Monday, August 06, 2007


Before Rosie was born, I indulged in some nesting instincts and bought sewing patterns for baby clothes, along with pretty fabrics, notions, ribbons, pastel colored thread, the works. I don't know what I was thinking, because, while the idea of sewing is attractive to me, I don't sew. Ultimately, the only thing I managed to create for Rosie was a rectangle of fleece where I "sewed" on a satin edging using the zig-zag stitch on my machine. Woo! I rock! I am seriously so proud of that blanket. It was made by me! Heirloom-quality stuff. ;-D

Anyway, on that same shopping trip, I saw some fabric unlike any other (even storekeepers in Hawaii thought I was nuts when I asked for shirts with monkeys): here it was, a Hawaiian shirt pattern with CHIMPANZEES. Perfect for AJS! He loves monkeys (he's monkeyrotica, duh), and he be wearin him some Hawaiian shirts all weekendz long, so putting the two together would be a treasure! But, like I said, I don't sew. I got as far as pinning on the patterns and cutting out the fabric, but then got stumped when confronted with step 1, building the left breast pocket. The ironing, the inscrutable Singer, all of it just resulted in me backing away slowly.

This evening, after repairing a strap on one of Rosie's dresses, I decided to go looking for the monkey-shirt-scraps and found them! 5 years later, I have sewn on a pocket. By hand, no ironing, because that's the kind of gal I am. Why bring out large electrical equipment requiring outlets and surfaces, when I can collapse into the couch and listen to TV while stitching? And when it is done, I have no doubt that AJS will wear this shirt with pride, F'ed-up wobbly, hand-stiched seams and all.

I might drag out the Singer if I want to finish it within the next 5 years, but I really need somebody to show me how to use it. I lost the manual, to make things worse. Any takers?

BTW, I never did a thing with the baby clothes patterns. They were cherished and adored in concept only. That was enough.


  1. Oh yeah, I have a small shoe box full of patterns for sleepers and nightgowns. I swear, though, someday I will learn to sew. I really want to make little sundresses for the girls. That's all they want to wear all summer long, but at $10-15 each, it sucks!


  3. You need wait for chimp shirt, monkee!

    And V, I have lovely memories of sundresses that my grandmother made for my sister and me. They were tubes of fabric with little straps that you tied over the shoulders. Do you really need a pattern for that? Just measure the circumferences of A, Em, and El, respectively, sew 3 seams each and, get some ribbon or something for straps! Done.

  4. ..and there's the quilt i started for BC before jools was born. it has hardly been touched since i went into labor...over 4 years ago. and boy, is BC MAD. she wants her quilt. dammit.

  5. I think we had a sewing machine for a while, too, but I could never figure out how to use it. More specifically, I could never work up the courage to turn it on. They kind of scare me.

  6. I had the same problem with pressure cookers. I quickly lost my fear the first time I made braised beef shortribs with mushrooms in red wine. Just use the all-purpose E-Z-2-READ Litany Against Fear:

    I must not fear.
    Fear is the mind-killer.
    Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
    I will face my fear.
    I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
    And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
    Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
    Only I will remain.

  7. Once you get the hang of it, it's pretty easy. Just going slow and sticking to simple patterns.. My girlfriends and I used to have a pattern for quick capri pants and a cute little a-line shirt with no sleeves.. Well, all of us could make those pants in about 30 minutes after awhile.. Thursday night, 5 dollars worth of fabric/ elastic for the waist band and have em ready for the football game on friday. I wonder if YOUTUBE might have some instructions..


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