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.