The Sewing Machine

By Natalie Fergie

3 secrets. 27 notebooks. 4 generations. 1 blog. Millions of stitches.

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Books are better than chocolate!

Hello again.
As I write this, above the gubbins which says "Write a new blog post", there is a green disc which shows me that we have raised more than half of the pledges needed to make this book into a published novel.

You can probably see it too.  

In among the slivers which make up the dark green wedge are pledges by Unbounders, by friends and family, and by people I have only met online, not in person. Isn't the internet amazing? 

I've been asked many questions since I started this process, so I thought I would try to answer two of them. 

Q - Where did you get the idea?

A - From this.


This is my own Singer 99k. It was made in 1923, in Clydebank. The "k" stands for Kilbowie, which was the name of the factory. I use it for most of my dressmaking, hemming curtains, and repairing torn clothes.

I confess to having a bit of a sewing machine habit (I have nine of them, all second hand) and this one is my favourite. It's always ready to use, no fuss, no glitches. I even used it to sew on the waistband of my husband's otherwise handstitched kilt. Six layers of tweedy wool, no problem at all. 


Q - Pen or computer?

A - Both.

The actual writing is done on a computer. I use Scrivener, Pages, Pinterest and Evernote. 

All my research notes are written longhand. I have an extra large Moleskine, the one with the soft cover, and this goes with me everywhere. Inside it you will find scraps of dialogue overheard on trains, notes from a TV programme or two, and an AWFUL LOT of Arithmetic. 

Writing a novel which covers such a long timespan means that not only do the characters have dresses and dinner and dirty knees, but they also have birthdays. I have to make sure that nine year olds aren't getting married, that 62 year old aren't having babies, and that across the generations the major events in the world are happening at the right time. 

Oh yes, and there are a lot of notes about the weather. Summer 1911 boasted a record-breaking heatwave which went on for months. Can you imagine walking about in a full length dress, and a corset, and gloves in blazing sunshine? 

I also use a Filofax (which actually appears in the novel for a cameo performance) to help me with the plotting part of the process. Thank goodness for those six rings.


I'd like to say a personal thank you to all of these new pledgers... (and everyone else)

Rachel Jonat, Dianne Blackett, Ann Kingstone, Jan Eaton, Yvonne Davies, Sheila Dunn, Christelle Rigeur, Sam Johnstone, Nurhanne Reckweg, Amy Roberts, Nikola Howard, James and Moira Fergie, Lucy Burns, Karen Vernon-Parry, Jane Lithgow, Fran Kennedy, Kayleigh Bohan, Susan Livingstone, Terri Tester, Deborah Skelton, Erica Preston, Caroline Mersey, Elaine Sundstrem, Lyndis Clarke, Siobhan Sheilds, Ingrid Curl, Valerie McColl, Claire Hardie, Lindsay Roberts, Jennifer Romero, Susan B, Catriona Balmer, Ruth Huskisson, Helen Wherrett, Hilary Campbell, Maggie Vaughan, Sarah Sandow, Lucy Ribchester, Janet Freeman, Cat Widdowson, Heather Corbishley, Will Dean, Kersti Anear, and Vicky Osborne.


At the bottom of this post there are "share" buttons for Twitter and Facebook.
It would be a HUGE help if you would tweet, FB or simply forward this email to anyone who may be interested. 
Unbound also tell me it's possible to give the book as a gift, by doing this...

"Open an account with any email, although there isn’t a ‘confirm your account’ email, the receipt for purchase will be sent to the email on the account as will any other communication, and they won’t necessarily know the password so won’t be able to log in (although they can reset the password on the account using the email).
Credit card details are only stored (by our payment provider, not us) if the user selects that option on the tick box at checkout. 
You could forward a book to a recipient – that would work too.
You can also just open an account and pledge for a book but put someone else’s name in the back (you can adjust the name in the back in your account on a per pledge basis)." 


I hope you all had a good Easter. 

Books are calorie free, and far healthier than all that nasty chocolate.

Thank you again, 


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