Home economics was never going to be my major in college. I wasn’t cut out to be a chef or a seamstress.
In middle school, I took home economics and it was a complete disaster. We had to make and eat a dish that involved a tomato – not my favorite food. I helped make it, but that wasn’t enough to satisfy my teacher. I had to eat it as well to get a passing grade. I refused . . . and then failed that section of the class.
Unfair, right? I agree. I’m still a little bitter.
The second section of the class involved making a pair of pants. This was not easy. I finished it, but I don’t remember the grade I got. While other kids proudly wore their pants around school, mine went into the garbage.
Fast forward to a couple of years ago when I suddenly got the sewing bug. I saw a tutorial online on how to make the easiest pillowcases. My mom let me borrow her sewing machine from 1978 that had only been used during that home ec class in the late 80s. The thing weighed 50 pounds and came with no instructions. I was doomed.
I finished the pillowcase project and decided to go out and buy my own lightweight machine for future projects.
I’ve since sewn bedspreads for each of my daughters. They haven’t fallen apart (much) in the laundry and the girls adore them.
When a friend of mine got pregnant and got no baby blankets at her shower, I took it upon myself to make her some very simple flannel blankets. It’s the same thing a friend did for me when I was pregnant with my youngest daughter. It was the nicest gesture and I still treasure those handmade blankets even though we don’t use them anymore.
The first blanket was a hot mess. Nothing went right. I put way more time into it than was necessary and it’s probably fallen apart in the laundry by now. The second blanket was a little better, but not by much. Sewing just isn’t my thing, but I really like the creative outlet it provides and there are a lot of cute fabrics out there calling my name.
By the time I finished the third blanket, I was happy. It turned out well and I am pretty sure the washer won’t eat it up.
I sent the blankets to my friend and vowed to never do that again for the sake of not wanting to embarrass myself. I told myself that I was just going to stick with sewing Girl Scout patches on my daughter’s Brownie uniform. (That’s complicated enough).
Then, my sister-in-law (Mrs. Crafty) went out and got pregnant and I feel the urge to pay it forward again.
I’m just too nice to let all that fabric sit in the store and collect dust. My sewing machine deserves to be used: It’s a good one!
I don’t have a gift for sewing. It will be years before I am any good at it. But I do have a heart, and now because of that, babies everywhere in my family will get crappily made blankets for a long time coming as long as my sewing machine is still working.
I should get an “A” for effort.
Angela Borchert is a freelance writer who lives in Vacaville. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.