Growing up the only girl who sewed in our family, I learned to use a needle early and often. It was as easy for me as using the broom to sweep. My sister would press seams however I asked her to press them but she did not want to sew. She also did not want anything made at home on a sewing machine. She wanted “store bought” clothes.
To me, sewing was a duty but it was also a comfort and a mode of self-expression. To my sister, it meant we were poor.
The first project of any magnitude I took on was the making of a quilt for the bed I shared with my sister. I was eight years old and my sister was seventeen.
By the time I finished that quilt top my mom decided I was experienced enough to begin making clothes. I made a pair of pajamas for myself and felt so proud as I wore those “baby doll” pj’s for sleeping. From that time on, there was no holding me back. I chose patterns and fabrics and created my own dresses, blouses, skirts, and yes sleeping outfits. I had fun doing it then and still enjoy the process of creating. Where my sister looked on it as “home made” I always saw it as custom made just for me.
In the summertime, I sat on the front porch to hem a skirt or sew the binding on the edge of a quilt. Lots of hand work was finished while porch sittin’ and visiting with family or friends.
In all the things I’ve made in my lifetime I never have felt that I was “showing off” by showing my sewing projects to others but like I’m making a statement about myself, about my skill, my patience, my ability to endure endless days of hard work and tedium for the sake of the pattern and of the whole project. In a way, I feel that it ultimately shows a sense of my value as a human being. I will leave behind things that others enjoy having and using. That gives me a sense of accomplishment.
And it is FUN to sew and create things. Yes, the panties you see on this page were made by me. You may be wondering by this time what my sewing machine and I are working on now and I have to say I’ve just created this mermaid quilt top! When you are tired of being a mommy or a teenager or a kid or a whatever you’re tired of being, then just sit down, throw this little quilt over you and be a mermaid.
Isn’t sewing, and imagination, fun?