I am good at many things, not to brag, but I am also self aware enough to admit when I can’t do something. Here is a funny story about a time when I tried to learn to sew. It’s a rainy, cold Tuesday – I thought we could all use a laugh.
Once when JoAnne and I were living in our tiny basement apartment in the middle of nowhere and bored out of our minds during a particularly bad winter, I mentioned I sucked at sewing. JoAnne said I just had never been taught well. I told her some stories about how my mother gave up on teaching me and that I did not even sew my laundry bag properly in home economics and she said it was because the teachers were not patient with me.
I had a new boyfriend and Valentine’s Day was approaching so I decided I needed to make him boxer shorts. JoAnne told me about the most simple patterns and was excited to have a sewing student. We had fun buying cheap but attractive fabric and putting all of our necessary tools out in our space: sewing machine, thread, needles, fabric cutters, chalk and of course vodka.
She was an INCREDIBLE teacher! She did not yell like my mother and she did not roll her eyes like my home economics teacher. She quietly observed my mistakes and then would show me how to fix them. She checked the machine to see if it was malfunctioning when my seams were oh so crooked. She taught me how to thread the needle into the machine and what to do when I accidentally for the umpteenth time sewed over the pins or pulled on the fabric too hard. She complimented me on my strengths – I was very good at pinning and excellent at cutting the fabric. In fact, she said I cut much nicer than her. She was so good at eyeballing she rarely worried about how she cut her fabric (or so she said maybe to boost my confidence?).
Hard at I might, I was atrocious. We did manage to make several pairs of boxers. She made one in no time and I struggled for hours to make mine. Slowly, I think it dawned on JoAnne that sewing was not for everyone. A few times in our lives we did sew together again but I mostly did the prep work and she did the actual sewing.
I truly think that our brains develop in ways that allow us strengths in one area but maybe not in another. I know geniuses exist who can do a lot of great things at once but if we were to study them I am sure we would see they lack in other areas. For this reason I can say that I suck at sewing without disrespecting myself. I TRIED sewing on many occasions with and without my BFF and the results were simply not good.
While my boyfriend (who is now my husband) appreciated the gesture and one of the boxers held up the test of time – as I wear one of them even today – he has never asked me to sew them anything else. I make sure to take my alterations and costume making needs to people who are more talented. I do find the need to learn how to hem more and more being short so I may dust off my sewing machine and do some Youtube tutorials so I can learn how. But I will do so knowing my ineptitude in sewing.
I am in awe of JoAnne and her skills as well as her two sisters and their sewing skills. One sister had her own embroidery business and the other is a master figure skating costume maker, dress maker and fashion designer goddess. She dressed my daughters in some of the prettiest baby outfits and dresses. When my eldest wanted to dress up as a made up character – “Bat-arina” for her enchanted garden birthday party Auntie D whipped up an incredible outfit. When Belle became her favorite character, the most AMAZING Belle costume was gifted to her and she wore it for YEARS and then her sister wore it for as long as she could. Everywhere we went people lost their minds about how incredible it was. More importantly, it was comfortable and not itchy. Most kids’ costumes are usually made of horrid material that irritate their skin. I do not hold onto anything as I am not very sentimental about objects but I am saving that gown JUST IN CASE one of them has a kid and then she/he can enjoy it as well.
Case in point? Some people are talented in areas that others are not. I am humble in admitting sewing is not my strength. If you want a sentence diagrammed to death I’m your gal though. LOL
I took too many photos and did a really lousy job of archiving them so I only have these two, but I PROMISE my second kid was loved too. LOL Just focus on the details on these outfits and ignore my failure as a mom.