I sat down to hand sew dolls but my hands cramped and spasmed terribly. I thought I’d try to see if I could use my sewing machine despite half a foot amputated and despite significant nerve damage. I had my CNA bring it to the table but I didn’t try anything until after she left because I didn’t want to embarrass myself if I couldn’t properly feel and safely control the pedal.

There was all kinds of anxiety because I worried I’d press the pedal at the wrong time and sew my hand or something. Anxiety was high but so was my drive to find out if I could do it and save myself some pain while making dolls.

When I turned it on I acclimated myself to how the pedal felt under my foot. I got my brain to recognize the new sensation without automatically recoiling. After a few minutes I pushed the pedal with the machine turned off. I got used to that and got brave enough to turn it on.

I’m so happy I tried. I’ve used the machine several times now and what I discovered is that the nerve damage affects sewing ability. Sometimes the stump hurts too much to add any pressure at all or I can’t feel or control the stump enough to press the pedal. Those issues prevent me from regularly using the machine, but when I can I will use it to my advantage.

It’s been a week since I’ve used the sewing machine but when I was able I sewed the hands and legs for six dolls.

My hands want to give me trouble and my feet are a mess but between the two I am able to offer up dolls I’m proud of. They’re now about 25% sewn by machine but 100% homemade. I still hand paint the flesh tone, put it all together by hand and hand stitch in the hair. I still hand draw and hand paint the faces. The only thing that has changed is using the machine to create the arms and legs. Later down the road I may use the machine to help make the doll’s dress. We’ll have to see where my confidence leads me.

As mentioned in my last entry, I’ve started making bears again. I’m not using the machine with these which means it’s taking longer to finish them. I will post my finished products as soon as possible.

Until soon….