Monday, March 2, 2009


I learned to sew from my mother, who didn't love it and my grandmother, who did. Funny as it seems, I learned more from my mother. One important thing, perhaps the most important, I didn't really understand at the time.

My mother didn't waste time because she didn't enjoy sewing. The quickest way to be done is to get started. That kind of attitude is very freeing. You don't worry if it's the right fabric for the task, if you have the right color thread, what to do when the pattern calls for a 9" zipper and you have a 7", or if your skills are up to the task. You just go for it - with what you have right now and it seemed to work out.

I was drawn to sewing, but I wanted perfection and would get frustrated and set it aside for periods of time. But, I was drawn to it and kept coming back. In time, I learned to love sewing, but only when I gave up trying to make what I thought other people would think 'perfect'. Perfect is in the eye of the beholder. Only when you create for your eye can you achieve anything close to perfection. This is the thing I didn't understand at the time, but realize I learned from my mom's approach to sewing.

So, thanks to my Mom, who didn't love to sew but taught me anyway, now I can't imagine my life without it. It is soothing, and satisfying in ways that I'm not sure I can fully describe.

I recently re-discovered this book, a gift from my grandmother in the 70's, who recognized the seamstress lurking deep in my soul, I think. It was way over my head at 10, but was a great resource. It was pretty fun to read through again. Amazing really how much useful, good information this little book contains. It's a three ring binder, with tabbed sections like 'layout and cut a pattern'; 'tailor a jacket'; 'fit your pattern'. Thanks to my mom's mom from whom I received my sewing gene.


  1. Hi Marsha, I love this post! I agree too that the get it done attitude has helped me to accomplish more with what I have and to be more creative and resourceful. I tend to get stuck in the "have to have the perfect color, size, length" of something and that definitely takes the joy out of sewing when I obsess like that. I love the cover of that book too!! What a treasure to possibly pass on someday!

  2. oh, and I wanted to say how uncanny it is that this post and my post about the sewing class a day later are SOOO related in thought..... very cool. there must be a lot of women out there that need to hear the message of perfection vs. joy!


Thank you for sharing your kind thoughts!