Home Ec Fail

My daughter and I sewed a pillow tonight. That may sound mundane to some of you but let me be clear that this is a huge accomplishment for me….not so much for her as she is already ahead of me as a seamstress, but it is big for me.

I was not a student excited about Home Ec class; I wanted nothing to do with cooking, figuring out what color palette looked best on me, grocery shopping lessons, or budgeting. But the subject that frustrated me the most was definitely sewing. I just don’t get it. The patterns make zero sense to me. Pinning the stuff to the pattern (that is something you do, right?) just seemed like a waste of time plus I always stuck myself with the stupid pins. Forget about translating the pattern to actual fabric, that was just nonsense in my brain.

My teachers from junior high up through high school inevitably relented and helped me get my project ready for the sewing machine and then I’m sure they cringed because I can break a sewing machine in no time at all. In fact, I recently broke my mother-in-law’s sewing machine within 5 minutes of sitting down and hadn’t sewn a single stitch!

The sewing itself should have been fairly simple with the technology-enhanced machines available at our school but pushing the fabric through slowly and in a straight line requires a type of patience I simply don’t possess. Add to that the constant bunching and knotting of the thread, my inability to remember to remove the pins, and the attention I needed to pay to the hilariousness of my friends trying to sew around me and you can understand why Home Ec was a difficult class for me.

By my senior year (no, I’m not sure why I kept taking these classes but they kept showing up on my schedule), the teacher had relegated me to using the basting machine only. I’m not entirely sure what this machine does or why I was capable of using it but I can tell you that I churned out a number of knit pants that semester! Too bad the tunic and leggings look was out of style by then…..

With this background knowledge, let me tell you again that my daughter and I sewed a pillow today. (Thank you for the bright smiles and applause.) She sewed a bit with  my friend over the weekend and declared that she knows how to sew and wanted to sew some things. So, I put her off as long as I could and then dusted off the little pink sewing machine another friend had handed down to us a couple of years ago. I have to admit that I was terribly nervous that I would never figure out how to thread the stupid thing and we would have to wait for Daddy and I would be a complete failure. Luckily, instructions written for pre-teens are fairly easy to follow and I was able to thread the machine with little difficulty and no swearing.

I then found a swatch of fabric I had purchased for who knows what reason and realized we could fold it over, sew three sides, and make a pillow. Holy crap, we could actually make a pillow. It is not pretty, it is not perfect, and the stitches will likely not hold through the night, but we made a pillow and I am very proud of myself…I mean….her.


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