Last week was a big week for me, dear readers. Not only did I go out on Wednesday to Meg’s for a clothing swap, I also went to EC’s on Thursday night for sewing. About a year ago she started hosting an information sewing night for the less-than-capable-with-a-sewing-machine-crowd. EC is mad crafty, but while I like to think I am, I really just read about people being crafty or buy their goods. Anyway, thanks to EC, her neighbor and Meg, I’m now about a C+ on the sewing machine.
Since I don’t take out my sewing machine except for these planned evenings, I generally spend a fair amount of time re-learning how to thread the darn thing, but then slowly work my way through a project for Miss Red. She’s worn a few wonky tops, but she’s little and can’t tell and little kid clothing is cuter and I think easier to work on than adult clothing. We took one of the tops I made out of an old pillowcase to Japan, and she wore it in one of my favorite pictures.
Back to my non-story. I ended up doing my first clothing “hack” – I cut the top off of a sun dress that got too stretchy and decided to make it into a skirt. I am an insanely slow sewer and it took me three hours. But it’s comfy and I wore it all day Monday, when it reached 90 degrees in our little hamlet.
What I love so much about the sewing nights is that it feels like stolen time. We meet at EC’s house after our kids have (allegedly) gone to bed. She makes great appetizers and we bring over food or wine. We catch up and I get to learn new things each time I go. I forget a lot of what I learn, but when I’m shown the next time I remember a little longer. I love that I’m learning from my friends. I love that there’s always a new person joining in, knitting or quilting or sewing. I love the swearing at machines and tangled threads. And I love that there is usually something produced at the end.
In my job I am lucky that I can often see the culmination of my efforts – a story placed, published, produced – but as soon as it’s done, it’s done. Sewing something for Miss Red, even out of an old pillowcase, or unevenly sewing a new-to-me skirt gives me a goofy smile. Each time I complete something I hold it up, and like I am five, show it to the group. With uneven edges, or threads hanging every which way, they cheer for me. I go home, often close to midnight, high on creation. I am proud when I hang a new shirt in Miss Red’s closet, or put new curtains on our windows. I am proud that I am learning a skill I can hopefully share with Miss Red. I am proud that I can learn from my friends. I want Miss Red to see her mama try new things and new experiences, and that it’s OK if you’re really only OK at something, as long as you tried and had a good time with your friends along the way.