It amazes my friends when they learn that I can sew.
“Like buttons? And hems?” Their astonishment knows no end.
My mom was a talented seamstress who fashioned Halloween costumes and prom dresses with the same care and finesse as Diane von Furstenberg might design a gown. She’d layer fabrics and line skirts, creating something from nothing. She’d manage to combine a top from one pattern with a skirt from another to create one-of-a-kind wonders. I’d sit for hours on a stool by her sewing machine and peer over her shoulder in utter awe as she’d thread the fabric through the needles.
Today, I can happily wander a fabric store for hours: leafing through pattern books, examining notions, fingering fine silks and fluffy fleece. Unfortunately, my current sewing projects are limited to an occasional Christmas stocking or a teddy bear sleeping bag. And sewing patches. Let’s not forget the patches.
With three Cub Scouts and a Cub Scout leader husband, each month I sew on a fair number of patches. (For all your novice patch sewers, buy yourself some clear thread. Since the woman at the Cub Scout store introduced me to it, I’ve become unstoppable.)
I try to sew them on the boys’ red felt vest as quickly as they get them. This isn’t to showcase my sewing skills but rather to hide my housekeeping ones. We’re been known to lose a few patches in the mess we like to call “home.”
Tonight at karate, A. tests and earns his yellow belt. The teacher congratulates him and awards him a studio patch to be affixed to the front of his white uniform.
“Sorry, ladies,” she says to my friend and I, “these don’t iron on.”
“I can’t sew,” my friend confesses and laughs in frustration.