No, you can’t really do that, but sewing is a skill that I’m certainly happy to have learned, early. I went to sewing classes at Sears at the Rhode Island Mall, when it was called the Midland Mall. My sister Nancy and I took lessons at the same time. We were dropped off by my mom on Saturday mornings for a two-hour lesson in a tiny room on the second floor of the store. The room was packed with cutting tables and sewing machines.
We had to bring our own patterns, fabric, scissors, thread, notions; the works. My mom took us, probably to Weintraub’s (I think the spelling is correct), to pick out our patterns and fabric. Being an avid seamstress herself she tried to steer us to a project so that we would be successful and limit our frustration in the learning process. It was definitely one of those instances when I didn’t take her advice.
I chose to make a wraparound, hooded jacket from hunter green quilted fabric. If that wasn’t enough, there was trim around the entire edge of the jacket, including the long belt that looped through the back and around to be buttoned to close in the front. There were yards and yards of white braid made of an interesting nylon material that had to be pinned carefully to enclose the raw edges; you’ve never seen so my common pins in one piece of fabric in your life. It took more than one lesson to get that stuff neatly and correctly sewn into place, especially because when I didn’t get it right–stitches had to be torn out and re-sewn.
While my mom could teach us many things and she did; it was clear in between lessons when we had to work on our projects at home, that my mother’s seemingly infinite patience would not extend to teaching us how to sew. I don’t remember the instructor’s name, so, a general thank you goes out to “Where America Shops” (Sears’ slogan in 1976) , and apparently, also learns how to sew.