Play the Sad Trombone: I can’t sew to save my life

October 26, 2009

in no manual for parenting

I visited Sad Trombone just now. Yet again. I am Today’s Failure #8418.

My failure today, as a mother: I can’t sew worth a damn.

I am not talking about elaborate arts and crafts. I am talking about simple hemming.

I failed Home Ec in high school. Or, rather, I cheated otherwise I would have failed by begging my cousin to make the simple stitches on a sewing machine for a dish towel. Yup, a dish towel. A big X across the fabric that’s all the teacher asked for and I couldn’t do it because I couldn’t, and still can’t, sew straight lines on a sewing machine even if my life depended on it. I can’t do that by hand either, needless to say.

Truth be told: I always have this phobia against sewing machines. I am dastardly afraid that it would sew my fingers together with the fabric.  I’ve always had bad luck with adhesives.

Once when the church school asked the parent (Nah. Why cover for them?  They actually sent home a letter that said “Ask your mother”.  Catholic churches are not big on being politically correct I assume…)  to sew a simple line across the top of a piece of fabric for a dowel to pass through, I actually mailed it all the way to another state for my mother-in-law to sew and send back to me.

I file this under “Me failed at being a mother” together with my nightmarish experience at breastfeeding. (But that’s another post I would probably never get around to write. Perhaps after I finally seek out professional therapy will I ever be able to confront the demons).

Like 99% of the elementary schools around the country, my kids’ school has the annual Halloween Party and Halloween parade this Friday.  I will be leaving for a business trip this Wednesday and will be missing it.  Therefore I am frantically getting things ready, in my absence, for one of the most important days as far as my boys are concerned.

My 6-year-old will be Elvis this year.  He will be wearing this costume:

Elvis my gosh

OMG. This kid scares the heck out of me. Please ignore his grimace and pay attention to the flared bottoms of the pants.

It is a JUMP SUIT. You know what that means: The inseam fits snugly but the pant legs are WAY too long.  (Always!)

I have been thinking, what if he just walks on stilts on Halloween?  Then he could wear this costume without me having to hem the pant legs… Reality called so I just spent the last 2 hours hemming the pants, sewing by hand, ’cause I don’t have a sewing machine AND I don’t know how to use one anyway.  Sewing and crying, actually.  The whole time I was feeling inadequate, complete with a violin in the background playing the kind of self-pitying music that I am sure Cinderella listened to while she was making her step-sisters’ party dresses.  But Cinderella got the birds to help her out.  My fingers and my foot (don’t ask) were pricked by the needle several times, so soon I was thinking of Sleeping Beauty too.  (The tragedy side of it.  Not the getting kissed by the prince part…)

I am going to show you the proof that I really really cannot sew, so you will understand if I vow to myself that my kids will from now on only wear robes on Halloween.  Robes or something that I can use the glue gun on.  Or a staple gun.

I can't sew

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Forget glue guns: Metallic Permanent Pens are the only things you need… | The Absence of Alternatives
November 11, 2009 at 11:30 am


bejewell October 27, 2009 at 8:25 am

My mom bought me a sewing machine about seven years ago, hoping it would encourage me to learn to make marvelous creations of fabric loveliness for me and my family. I’ve never figured out how to thread it. And I never will.
.-= bejewell´s last blog ..It’s Really Only a Matter of Time until Someone Stabs Me, and That is Why This List is Necessary =-.

Jennifer Lynn October 27, 2009 at 9:12 am

I am so sorry that right now I am laughing at your expense;)….I totally pictured you sitting crosslegged on the floor barefoot and poking the needle through the fabric and into your big toe!

BTW: Those look exactly like my stitches and you should be proud of cheating your way through Home Ec…hee hee:)
.-= Jennifer Lynn´s last blog ..Basil Shopping =-.

tlcox19 October 27, 2009 at 9:30 am

OMG, We really are long lost twins seperated at birth. I am sorry, but that could sooo be one of my pathetic attempts at mending something by hand.

Girl, you CANNOT sew! Further – you should not be attempting to sew! Takes one to know one and I say it with love and respect. Put the needle down.

Absence Alternatives October 27, 2009 at 1:05 pm

@ bejewell
I completely forgot about threading! That was the part I never got past. Thanks for letting me know I am not alone.

Absence Alternatives October 27, 2009 at 1:06 pm

@ Jennifer Lynn
I can’t believe you figured out exactly how the needle found my foot! More than once! Chinese torture, I tell ya. 😉

Absence Alternatives October 27, 2009 at 1:06 pm

@ tlcox19

Jessica October 28, 2009 at 5:35 am

In order for me to pass home ec, I had to have a BOY sew the patches onto my pillow so it would close and the stuffing wouldn’t pop out every corner.

Totally humiliating.

I don’t sew. Ever. If a button pops off, well, then dammit! (you have to say the “dammit” all drawn out and whiny)
.-= Jessica´s last blog ..holy shit! it’s a blogroll. for serious. =-.

JennyMac October 28, 2009 at 1:17 pm

As a kid, I sewed the ugliest pillow on earth. My mom could actually make clothes. Oh, how I wish I had that trait now!!!
.-= JennyMac´s last blog ..Now, that’s a tee shot =-.

Jane October 28, 2009 at 2:37 pm

Hey! Over here….I’m a failure, too! I can barely sew on a button. I’m right there with ya’. Thank goodness for pre-made halloween costumes!
.-= Jane´s last blog ..Strong Marriages and Strong Role Models =-.

Absence Alternatives October 29, 2009 at 6:38 pm

@ Jane
There is yet another reason why I like you so much, sight unseen. 😉

Absence Alternatives October 29, 2009 at 6:39 pm

@ Jessica
Well well well, I am loving all you ladies and it’s not just because you pay me visits and leave me comments. 😉

Absence Alternatives October 29, 2009 at 6:41 pm

@ JennyMac
Luckily, my mom is a worse “house keeper” “home maker” than I am. She does make a mean bed. My solution? We don’t make the bed in our house… 😉 Thank you so much for stopping by. I checked out your blog and I love your style. The post about the baby-readiness test is hilarious!

Jen @ NathanRising November 24, 2009 at 10:16 am

HAHAHA! I’m sorry for laughing, but this post was hil-freaking-larious! I had visions of a sewing needle, punctured toes, and raw fingers working frantically to get the stitches right. Bless your heart! Hey, it’s the thought that counts, right?
.-= Jen @ NathanRising´s last blog…Thought of the Day =-.

Absence Alternatives November 25, 2009 at 9:53 am

Like I said, laugh all you want. Your day will come, m’lady… Bawhahahaha!

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