God loves a good set of collars

Okay, so I don’t sew. I think everyone who knows me knows that I feel about sewing the way most people feel about finding a dead rat in their food. I just don’t connect with the sewing machine.

Oh, I know how to sew, I just don’t do it very often. It has something to do with my childhood. I took the prescribed Home Ec class–which only the girls were required to do, by the way–and we learned how to make an apron. I worked hard on that apron and I was proud of every lop-sided, poorly cut inch of it. Then, I discovered it was a trick. They taught you to sew the apron, then they wanted you to put it on…and learn to cook. I don’t do cooking either!

After that, I avoided Home Ec until finally, my mother made me a deal: if I took an independent sewing class, no more pressure to be in Home Ec. I happily went for four weeks to lessons on patterns, construction, sewing and finishing a garment and at the end of that time, I ended up with a dress. I was proud of that dress and I decided school pictures that year should be in that dress. So, I have a school picture of me, with my hair out of my face for a change, wearing a dress that was so poorly constructed that it was randomly pleated across the front–the pattern didn’t call for any pleats!

Thus, I left sewing behind–until I had children. Even then, the sewing projects were few and far between. When my older daughter got married, she thought it would be fun to sew the wedding dress and bridesmaids outfits. She was wrong. Thanks to her grandmother, she managed to construct the wedding dress, but I was in charge of six bridesmaid’s dresses, complete with tons of black flounces on the skirts. I dreamed about those bridesmaids dresses for years afterward, including the recurring dream where I cursed and swore at the sewing machine until it reached out and slapped me.

That brings us to my latest projects. As each of my grandchildren have been born, I have sewed them a christening outfit from material left from their mother’s wedding dress. We had a LOT of that material left over and it’s a good thing, because I have used a great deal in trying to make those outfits. Usually it ends up requiring me to rip it out or re-cut pieces before I put together an outfit.

The older two boys wore their outfits with no complaint, but then, they were a month or two old at the time…what did they know? Now that I’m working on a third, I am hoping for the same lack of criticism of the outfit, mostly because the child won’t be talking yet.

I chose this pattern because it had cute collars on the outfit and looking back on that decision, I can only suppose I was intoxicated at the time, and that’s quite a feat because I don’t drink..yet. Give me a couple more weeks with this outfit and those “cute” collars, and I may hit the bars!

After days of cutting, re-cutting, sewing, ripping out and some pretty good guesswork (everyone knows that pattern instructions are written in Klingon) I have managed to construct…the collars, and I attached them to the top. I only made seven mistakes and you are welcome to find them if you can.

In the meantime, I’m trying to figure out how to convince my daughter and the latest grandson that God will be perfectly satisfied with just a set of collars set imperfectly into a top…without sleeves. When I’m done with this outfit, I’m going to sell my sewing machine; that is, if I don’t fling it through a window first!

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