Recently I started making curtains for the nursery. I YouTube’d a couple of how to videos but then decided to call my mum, (who made all the curtains at home) but I didn’t really understand what she was trying to tell me, so I scoured YouTube some more and came up with what seemed to me the best plan of action.
Making curtains is 20% measuring – measure twice cut once (or measure about six times if you are me!) – 60% ironing, ironing and re-ironing, then 20% sewing, it would seem.
Threading up my mums old Frister Rossmann sewing machine (I had to use the manual to remind me how to do this as it had been so long since I last had it out) I made the first curtain no problem at all. I measured each piece of fabric to check I’d got enough, especially enough to make the pattern repeat match up once they were all hung. I painstakingly cut off the excess and ironed in the selvedge and then made the mitered corners followed by more ironing before stitching in the black out lining and sewing on the heading tape then one last iron for a perfect finish, easy peasy.
Feeling pleased with myself I picked up where I had left off the following day. The ironing went well but on the third mitered corner the stitches began to pucker up underneath, not good as this was the facing part of the curtain so needed to look great. Back to the manual to adjust the thread tension, a little peeved that surely it should be the same, nothing had changed since yesterday… after a little screw tightening on the bobbin case I was back in business, then I broke the sewing machine needle on one of the pins holding the lining in place, simply bad luck, I replaced it, good old mum having spares in the box. I then went on to break THREE more needles, two snaps and two bent… what on earth was going on?! Called mum, try a thicker needle she said, problem solved temporarily.
After all those breakages the bobbin thread then wouldn’t feed through. Clearly the machine hated me and was out to get me to prove I would be a rubbish mother and had no talent at curtain making and I would have to get my mum to step in and make them after all. Failure!!
I walked away, wondering if I should admit defeat, ask if any friends close by had a machine I could borrow (what if I broke theirs too?), or send this machine in for a service and wait until it was fixed to try again. I sat with a coffee while Brunel my dog, tried to console me.
Having cooled down a bit I decided to take one last look, one last look before I threw in the towel… And, dho! The bobbin mechanism wasn’t broken at all, in fact I hadn’t quite threaded the main needle that I had just replaced properly which meant the bobbin thread wasn’t being pulled through – mistakes happen when you are emotional. Relieved, I carried on with my sewing and got the rest of the curtains finished.
This experience got me thinking about wealth. The “wealth” I valued at this moment was:
You might be wondering what this has to do with wealth and business… Well, what this experience highlighted is that wealth comes in many different forms, not just the financial kind.
We can have a wealth of experience, information, support, resources, knowledge, personal strength – all “tools” and “capital” that can be used to help our businesses grow. The unique knowledge we each have, for example, may seem unremarkable to ourselves, but never underestimate the value to other people of what you know. We have all led unique lives, and yes there are a lot of voices and noise out there, but your spin or thought or idea may be exactly the type of voice someone else is looking to connect with. Your insights can be, and are, “wealth.”
Our mothers or grandmothers all had sewing boxes with different colour threads and a multitude of spare buttons, some plain and some pretty elaborate. So don’t underestimate the value of what you have in your own personal sewing box and what you can create with it. I’d love to know what you value, and what non-monetary assets you are already wealthy in.
Based on her own research, knowledge, personal and business experiences to date Polly writes regular blogs based on the themes of Health, Wealth and Happiness for Professional Spring. A support and networking community of like minded business women set up by Polly and her two friends Jacquie and Rupal.