Saturday, August 22, 2015

Sew what?

You know you don't need to go to the fabric store but it won't stop calling you--ever since that grandbaby was born two years ago, you've been itching to go in there and get sucked back into the sewing-for-kiddies vortex, the all-consuming desire that leads inevitably to little old ladies waiting an hour for the store to open and then knocking each other over in their race to get to the one rack of calico fabric selling for one dollar a yard. You've been through that scene before, maybe even have yards of lovely fabric still stuffed in a box somewhere waiting until you get around to making something wonderful out of it, except nobody in the house still fits the size of the pattern you bought for that project and when would you have time to sew anyway?

Right now is the answer. Right this weekend you have time to sew: no work until Monday, and besides, you need to do something to keep your mind occupied so you won't brood on all the alarming office news. Besides, what would it hurt to just take a look in the fabric store? You don't actually have to buy anything.

Except you really do. So much cuteness! So many prints! Soft flannel with an owl pattern would make great jammies--but wait, the print is too big for a little girl and the owls would end up chopped up in bits. This great lightweight linen looks bright and summery--but who wants to iron for a two-year-old? Better to get an easy-care jersey print, like this great cornflower blue zigzag stripe enlivened by the zing of fuchsia. Just right to bring out the blue of her eyes! It'll make an adorable tunic paired with blue leggings. Just find the right pattern, thread, buttons, and elastic--and better pick up a ball-point needle just in case you can't find any back home in the sewing cabinet.

Speaking of the sewing cabinet, how long has it been since you've cleaned in there? Better clear the dust out of the sewing machine, then turn it on only to discover that it insists on moving slowly, moaning, and then coming to a stop. Just a drop of sewing machine oil ought to get it going again, but then what will you do about those sewing scissors, so dull they'll never get through the fabric? Good thing you've got a spouse who knows how to sharpen scissors or all that fabric shopping would have been a waste.

Which it may be anyway. You recall that patterns tend to run larger than the same size in ready-made clothes, but this thing looks immense. So you cut it down a bit and spend the afternoon cutting, piecing, stitching, trimming, and in the end you've got an adorable zigzag tunic that looks about three sizes too big plus a pair of leggings that look like they'd fit on a Barbie doll. You won't be seeing the little imp for another week so you can't even try the clothes on her. What if they don't fit?

Fortunately, she won't go naked. She has plenty of clothes and her mom can always make more, so it won't exactly be a disaster if the new outfit doesn't work. Your granddaughter doesn't really need you to spend your Saturday shopping, cutting, stitching, trimming, and straining your eyes to thread the needle, but who cares? Remember: you're not sewing because she needs it but because you do.

So go ahead and sew. Consider it therapy: it's more effective than brooding, and you just might end up with something cute.     

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