I love to sew. It’s so rewarding to create clothing or household items from scratch. I have my mom to thank for teaching me her extensive skills, and my faithful Elna sewing machine that was my college graduation present and has served me well ever since. When the kids were little, I added a serger and went to town creating sweatsuits, t-shirts, pajamas and Zubaz (remember those?) for just pennies. As work became more demanding and our income rose, my sewing took a holiday while I focused on family time. But retirement has given me the opportunity to resume, and grandchildren are the perfect excuse to dust off those sewing machines.
My first foray into this renewed sewing venture was pajamas. Each year for Christmas I would make matching pajamas for our three children. You’d be surprised at how old they were by the time that tradition was set aside! This time I started with slipper-jammies. You know, the soft fluffy kind that have feet and zip
up from one ankle to the neck. And I’ve now doubled the ante – one set with Christmas designs to wear leading up to Christmas (and beyond since their mom is as practical as I am) and another in a winter motif to find under the tree. We’ll see if that keeps up as the number of grandchildren grows…
Next I need to fire up the serger again. I’m sure I will need to re-educate myself on how to thread it and the intricacies of how to do the different stitches. I have vivid memories of how tricky it is to get all four spools threaded properly and get good stitches going. I’ll need patience, I know. I was amazed, though, at the dearth of knit fabrics and ribbing available in the stores now. Did women give up their sergers? I used to have volumes of bolts to choose from, with all sorts of patterns and colors. Whatever happened to sweatshirt material, or interlock?
Sewing in general seems on the downswing. I will admit with some regret that I did not foster my daughter’s sewing skills to the same degree. Fabric stores have closed by the dozens, particularly those that were dedicated to sewing alone. How well I remember going down to Minneapolis from Duluth just to shop at Amluxen’s downtown. They had at least two floors full of fabrics, and I always saved my money to buy my favorite fabric there – Pendleton wool. There was no finer wool or more beautiful plaids. But then again, we dressed differently in those days, and had more use for those formal fabrics.
I’ve never been big on following trends, so I’ll hang in there and keep sewing as long as I can find fabric. And it’s time to get going on those PJs that go under the tree.