Monday, April 16, 2012


Sew goodWorking with a needle and thread is regaining favor as a valued skill By Nancy Arcayna POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Apr 16, 2012
Sewing was once a required skill for females, passed from mother to daughter or taught in home ec classes and by 4-H clubs in the days when store-bought clothes were a luxury.

This appeared in today's Honolulu Star Advertiser and reminded me of a momentous occasion in the sewing lives of my mother and one of my daughters.My daughter came home from school, with a pattern for a blouse and instructions on things she had to buy to make this blouse.

First things first, I know almost nothing about sewing. If forced, I can sew on a button, or put up a hem, but I am useless when it comes to cutting out patterns or (horrors) using a sewing machine. But, my mother learned extensive sewing skills when she was a teenager and apprenticed to a seamstress in her small upstate New York town. My mother took one look at the pattern, said that this was not appropriate for a novice sewer, and my daughter should make another choice. My daughter insisted that the teacher said that anything from this book was OK and she was adamant - this was what she wanted to make.

"But it's cut on the bias," my mother said. And looked to me for help. I had no idea and backed out of the room. So, time passes. My daughter acquired all the materials necessary for this blouse - in yellow - and we heard nothing more about the project until the day before it was due.

"I had to sneak all this home," she said and then asked my mother for help. My mother threw her hands up, took one look at the progress, and got to work.

The next morning, the blouse was finished, and beautiful. She was up all night. My mother ripped out every stitch that my daughter made and resewed the blouse so meticulously that, without a sewing machine, the seams looked as if they were completed on the machine.

By the way, my daughter wore the blouse to school and got an A for the project. Fortunately, my mother also passed the course.

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