Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The sewing gene kicks in -- with a vengence


Wednesday, March 5, 2008


Before I hit 50, I was more than happy to buy my clothes. The saleswomen at Saks and Macy's all knew me by name, and my closet was filled with beautiful things -- elegant jackets from Ellen Tracy Petite, Gucci's Jackie-O hobobag, you get the picture. But then we left the big city, and life changed.


My father's father, who died before I was born and for whom I was named, was a tailor. He sewed an elegant robe for my father made of burgundy silk, which my father kept until the day he died. My father's sister had married into the family of a famous dress designer from the 50s, Ceil Chapman. And my mother's mother, who once worked in a garment sweatshop and loved to sew, had an impressive stockpile of discarded fabric scraps from Ceil Chapman evening gowns stashed in her dresser. As a child I played with these scraps of velvets and silk and grew up with the crazy notion that fabric was free.


Until two years ago I had made only a few sporadic attempts at learning to sew. At ten I sewed a simple black sheath for Barbie that turned out surprisingly well. At twenty-five, I attempted a pleated skirt with $80/yard imported wool but quickly abandoned the project. In my 30s I made simple home dec projects with a needle and thread. And in my 50s I took up the glue gun, which worked surprisingly well for pillows and seat cushions.


Then two years ago, I asked my husband to buy me a sewing machine so I could retire my glue gun. I never imagined my house and my closets would soon be filled with the things I'd made. And I never imagined that my sewing hobby would become such an important part of my life.

6 comments:

Connie Bontje said...

Let me be the first to welcome you to blogdom!!!!

nancy2001 said...

Thank you Connie. Nancy

Keely said...

Somehow Blogger ether lost my comment so this time I'll content myself with Welcome to blogdom!

nancy2001 said...

Thank you Keely. I'm looking forward to writing more entries. I think this is going to be fun.

Paula said...

It looks like you're off to a great start. Congratulations!

nancy2001 said...

Thank you, Paula.

Sewing adventures and misadventures