The sound of snow blowers keeps looping incessantly. The brigade of blowers has infiltrated the neighborhood noises, otherwise muffled somewhat by the snow. Meanwhile the snow just keeps comin’ and comin’ like there is no tomorrow. Someone made Mother Nature angry I guess and she felt she had to super-size the snow.
I am happy to have a home and be on the inside looking out, just as complacent and comfortable as this teddy bear pictured above. I sure pity the people who hefted shovelful after shovelful of snow and might just fall asleep from all that exercise at a crucial point in tonight’s big game – beware of landing face first in your bowl of guacamole dip.
The traffic reporters and weather forecasters have been cautioning everyone to stay in and stay off the road. Most cities have declared a state of emergency and you can’t park your car on the street. Most of the schools in our tri-county area are closed tomorrow. On the weather sites I follow on Facebook, in the comments section there is much rejoicing over this snow event and some are asking for even more snow. Meanwhile, I’m tapping my foot, hoping the end is in sight soon. I’m not a fan of the white stuff, despite my heritage.
I skipped a walk, and caught up on my sleep instead, though it was pretty out and might have made for a few good pictures. I decided with all that extra energy, and, since I was hunkered down in the house anyway, I was going to tackle a task I’ve put off for forever it seems.
I know there is not a domestic bone in my body, and if my mother is looking down she is clucking her tongue and saying “well, I told you so …” but cooking and cleaning are not my strongpoints.
Neither is hand sewing.
Well, darn it – I just hate to mend or sew by hand. I have never had the patience for it. But, I had amassed a pile of clothes with missing buttons and a few open seams. Plus, there was the pair of silly sweatpants from the debacle where the string gave way and I nearly lost my pants on the third loop at Council Point Park about a year and a half ago. Oops.
So, I decided that today would be the day to tackle those sewing tasks.
When I took Home Economics class, way back in 8th grade, that class was supposed to prepare us girls to be future homemakers. We learned how to prepare such delicacies as cheesy weenies and the perfect grilled cheese (really?!). We also learned how to iron a man’s shirt and we used a pattern to sew an apron and a simple shift dress. So much for life skills back in the late 60s translating into a modern-day world. But Home Ec was a mandatory class for girls, and the boys had to take shop class.
Our teacher, who had the patience of Job, gave us hands-on lessons on how to thread a needle and do different types of stitches for hand sewing before we ever sat down at the sewing machine. My efforts were abysmal – it seemed I was all fingers … “no Linda, like this” our kindly teacher would coax (probably thinking ‘is this child uncoordinated or what?’).
In between fiddling around with sliding cheese in between pastry-wrapped wieners, I managed to complete two articles of clothing. My mom wore the apron, but that dress was destined for the rag bag. I got a “C-” on the project as I didn’t quite get the hang of “darts” and quite frankly, that spelled the demise of that dress.
But, back in the 70s they did not make clothes for tall girls. I understand my paternal grandmother was very tall – but those genes skipped a generation. My father was 5 feet, 3 inches tall and my mom’s parents were very short. My mom was a mere 5 feet, 2 inches tall. When I went out with my parents, even as a young child, people invariably asked where I came from. The standard response by my parents was “the postie”, which, expression eventually morphed into the American equivalent, “the mailman” once we moved to the States in 1966.
By the time I was a teen, I was 5 feet 9 inches tall and had about a 34-inch inseam. Jeans came in long lengths, so that worked, especially if you wanted them long enough so that you nearly walked on them. But for dress pants, I did not want to look like I was waiting for the floods and bare my ankles for all to see, or have my jackets not reach my wrist bones and look like my clothes belonged to a little sister, so I was forced to sharpen up my clothes-making skills.
To help launch my newfound sewing ambition and to enhance my wardrobe, my parents bought me a sewing machine and console for Christmas the following year. Soon, I began churning out simple pants and blazers that fit perfectly. However, all the hand sewing was accomplished by my mom. I could not baste on the machine either and setting in sleeves was a joke, so she would sew in the sleeves or do the gathering for ruffles on dresses to ensure that they fit properly. I’d work on the blazer and she had to turn the lapels and she always hemmed everything as I was deficient in that skill as well. If it was left up to me, I’d have probably used scotch tape. My finest effort was a ruffled gingham dress that looked like I ran out of material at the bottom – this was the 70s after all, and the skimpier your skirt or dress, the better. Of course, when someone congratulated me on my sewing efforts, I always smiled sweetly and said “thank you”, taking full credit for the creation.
Between reflecting back on my sewing escapades through the years, I finally finished my sewing chores, after stabbing myself with the needle a few times. Funny … I almost abandoned the whole project as I couldn’t thread the needle when I first started out. I had to laugh because my mom, in later years, would sit there at the table, holding her arms outstretched, with the needle and thread a foot or so away from her face, grimacing and cursing under her breath because she couldn’t thread the eye of the needle … so she always called to me to do it.
I probably laughed at her at the time – I’m not thinking it is so funny now though. It took me too many tries to get the thread in that little hole. Only I had to take off my glasses and hold it a few inches from my face. They just don’t make needles as big as they used to, I guess.