Thursday, September 29, 2011

Things She Told Me: #4

"If you can read, you can sew!"

Mom tried in vain to coax an interest in sewing out of me from the time I was ten or eleven.  She was a very capable seamstress and entirely self taught, a fact which probably motivated her statement. She meticulously followed a pattern, producing amazingly complicated garments; tailored suits, fancy dresses, and jackets. My sister caught the sewing bug which pleased Mom. Unfortunately, I didn't.

I can hem a pair of pants and sew on a button. But, sew as in create a garment?  I once made a straight skirt and thought it a huge amount of work for something that didn't fit too well. No thanks, I'd rather purchase my clothes.

To Mom, sewing was about the challenge. She would rip out a seam and re-do her work to perfection. I would watch her, witness her frustration, observe her tenacity and attention to task. But, I didn't care to take on the challenge myself. I resisted all her efforts to teach me. As an adult, she was still trying to get me interested, offering me one of her sewing machines and looking through pattern books for relatively simple styles.

"If you can read, you can sew!"  represents Mom's general approach to any challenge. Read the instructions and jump in. Anything was possible.

Thanks, Mom.


  1. I used to sew, and I remember feeling quite confident. So I can agree with your Mom. Now, however, I can hardly imagine getting back into it.

  2. I have been sewing since I was about 11. As an adult, I made quite a lot of my 2 daughters clothing (when they were young). I don't really think it had so much to do with reading... there has to be a joy in it.


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