A number of years back, I had a housewarming and had spent the few weeks prior decorating my place until it was just the way I liked it. My living room had massive windows — I can’t remember how tall they were, but somewhere in the neighborhood of 15 or 20 feet sounds about right. It was a two-story apartment, and the windows spanned the height of both stories.
Window coverings have always been a weird issue for me, and these windows were out to prove that they’d continue to be problematic. That is, until I was out shopping at Anna’s Linens for furnishings and found an incredibly long piece of finished fabric that was meant to be draped in one long, elegant swoop up, over and back down a more normal-sized window.I had a hunch I could buy two and flank my massive window with the fabric, while cutting off the excess and making a valance to go in between them across the top. I was right. It looked beautiful. The evening of my housewarming, one of my guests overheard me telling someone else that I’d cut and hemmed the fabric to be able to have a curtain that actually fit the giant window, and an incredibly comical question exited her mouth — one that was surprising, given the age of everyone, including her, in the room. “Ohmygosh! Do you, like, also make your own clothes and sew those, too?” she snickered. I’m pretty sure she was the only one laughing. It was such an obviously immature and juvenile thing to say that it rivals comments that the most obnoxious girl in my sixth grade class would always make. Super classy. But to go back for a second, you know what? Frankly, if I had the time to make my clothes, I totally would. Truth is, I’ve always had a soft spot for the ol’ needle and thread. Back in the 80s, I used to make scrunchies from fabric remnants that my mom and I would find at the fabric store. I remember making a tiny cottonball-filled pillow door hanger with “Out to Lunch” scrawled across it for my dad for Father’s Day when I was 7 or 8. I can’t remember if I gave it to him or not, but I still adore the thought behind it. During my early elementary school years, I had a few outfits that my mom expertly crafted on her Singer sewing machine, and they were fabulous. I wore them proudly, and I might’ve had a school photo or two taken in them. Today I went to the fabric store and bought as many sparkly, sequin-adorned things I could find. Why? The band from my last agency that I still play in has a gig this coming Thursday. At the House of Blues. On the Sunset Strip. Yep. Never thought I’d say that. Since we’d all agreed an element of sparkle was mandatory for the show, I bedazzled a few things and made a skinny tie out of my sequin fabric for one of our guitarists. And with that little bit of sewing, it turns out I do make clothes after all. I’m so glad that my mother’s time, patience and ability has rubbed off on me, and I wish similar motherly gifts be passed down to others from their moms — sewing or not. Tonight I am thankful for an idea, for a vision, for the ability and execution that my mom taught me over the years through the magic of sewing. My ability won’t ever be like hers, but I’m thankful for the small bit that she gave me.