My mother was a professional seamstress. At one point in her career, she worked at what my family always referred to as "The Factory." The Factory was a place where they made bras. I believe it was -- at least at one point in time -- called Warner's. At least two of my aunts also worked there, though I'm clear on whether or not they all worked there at the same time. I think my Aunt Polly was the last to work there. Aunt Polly and I click. She gets me. The Factory is closed now, and time still marches on.
Anyway, my mom not only sewed there, she was a tailor, a designer, and seamstress. She can do anything. Reupholster furniture, tear down walls, make baby clothes, quilts, coats, dresses, pants, etc. The most memorable -- and the tale I tell most -- is the time she sewed for a rock band:
It was the 70's. I was probably ten, and I remember vividly watching my mom sew this amazing silver fabric with fringe all week long. And finally, there in my kitchen stood a real-life rocker. Guys who sang the kind of music that my best cousin would listen to five or six years later. Guys with long hair--before Bon Jovi was around to make big hair cool. There they were, in my kitchen, trying on these cool outfits with fringe on the arms that swayed when they moved. It was awesome.
Because my mom is awesome.
And probably that is why I never learned to sew.
Oh, I took Home Economics in junior high school. South Junior High School in Belleville, Michigan, thank you very much. We were to sew several projects. A bag, using a drawstring closure (my sister has the one she made--and was using it just four days ago!!). And an item of clothing. I chose a dress.
I chose this lovely, perfectly-purple knit fabric. I wanted a dress that looked like T shirt, with a belt to tie around the waist. But I was terrified of a pattern. Terrified.
And I remain that way today.
In junior high I used STITCH WITCHERY to hem my dress. It's this product that lets you iron together pieces of fabric. My teacher was not impressed.
So, here I am. Sitting at my computer ninety minutes after I entered my craft room to begin work on a quilt. But I'm terrified of a pattern, and I can't figure out what a selvage is. Pathetic.
What I wonder is: when my mom was creating all those magical things with her Singer, why wasn't I paying attention to the how-to? Instead, I was dreamy eyed by the creative end!
So, instead of sewing, I'm typing. Cause I love to write.
But I'm determined to love to sew.
Wish me luck!