Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Deception


As some of you know, I have a wonderful family. My parents have been married for forty years, all of my aunts and uncles and cousins live in the same area and we all get together at the holidays with no drama, I enjoy their company, and so on. There was, however, some major deception going on during my childhood. The women of my family seem to have conspired to make me think that sewing was easy.

My mom made lots of my clothes when I was a child. My grandmas both made countless quilts, doll accessories, and pillows. In fact, one day when I was staying with my grandma, my Cabbage Patch Kid got a brand new pair of plaid seersucker pajamas, with a collar and buttons and everything. My grandma sketched out a pattern on some old newspaper, and voila! There they were! My sister has always been good with a sewing machine, too.

As I got a little older, though, I found out that to get a simple dress, there were about 736 steps to follow, most of which I found to be supremely annoying. The excitement of finding a pattern and some cool material fizzled when I had to sit down and cut out all the teeny tiny pieces and then pin them down and then cut them out and then mark them...And then you have to thread the machine, which I still cannot do, even though my mother has shown me about 4,083 times and I even own my own sewing machine. I am just not that patient.

I have had a few sewing successes, though. One Christmas I secretly made myself a skirt by sewing a little bit each night. I was only able to do this because a) I had made the same skirt at least three other times, and b) my sister was home on break and could help me. When I was done, I wrapped up the skirt and put it under the tree. I opened it and acted mystified, and my mom was confused, too. She was even more confused when I explained that I had made it--which shows that even my mother knows I am not much of a seamstress (and also that my parents are not light sleepers since I was using the machine every night right across the hall). I can also make a mean curtain, as long as the lines are straight and my mom has threaded the machine for me. I got a lot of practice because my first classroom had eleven windows.

Finally, though, I have found my calling: felt. You may have seen cookies like the ones pictured above on several blogs lately. They are not hard to make at all. In fact, Holly's daughter made one, and she's four. The awesome thing about felt is that there is hardly any way to make it look bad. My stitches are uneven and I made my pattern from a cookie cutter, and they still turned out cute! I got a little carried away, but Jack has enjoyed selling me cookies each day, so it has worked out fine. I have been so excited to find something I can sew that doesn't require my machine that today I spent about half an hour making a huge list of things I think would be cool to make out of felt. I may have a little problem.

(And Mom, I also have some material to make a puppet show curtain, but I can't figure out how to thread my machine. Seriously.)

4 comments:

Amber said...

Same story here!! I think my grandmother made every wedding dress in the county and my mom sewed for people out of our house. My Barbie wore nicer clothes than I did. I. Can't. Sew. Well, if it's a straight line and my husband threads the machine I can! Yep, my husband. My mom taught him so he could sew on his own patches for his uniform. I like your felt hearts. I may have to try those!

Anonymous said...

Didn't we find your direction book for that sewing machine when I sewed something for you once when I was there? Can't remember what I sewed now? Loved the hearts. RWBGMA Did YOU take that picture of that tornado??????

Michele said...

Jen,
You're post made me laugh! I could have written it! My mom and grandma are excellent seamstresses. I had four years of 4-H sewing and I still fight with my sewing machine. We have a love/hate relationship, most it loves to make me hate it! :)
My mom and grandma are disapppointed that the sewing gene skipped me. My mom made my wedding gown and my grandma made so many wedding gowns growing up it wasn't funny.
I love felt too. Oh and I can crochet! I have been wanting to make some of those hearts. I still have a couple of days. I think your's look fantastic!

Angela said...

Oh my goodness this was laugh out loud funny for me b/c it IS TOTALLY ME! Can't sew to save my life! I tried once and bought a sewing machine with full intentions of learning however after my first few projects totally failed, I called it quits. Now the sewing machine remains in the box in the garage where I plan on keeping it for quite sometime! My first project was a pillow. Simple enough, right? WRONG! Felt like a complete idiot once my mom showed me but I'm like you unless it is a straight line curtain ~ I'm out!