service and it sounds like now might be a good time! Maybe that will help with the spam situation (fingers crossed).

  6. No idea about those particular machines but gee I’d love to live next door and come over for a play with them!
    Absolutely agree about the quick image scrolling addiction. It feels like video gaming compared to arthouse cinema, or cartoons compared to literature. Something that I’m not quite prepared to admit that I enjoy. 🙂
    But I do still love a blog post! Keep them coming and I need to get better at remembering to sit down and slow read crafty updates from friends.
    P.S. I’m up to my 4th monthly SVE instalment in my silly challenge to keep the torch alight until next Feb. xx

    1. You know you could come on over anytime, Shelley! I have no adequate words for how AMAZING it is that you’re keeping the spirit of SVE alive. You are simply the best!!!!!

  7. Thank you for you blog. I love reading it, seeing photos of your makes and you cute kitty, and I love your watercolours too 😍
    I’m afraid I can’t help you with the machines. I’m without my machines atm (moved country, my mum is bringing my sewing machine soon) and wish I could come help you work them out. Good luck!

    1. Hope your transition period is going well, Joanne, and thank you for all the loveliness that’s in your comment!! I’m gonna master these machines!

  8. Johanna of http://www.thelaststitch.com has a new book out on coverstitching, and several youtube videos and posts on coverstitching. She uses the Janome coverstitch machine too. I’ve got the book but not the cover stitch machine yet! One day….

    I love blogs and read sewing, quilting and knitting blogs regularly. I had an Instagram account which I didn’t use much, but once I became aware of the way some designers and crafters were being relentlessly attacked by other users I deleted my account. I do enjoy Pinterest though, as a source of inspiration for new projects.

    1. Awesome! Thank you for the recs, Johanna! I’m bummed to hear that that designers/crafters are being attacked. It’s consistently been such a warm and encouraging community in my experience. And hey, I’m a big Pinterest user for inspiration as well, and I’m happy to report that compared to early days, I’m a much more restrained pinner:).

  9. I stumbled on your book in the library, read the 1st sentence and was hooked. A pleasure to read, thank you for being frank, open, thoughtful, poetic. The sewing is beautiful too. And, you said you had a blog! Are blog’s still a thing? I wonder that myself. Social media sucks the life out of attention spans, I’ve done these same things, it’s not just me. I abandoned my own blog thinking, who reads this anyway, and here you are blogging, beautifully, thoughtfully, providing a calm space for the mind in the whirling chaos of social media. Thank you. I will be back. Hopefully to be inspired to get back to my blog maybe, even if it’s just me. A calm eddy in a maelstrom.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words! I haven’t given up hope on blogs yet, and I expect that social media will continue to change and evolve. What a world we live in!

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