When Alice sat at her sewing machine she was happy. Creating clothing was her God given gift and she loved making outfits for family and friends. I was told my great-grandmother made all the clothing for her family… back when the only way you could afford clothes for a family of eight was to make it yourself. So, Alice came by her sewing talent honestly.
My mother’s walk-in closet was full of patterns, McCall’s, Simplicity and others. She had a Singer sewing machine, the kind with a wood base and the machine would flip under the cabinet, snap into place to create a solid table surface where she would lay out the pattern and cut fabric. When she was done cutting fabric pieces she would flip the sewing machine upright to start sewing. Alice sat at that machine for hours at a time, making the perfect outfits.
Recently looking through an old family photo album, I noticed all of my annual school pictures I was dressed in clothes my mother made, 1st grade, 2nd grade right through Junior High School. Recognizing the homemade outfits made me smile. They were always the latest style, fantastic bold colors and the right fit. Alice was a very good seamstress.
In the later pages of the album I realized there was something sadly different about my annual school photos…no more homemade outfits. Like most teenagers I wanted to wear what everyone else was wearing. Jordache, Ralph Lauren, Gloria Vanderbilt, the designer clothes that was popular. You know, as a teen you didn’t want to be teased, especially walking into high school…wearing homemade clothes. You definitely would have been capped-on by all the “cool” kids.
Unfortunately, that was around the same time my mother stopped making clothes and she never found another hobby that made her as happy. Now that I’m older (and a little wiser), I realize how special those outfits were. I had a custom wardrobe, clothes created special for me, made with love and with joy.
As adults we all have to do the responsible thing, no matter how much you hate your job, no matter how boring it is, no matter how awful your co-workers or how hostile your work environment, you have to bring home a paycheck to take care of yourself and loved ones. But if you have the time and the desire, make sure you do something that allows you to have fun. Find a hobby were you can be creative, tap into your God given talents. Something that makes you happy and brings you joy. Your little hobby may become a big part of your legacy and a lovely memory.