Thursday, June 08, 2006

Sewing: A lost dream

Lying at the bottom of my chest of drawers, hidden away from inquisitive husband and kids who just wouldn't understand, is a Kachhehra. Let me be truthful and rephrase that. There are pieces of a white cotton cloth.
These various pieces look especially impressive, because I cut them out using a pair of those zig-zaggedly scissors that make you look like you know what you're doing. Unfortunately, my sewing expertise sputtered out soon after, as I started trying to decipher the inscrutable pattern directions; given by mom-in-law.
Before I could intersect with the interfacing, I found I was unable to salvage the selvage. Spools spun off the top of the machine, needles broke, and the only thing I wanted to know about naps was when I could take one.
Are you lost? Me, too.
So I stuffed my $50 worth of material, laces and collection of my shiny buttons in that bottom drawer and headed for Wal-Mart to repalce my new love of sewing with old love of shopping. That was several years ago. Since I don't have any more time to nurture my hobbies, I guess I've missed my window of opportunity. But I just can't seem to make myself toss that pile of ‘precious’ piecework.
When I first got married 13 years ago, I decided it was my duty to do everything from scratch. This is a ridiculous concept, of course. I don't remember walking into my first job and demanding a typwriter instead of a computer. So why did I think I had to sew my own clothes, make ‘paneer’ at home and cross stitch the bedsheets?
Don't worry that you'll slide off the Singhni’s Homemaker scale if you attempt the same activities, with disastrous results. Decide on a few new tasks you'd like to master, not because of some perfect mother mental image, but because you really want to learn this particular skill and you have an affinity for it.
It's not time for a crash course in Home Economics 101. Leave fretting over which detergent gets whites the brightest to those fictional ladies on TV. The ‘love you have for your children’ is your most important tool in raising them.
As I finger the zigzagged pieces of my unfinished kachhehra, I know I'm not really looking at failure. A lot of affection went into this little trial, even if the project didn't turn out exactly as planned.
As I start to put it in the bag for Amrit, good friend of mine, who does stitching for living, then inspiration strikes. I've got it! I'll save it for my daughter, who is almost 10… surely she will have figured out faster than me.
Nah. Showing some self-control, I wrap up the pattern and pieces to give to Amrit. Let's see how many other mothers are gifted in that area. Meanwhile, I'm going to go, check on my daughter’s Math home work…..that's something I'm good at!


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