I’m not much of a seamstress. I do alright with hand sewing, especially when I’m working with a forgiving fabric like fleece, but I get impatient with patterns (or rather, with my clumsy attempts to follow them), and when I decide to dust off the machine, my ambition generally sets me up for failure. It’s always been this way, ever since my 7th grade home-ec class, when a set of festive holiday pillows became so frustrating that I stopped halfway; somewhere, my mom has two red and green pillows, bedecked with holly, that read “NO.”
Anyway, lately I’ve been so inspired by Amanda Blake Soule’s new book, Handmade Home, that I’ve braved my anxiety, set up my sewing machine next to the wood stove in the living room, and begun to work on all kinds of projects. The girls now have a set of fluttery purple flags hanging from their ceiling, my office is newly curtained, and the rest, well, they’re Valentine’s presents, so they’ll have to remain secret for a few more days.
In the middle of this sewing frenzy, my favorite monkey pajamas finally frayed through. On a whim, I took out my scissors and pins, and pulled together a Charlotte-sized nightgown. Don’t be fooled–it took a lot of seam-ripping, and in tight spots I turned off the machine and pulled out my thimble. But it’s wearable, and Charlotte is delighted. She’s been so happy twirling in her monkeys that I’m tempted to clothe the whole family in my pajama scraps!