Tuesday, March 9

Sew Write

When I was in the 7th grade, I was required to take Home-Ec. I know I'm dating myself, but hey, that's the way it goes.
Back then there were two parts to Home-Ec--cooking and sewing. I did okay in cooking. Didn't love it, but got through it. Sewing, on the other hand, was pure torture. I couldn't read the patterns; they were like some language from another planet. And cutting fabric. Yikes! I went agaisnt the grain, or whatever it's called. But the absolute worst was ripping out seams and re-stitching. I hated it. And I had a teacher who made me do it over and over until I had a perfect, straight seam. I left 7th grade Home-Ec vowing never to return to a sewing machine.

And I haven't.

I find re-writing much like tearing out those seams. I hate it.

But my current manuscript requires it. I began it over two years ago, and when I picked it up again I found that it needed some seam tearing and resewing. Not just once, but repeatedly have I torn and ripped and pieced it back together. So many times, in fact, only the original idea remains the same.

But it's so much better now. The seams are straight and well stitched.

I guess that Home-Ec teacher knew what she was talking about after all.


  1. Nice analogy, D'Ann! I'm a sewer and a writer, and I love how they're so alike. I can follow patterns but I find my best work is done when I veer off the pattern path to create my own version of the quilt/purse/hat I'm sewing.

    Same goes with writing...I create synopsis' (patterns) but I never make them so regimented that I can't veer off that synopsis path into uncharted territory!

  2. My grade school years were at a tiny Catholic school and we didn't have Home Ec. My freshman year (at a much larger public school) I took Foods 1 and Clothing 1. Foods was easy, but I hated Clothing because the teacher (who was a such a sweetheart and I loved her to pieces) did the hard part for me (plus a really snotty girl shared my table--oops, that's another issue althogether!). My Foods 2 teacher promised me that if I took Clothing 2 she'd teach me to read the pattern instructions. And she did. I made one of almost everything, from blouses to pants to skirts and blazers to lingerie. I rarely sew anymore since my kiddoes are grown. Sewing got really expensive when it took more than a yard of fabric to make an outfit. :D

    I like how you compare ripping out seams to revising a book. I never minded ripping out the seams UNLESS the bobbin had gone all whonky and made the stitches so teeny that I couldn't fit the seam ripper into them. Ugh!

    I am one of those weird people who likes revising. It's so much easier for me to play with the words once they're on the paper. It's the getting them there in the first place that I find excruciating.

    Huh. Just realized that even with sewing, I liked seeing the finished project more than the actual putting it all together.

    Now I could crochet all day. Something about crocheting a simple pattern soothes me. Wonder where I put my crochet hooks and yarn?

  3. I feel your pain, D'Ann! At least the original concept remains the same.

  4. Kristi,
    I have the beuatiful bag you made me.
    You're a wonderful sewer and a super writer, too.

  5. Hi, Penny.
    Thanks for stopping by!
    I would love to sew, but just can't. I still can't read patterns, and I'm not kidding when I say that teacher ruined me for sewing. I still hate it.

  6. Hey, Jamie with the new agent!
    Yes, the original concept remains the same!

  7. D'Ann,
    I had that same class! Although, I never got good at sewing or cooking. My teacher was Miss Takashima and she hated me. My mom had to finish my apron and I only got a C-..I'd screwed it up that badly.

    Fortunately, my journalism teacher saw the good in my writing and encouraged me. He even told my mom that it would be a mistake for me not to keep writing.

    Loved your analogy, clever girl.

  8. I like the analogy, too. Like Kristi, I'm a sewer and a writer, but not very creative. Just as I colored inside the lines as a kid and stay with patterns when I sew, my writing's kind of safe, too.

    That being said, I made my daughter's wedding dress from three different patterns. It nearly drove me to drink. On second thought, maybe it did--I know that's when I developed a fondness for margaritas!

  9. Thank you, Margie and Liz.
    Liz, you don't give yourself enough credit. You're very creative. You couldn't be a writer if you weren't. And, Margie! My mom finished my wraparound skirt!!!

  10. This is a great comparison and quite true too. I have some manuscripts that I reworked forever, and then sold, and I was darn proud of them. when someone asks though, "How long did it take you to write it?" Man if they only knew.....LOL

    Love and blessings

  11. I never thought of it that way, but I can see the analogy. I think we may have shared the same teacher or horrors could she have had a sister? I do as little sewing as I have to today, but rewriting doesn't anywhere near as painful.

    I agree with Penny. I like playing with words on paper, but getting them there is a challenge.

  12. Hey, CJ!
    Thanks for stopping by!
    I think a whole bunch of us had that same teacher, or a member of her family anyway!

  13. ohhhhhhhhh i hated home ec...but not as much as that summer sewing class my mom made me take....the teacher called me hopeless...=) and boy was I!


  14. Carrie!
    Summer sewing?!!! What did you do to deserve that?
    Kill somebody?