When I was a young mommy working full-time and raising my son, I thought I should make my own clothing. It would save a lot of money. My mom made all my clothing when I was a child. She continued throughout her life to make her own outfits and they were gorgeous and classy.
Now that I was grown up with a job and a toddler, she occasionally — if I begged and pleaded — made something for me. Things I wanted but couldn’t find in the store, or afford if I found them.
I waxed nostalgic about the days when Mom made my clothes. I didn’t appreciate how beautifully everything fit. How special the outfits were until I was much older. When I was a kid, I wanted was to look like everyone else. Kids are dumb that way.
I spent my entire childhood watching my mother sew things on her magic Singer. How hard could it be? I picked up a second-hand sewing machine. Took a sewing class. Bought a few patterns. Acquired fabric, zippers, buttons, threads — all those little widgets and doodads sewing requires.
There were a lot more than I imagined possible. And I made some spiffy new outfits. I was thrilled at how much clothing I could make for a pittance, especially compared to buying it at Macy’s.
People stared at my clothing. Admiration, I figured. They must be impressed. I was right.
Long pause. “You made that yourself?”
“How did you know?”
“Just a lucky guess.”
It turns out that you have to set both sleeves the same way so one isn’t puffy and the other flat. There’s pattern matching too. Oh, and buttons, which are supposed to line up. Zippers are not supposed to stick out and be all bunchy. Also, they are supposed to close so it’s level when zipped.
Details, details. Hems? One length all around. Those pesky collars? Hated collars. They never came out right.
Even is a big word in sewing. Both sides of a garment should be as close to exactly the same as possible. Unless you are oddly shaped or making a costume for a party and intend to look weird.
I took a another course, this time in tailoring. It didn’t go as well as sewing had. You had to use padding and stuff that stiffens fabric. I was never patient enough to get it right.
I gave up making my own clothing and returned to holding my little plastic card and yelling “CHARGE!” as I went into the mall. The sewing machine grew dusty. It is still gathering dust in my dining room.
It’s all closed now. But not wasted. It’s a lovely spare table on which to display dolls. I collect dolls. And no, I do not make their clothing.
I do many things myself. I get up and out of bed by myself. I wash dishes. Write, edit, take pictures, process photos. Pass out treats to dogs. Manage our so-to-speak finances.
Take more pictures. Water plants. Maintain this blog.
That’s pretty good, isn’t it? All by myself I mean?
Oh, and I fix computers, install software and if you need anyone to explain how to use something? I’m your gal. Does anyone need an older, but barely used sewing machine?