I've always wanted to learn how to sew.
No, that's not true.
I did learn how for the one semester in 8th grade when I was forced to take Home Ec.
Back then I did not want to be in Home Ec at all.
I'm not sure why, or at least I can't really remember why I was so averse to the idea of learning how to cook and sew.
Instead during middle school my friend Mary Ellen and I took shop.
But because this was the 1970s, 1974 and 1975 to be exact, at a time when Title IX was freshly minted, we had to get permission from our parents, and then from the school to take shop instead of Home Ec.
So in 6th and 7th grade we were the only girls in our grade in shop class - 6th grade was wood shop, and 7th grade was metal shop and printing.
Did this instill in me a lifelong passion for working with wood, or metal - no, not really.
What it did highlight to me, without even really having to think about it, is that we were doing something different that no other girl in our grades was doing.
We really weren't there to fight any battle, we just wanted to do what we wanted to do.
And this is what I think equal rights is all about, the ability to choose your own career path, and not be belittled for whatever choice you make. If a woman wants to stay home and raise a family because that is what she wants, then I support that. I worked with a woman who was a Naval Academy grad, and had been to the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey. She was, at the time I knew her, a Marine major, and when I was retiring she was resigning her commission. Not just leaving the active duty force for the reserves, but actually resigning completely - cutting all ties to the Marine Corps. Our general called her into his office to talk about this, to try and change her mind. She didn't. Actually she and I discussed this action at length, and I couldn't do anything but support her and her decision. What had been decided by her and her husband was that she was going to resign and stay home and homeschool their children.
Her choice, not society's.
Anyway, when I was in 8th grade in 1976-77, they changed the curriculum in my district and decided that both boys and girls had to take Home Ec and shop. So there I was, stuck in Home Ec. I cannot really remember much about that class at all except that we had to sew a shirt.
And the fabric was some kind of stretchy jersey-ish polyester, and for some unknown reason I picked yellow. I hate yellow. I must not have then. Perhaps that was the moment when I threw that particular color (except when used in conjunction with a Provencal theme) into my dislike pile.
It was a bad shirt. I couldn't grasp the concept of construction.
I wish that we had done something simple like my youngest daughter had to do when she took Home and Arts last year in 6th grade - notice the name change of the class - where she made a pillow case. Now that's what I'm talking about - straight lines, not a lot of sewing in of sleeves and the like. I might not have taken such a dislike to sewing if we'd made something more simple.
I think a lot of it, however, was that I just couldn't grasp the concept. I've mentioned before that I am math-challenged, but my mechanical skills are also very low.
So if I'm going to sew I don't know that I necessarily want to graduate to making wedding dresses, but I would be happy to be able to make curtains and aprons and the like.
I have two sewing machines in my house given to me by expert sewers when they bought new ones.
I've tried it, and I just don't know if I have the touch.
Hubby does, and my youngest does - but I am just not sew crafty. And my mother wasn't either. Therein lies the problem, don't you think?
Perhaps if I had really taken to sewing when I first learned I might have been drawn to patterns like this to make for my husband:
Men in jumpsuits.
Now there's something to love about that.
And as I close for today, this snowy Saturday, and make my way back to my knitting and my book (and my Cadbury fruit and nut bar, yum), I'll leave you with these vintage 1970s ads for men's jumpsuits courtesy of Retronaut:
These ads make me want to go watch a Burt Reynolds movie or something.