It hasn’t happened yet. Someday, it will.
In the meantime, I take great pleasure in performing minor miracles with textiles. I can take my children into the fabric store and talk to them about color, texture, washing instructions. We talk about how the piece will be used. They mostly enjoy looking at all the buttons, but my son can tell you the difference between tulle and satin, and discriminate between different types of corduroy. I never mentioned that most men cannot describe fabric in much detail.
For most special occasions, I make something for my kids. I posted about the dress I made for Gladys for the pig roast. I notice I never posted about the collared shirt I made for Andrew for the same event – the one with the pigs on motorcycles. He wore it to school on black & pink day. Yes, my husband already has a couple crazy collared shirts, only after he begged me for over a year. (He wears them. Gasp!).
It made perfect sense that I would make a jumper for Gladys’ first day of school, so I did. I took her to the fabric store on Andrew’s first day of school (I posted about that day, you would have never guessed I made it to the fabric store too, but you wouldn’t have believed me). She picked out bright pink baby cord for a jumper. She wanted hearts. She wanted lots of colors.
“Mom, I want green, and red, and orange, and brown too. I want all the colors.”
“Hearts. I like hearts.”
Her favorite little stretch pants are covered in brightly colored hearts. They became the perfect inspiration. Of course, it is my job to take all of her specifications and come up with something that is actually really nice. I want her to like it, but I also want me to like it. Sometimes, that is a bit of a challenge. I page through catalogues and go on-line to check out new designs. Then, I try to find a pattern that is anywhere close to what I want. This time, I had to alter the pattern quite a bit. Pattern companies don’t seem to move quite as quickly as styles. I always change something. On the other hand, I am just a little nutty, so perhaps there is more challenge in changing things just a bit. Read it how you will.
So, this is the jumper I made for Gladys’ first day of school. She loves it. She named her hearts after each member of the family.
While in San Francisco, I had the pleasure of wandering through Britex, on my list of favorite fabric stores. I bought a few little things in the remnant section, as if I don’t have enough to do. Today, my very good friend here asked me to help her with her daughter’s costume. Tomorrow, we will go shopping together for her daughter and also for my son’s Halloween costume, a scary green monster. One that will “scare everyone in our neighborhood.”
I feel certain that my kids instinctively know what I like and pick something outside of my expertise. I used green fur once in the mid-80’s. I recall that it was a hassle. If it is going to be a green monster, I had better start tomorrow. I am working on Gladys to pick something easy (like maybe her costume from last year, which is fabulous). George will not be given a choice. You do have to talk first.
We have a tradition in our house that I “unveil” the costumes just before our first Halloween party. My husband and I pull out a big mirror and dress the children with their eyes closed. They open their eyes at the same time, to see themselves and each other magically transformed. It is a minor miracle of textiles, with a bit of psychological advantage thrown in.
So, I will tell you exactly what my sister will tell me when I talk to her on the phone. She is by far a more accomplished seamstress. I can hear her teasingly sarcastic voice now.
“Right. Good luck with that.”
Yeah, I know. Next year I’ll just buy them . . . no, I won’t. I won’t until I finally get that sideways glance from my kids.
It will come. Someday, it will.