Friday, October 12, 2012

Passing It On

 My mother's hemming skill was non existent.  Buttons were better off lying on the counter rather the humiliation of being on a garment. Her pitiful attempt at trying to convince herself that she knew something about sewing by keeping a 'sewing box', was all a sham.  But my grandmother, her mother, now, there was a seamstress.  The original repurposer, the Depression taught her how to take a coat and redo it to the point that one could not recognize it.  She created clothing for those with figure problems that made it hard to buy off the rack.  Grandma didn't see it as a talent, just a necessity.  A pregnant widow with five other children to care for in the 20's was not an easy thing to bear.  Sewing kept her at home with her children and made a living for them.  My mother remembers the thread filled chaos that ran rampant through their home.  She remembers being the one who had to clean up the aftermath and because of that she developed a disdain for the hobby of sewing.  Grandma viewed it as a hard way to make a living so she didn't promote it with her five daughters.

Genetics as they are, produced in me the desire, nay the drive to create with fabric.  As a child, I would use Kleenex to fashion clothing for my dolls and stuffed animals.  When I could scavenge a cast off piece of fabric, I would delight in the cutting and rudimentary stitches necessary to connect pieces of cloth together to pass as a garment for my toys.  Fortunately for me, my lovely mother in law took the time in her very busy life to instruct me the way of the cloth.

Imagine my absolute delight to find on this earth, at this time in history, a room full of young girls with very similar passions and drive with me being their very eager tutor!

Our most wonderful library and it's most fabulous children's librarian, Miss Jacqui, in conjunction with others, designed an opportunity for young girls (and one boy) to find solace and instruction to the skill of sewing by yours truly.  As God would have it, He hooked me up with a former Home Education teacher, so that the students could see that rulers, measuring tapes and templates could be utilized.  Miss Martha kept us all in line but challenged her orderly ways.  God Bless Her.  Plus, she was struggling with a bronchial/throat thing to boot.  What a trooper.  Me, a room full of junior highers, AND a virus!  

Even though I can't remember things too clearly these days, I recognized the looks on their faces when they saw the fabric, the tools and, wonder of wonders, The Machines!

The library had made sure that all of the machines were in spic and span order and thankfully, the girls gave the workhorses a run for their money.

Not waiting for the most perfunctory lessons in machine usage, tool implantation, pattern reading, these budding designers wanted their hands on the scissors and the fabric.  And we let them.

Instruction on machine usage was an as needed basis and off the cuff.  Labels for the thingamajiggy that does this or that was introduced as we went, repeating constantly, 'make sure the needle is in the highest position before removing your fabric!'

Abundant canvas was provided some years ago by Rabbit Rita,  anticipating her move, which was completed this past August.  I knew she would be proud of the contribution she made to an introduction to expressive art.  Thank you ritabunny!

A couple of kindred spirits used the canvas as an opportunity to create their own illustrations for their Tote Bags, the first craft to be undertaken. I was giddy.
Exactly something I would do.  I took it one step further and took the sketch of the wonky cat and embroidered it's big anime eyes and she proudly placed it on the front of her bag.  I was ecstatic.

The discussions that accompanied this foray in creating and designing, made Miss Martha scratching our collective heads in wonder.  What exactly were they talking about??  What is a nyan cat??  Who watches Black Butler and what about all the references to some disembodied gaming character that they all seemed fakily afraid of?  The two of us oldsters were in more foreign of a land than the girls without names for thread. But it was delightfully fun.
Three days, two hours a day, once a month.  That is the plan to take these young whippersnappers from wildly interested to some semblance of order and pattern reading.

I believe it can happen.  I believe it will be like breaking a stallion but I think with a little cheese, some crackers and apples (a snack that was inhaled each day), I do believe we (I speak for myself, Miss Martha!), these wildly creative newbie designers can quite possibly become the someones you could hear from in the future.

I see myself in each of their adolescent faces and sigh with the hopefulness of it all.

Lord, protect them in their endeavors and in their day to day so that one day they can use their talent for Your glory and honor....
(After all, I did find the Bible hiding away in this tiny nook of a public school!  There is hope!)

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