I’m sure that proper, good mothers are able to sew well and mend their children’s clothes when they need patching, darning or stitching. Indeed they probably make all their children’s clothes and do smocking and pleating and make their kids look like little dolls. I think I did make one dress for my daughter when she was little, but she seemed to find it uncomfortable and preferred to wear things that were unattractive. (Her taste in clothes has improved immeasurably over the years.) Although I have not been a great mother with regard to sewing, my daughter seems to hold some faint hope that I might have improved over the years. Last night, on the eve of Mothers Day, she brought me a jersey for fixing – not a difficult job, just stitching up a seam. I asked her why she didn’t do it herself. She shrugged and suggested it was a mother’s job. Over the years I have ruined many a hem of her jeans and trousers. Her reasoning was that if I had given her the bad genes for short legs, the least I could do was shorten her trousers. This reasoning appeared to trump the evidence of a bad quality job. And so again, because it’s a mother’s job, I should fix the jersey and make myself worthy of my mothers day lunch.
Here now is the proof my not so shiny aspect. Apart from the fact that it takes me about half an hour to thread a needle, peering through my glasses and stabbing thread at an eye that is non-existant, there are the tools of the trade.
I got my sewing box when I was in standard 5. I was 11 years old. I am now nearly 60. Granted that things were better made back in the day and all that, but the most likely cause of my sewing box’s longevity is its lack of use. And now look at the contents if you would:
- 3 spools of black thread – why?
- embroidery needles – embroidery!
- some hooks and eyes – never used
- a box of pins, many of which are rusty
- a measuring tape that is so worn that you can barely see the numbers, and they are in inches rather than centimetres
- a small piece of used black elastic – could be useful
- two lethal stabbing instruments that I think I was persuaded to buy by a con man in the Durban market who showed how you could produce fabulous works with scraps of wool, old fabric and these magical stabbers
- orange cotton which will not be persuaded to blend in with anything that I have ever tried to sew, including the latest jersey from my daughter.
I know it is nobody’s fault but mine that I am so badly equipped in the sewing department, but I somehow feel that someone else should take responsibility for this unfair situation. I do not plan to remedy the situation. In fact I may bequeath my sewing box and its contents to my daughter and ask her to do my mending from now on.