Fly on the wall Sunday: Why

This is a Fly on the Wall look inside this writer’s life.

Perhaps this should be added to the bible: Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s clothing.

It’s not a surprise, if you’ve been on this blog before, that I like to sew. I love the end result because I end up with dresses that I like, that fit in all the right places, and are exactly the fabric, and designs that I like. I love being able to design my own outfits, or just use a pattern too. Had somebody asked me fifteen years ago if I would be able to design and sew I would have laughed big time. My mother was the woman who sewed my clothes for me. She is fabulous at sewing and guess what–she taught herself. Yep, she saved her allowance bought books, patterns, and many, many moons ago she taught herself how to sew. Much like I taught myself to knit.

Years later, after my first failed home economics class attempt at sewing (this was my teacher’s fault since she gave me the pattern that didn’t even fit my mother’s adult size and I was very much still a child) I finally sat down and started sewing. My mother gave me some distance, but not a lot. She helped me. She still does if I can’t wrap my mind around something I’m trying to do that made perfect since in my head but not after I’ve done it. (I don’t like to wear pants but trust me, sewing them is not my specialty. My mom laughed; she laughed a lot.)

Anyway, since I loved formal dresses I made  a lot of them…with absolutely nowhere to wear them. I also made a lot of dresses I can wear wherever I want to go. My mom still sews, but not a lot. However, she has fabulous clothes that still fit her that she sewed years ago. She wears them often and I can only shake my head when the women in the congregation first try to butter her up with how beautiful her clothes are and then proceed with the “I don’t know how to sew…” and the, “I don’t know how to use a sewing machine…” speech. They are trying to get her to sew something for them, and some want her to teach them for free. My mom is not a teacher. I think the only reason she taught me is because she’s a mom, and mother’s do stuff like that–pass their knowledge on to their children.

My mother has gotten tired of it, much like I have. But since I have given these people every reason not to speak to me I don’t get bothered the way she does. But my mom has her own way of handling it which involves…”buy a pattern and read it…” which as she explains, will help them with their sewing difficulty. Then the one lady complained about not knowing how to use a sewing machine and my mother, and I loved this, said, “years ago people sewed by hand.”

I know my mom is tired of  these women doing this to her. I can see it on her face and in her eyes, and I get the conversation when we leave the meeting of how annoying it is for them to do it. It annoys me. And the only thing I can think is if they would stop lazily coveting their neighbor’s clothing they could be much easier people to be around.

My mom has always been a trendsetter even if she isn’t trying to be. Every congregation we’ve been in during our many moves the women seem to try to follow her style. But nobody can pull it off because my mom’s style is her style and it fits her. I think women should start thinking about what works for them, finding their own style, and just being happy with what they have.


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