Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Sew Me a River

My once promising academic career took a sharp dive when I signed up for sewing class in eighth grade. I hated it before we started. I made fun of what we were learning, or what they were learning, I sat firmly rooted to my future beliefs that sewing was simply not for me. I failed, my first F. My parents feigned disappointment, and horror, but secretly I think my father was pleased that I goose egg'd such a ridiculous class. Sewing! Our first project was making a pillow, I did mine inside out, and not the way you are supposed to. Next up, a nightgown. I cut off the sleeves while cutting out the pattern. My friend Kathy tried to help, she really did, but it was hopeless. I had no interest. I never learned how to correctly thread the machine, despite the poor teacher showing me over and over, assuming my life would be nothing but a huge failure if I never learned to properly thread a sewing machine. For our final project we made robes to go with our nightgowns. My robe was nothing more than a hood, and that's only because Kathy, on the eve of the due date, sewed the hood for me. I had only cut the fabric, spending all of our allotted sewing time trying to thread the machine, and making fun of those who could. Disaster.

Years later, still unable to sew, but far more mature, I appreciate those who can. My dear friend LF is an amazing seamstress as evidenced by those Halloween costumes my children wear every year. Thankful for the fact that she actually paid attention in machine threading class, I am in great debt to her, her skill, and her endless generosity.

My mother loves to sew, as did my grandmother. Both marvelously adept with a needle and a thread, they make clothing, costumes, pillows, draperies, and both nightgowns and robes. This sewing gene, I thought perhaps, might skip a generation. This seems unlikely. The girls and I stopped in at Pottery Barn Kids the other day, home to completely fabulous toys, always available for playing. Mary ran directly to an ironing board, grabbed the iron and screamed "look Mom, I'm sewing!", illustrating that she knows nothing about either sewing or ironing.

I think they might be very good cooks, or justices, or farmers.


Sarah said...

aaaahhh...i was there! the dreaded sewing class! I was stressed because i decided to sew a velour shirt.....ever try to work with velour? impossible.... i am dying to remember the sewing teacher's name-- do you remember it???

i was just telling the boys lately about Miss Gibson and Foods class! they thought it was cool that we had 6 little kitchens and cooked in groups- i was telling them how you had to pick the best muffin or cookie, etc. to showcase for a grade!
thanks my friend for another great blast from the past!

Toad said...

The afternoon before leaving basic military training everyone gets their first stripe. The rules are that all uniforms must past muster with the new stripe before leaving in the morning.

One learns to sew very quickly in those circumstances.

I'm glad to be in such august company.

northsidefour said...

Sarah, no idea, I went to Kathy via FB for the answer.

And Toad, thanks for stopping by, wonderful to share thoughts!

Anonymous said...

Her name was Donna Costanza. And some of us took some sort of clothing class for 5 years. I wonder if any of those other people still sew....because I would rather go naked. and I DON'T like to be naked. ;)

(I am putting my name in here because evidently I don't have a blogger name so I am posting anonymously)


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