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The Philosophy of Juice & Crackers
NEEDLE AND THREAD
5 February 2015
When I went to visit my mother on Monday, she pointed out that the hem in one of my pant legs of my "good" sweat suit was unraveling. I broke the thread that was hanging and could see that half of my hem was dangling down.
Many of the "housewifely arts" have eluded me and sewing is right there at the top.
My mother was a wonderful seamstress in her day and made many of our clothes. At one point she decided to take a tailoring class and made a beautiful lined coat for Jeri, which I saved to pass along to my grandchildren. But of course when the time came to find it, it, along with all of the kids' favorite books and my beloved childhood "red books" that I saved, was no longer where I remembered putting it. I'm sure when/if we ever pack up this house I will find all those things I thought I had saved...but it's already too late.
I had good intentions of learning to sew, but my inherent klutziness (and tendency to rush through things in my desire to get to the finished product as soon as possible) did me in.
I took a sewing class from Sister Mary Bernadone, a large woman who was fond of saying she read the obituaries every morning to find out if she was still alive. We did some basic stuff and our big project of the semester was to be something of our own choosing that we could wear in the spring fashion show. Ever the girly-girl, I chose a dress with a full skirt that would "twirl," and then an overskirt which was reversible, giving you two possible looks. Sister was excited about the project too.
I guess the dress turned out all right...I don't remember...but I was most excited about the overskirt, which would turn my simple dress into something spectacular.
I had chosen a pink pattern for the dress and for one side of the overskirt and white for the other side (in retrospect that was a bad decision from the get go).
Things were going all right until near the end when it was time to put the waistband on the overskirt. The fabric, double-thick, was heavy and I somehow, in trying to turn it right side out after sewing the two pieces together, managed to make a tear of about 8" down the middle of the white side of the skirt. It ruined the whole thing and it was too late to fix it. We used white iron-on tape, but you could never reverse the skirt because there was that big ol' piece of tape spoiling everything.
In honesty, I don't remember ever wearing that dress.
Here in Davis, in my homemaking days, I decided to take a quilting class. I was really excited about my project, which was to make a Superman quilt for Ned. I'd never done anything like a quilt before. My quilt was to have a blue background and then I appliquéd a larger-than-life Superman, traced from a poster Ned had hanging over his bed. It was great. I used black velvet for his hair and it looked so cool.
The appliqué process went very well and my teacher was looking forward to the finished project, as was I.
But then in my rush to get it all done, I cut the sides of the quilt too narrow. No way to fix that. I did add extra pieces to each side to make it the right width, but my teacher was so disappointed she, like Sister Bernadone, lost all interest in my project.
Ned loved it, though, and tells me he still has it.
That Christmas I made quilts for each of the kids, but the other four got quilts that were made of squares with ironed-on pictures the kids had drawn on them. They were great, but they weren't the show stopper that Ned's was.
I did make another quilt later. We were getting a quilt together for the LaLeche League leader who was moving on to other things. She had been in charge of all the LLL groups in California for years, so I contacted everyone and had them send in squares which I then sewed into a quilt, so large that the only way to take a picture of it was to hold it from the top of our kids' play structure.
The quilt was a big hit and I was happy to have done it. We did another project like that for one of the grammar school teachers when she was about to have a baby. I put that one together too. But the beauty of both of those quilts was in the squares that everyone decorated and sent to me. I was just the seamstress.
Nowadays I don't sew anything, but I did buy a small repair kit and so I unearthed it today to fix my pants leg. I must have the thinnest thread imaginable and the smallest needle eye. Half blind, no depth perception, no great hand-eye coordination and trying to thread the needle would have worked just as effectively as if I had asked a blind person to do it for me. I just have to keep stabbing in the general direction of the eye of the needle and hope somehow that by some miracle I managed to get the thread through it. Too bad it wasn't being filmed--it would have made a great comedy.
I did and I sewed up the hem. Or half of it. I didn't unroll enough thread, so I had to do the "threading the needle" contortions all over again. But in the end, I did get it done. I haven't a clue how long it's going to last.
Walt was out while I was doing my mending (oh that sounds so domestic!) and when he got home, I told him he had missed a once in a lifetime event and that such an opportunity would not occur again. If I didn't hate shopping for clothes so much, I would just have thrown the pants away and bought a new pair, but this pair should last me a bit longer, anyway.
The funny thing about this entry is that I wrote almost the identical entry on August 20, 2010. After I got it posted, I thought I would check to see if I had written anything about sewing before and found the 2010 entry. It's very funny because you'd think that I copied it here--but I didn't! This was written as an original entry. Even all the cute things I said about being girly and Sister Mary Bernadone checking the obits every morning...they're all there in 2010 Obviously my brain was regurgitating from its hard drive! When you start repeating yourself--and don't realize it, maybe it's time to consider quitting!
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