Friday, April 5, 2013
In fact, the photo above is an outfit I made for my son recently. I still have many of the dresses my Mom made for me when I was little, so of course I had to make something for him, too. It’s my duty as a mom in this family. And I like the way it came out. Of course it’s a little big, and I didn’t do it exactly as the pattern dictated, but it’s done, and he wore it, and it’s cute. Success!
Much of my childhood was spent impatiently standing next to my Mom’s sewing machine as she held a crinkly paper pattern up to me to check the sizing. She made dresses and shirts and nightgowns and anything I needed. In high school she made costumes for my high school musicals and dance recitals. Whenever we went shopping and I saw an item of clothing I liked, she would quickly do the math in her head and then declare, “I could make this for less.” So we would head to the store for fabric and a pattern.
Now that it’s even cheaper to buy clothing, the reasons to make clothes are getting fewer, unless I’m feeling creative. I’m not much of a seamstress but I get by. To this day I still don’t know how to change a pattern to adjust for size, so I just make it and then try it on and hope it fits! And if I don’t understand how to do things the correct way, I just do it somehow and make it work. A real seamstress would cringe, but I don’t care. It’s not about perfection.
So this could be a craft blog, but I'd rather keep the pressure off my creations. The idea of documenting every little step and remembering to take photos and declare myself to be an expert would take the fun out of it. It's the same way I sometimes feel when I'm on vacation with my camera, trying to take gorgeous shots worthy of a future expensive photo book. The camera separates me from the moment; sometimes it's better to just set it down and let the images remain only in my mind.
But back to sewing, a skill that fewer people are learning over time, I’m afraid. I hope those who still know how to sew will pass on its value – its connection to a simpler time, and its loving process that is put into each stitch. My son will know how to sew on a button, and if I show him how to make a Superman cape or Star Wars costume, I bet he just might learn how to use the machine. There is value in that knowledge – it opens a whole world of creativity.