Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Just Sewing

Last weekend Dad approached me, tapped my shoulder and asked if he should give his newly bought length of cloth to the tailors as it seems I was too busy to do the sewing. I felt like someone hit me on the head. It seems I have been way to busy to give my parents attention the past few weeks. I have neglected them! Dad needed boxers and pajamas... Mom needed a new suit (and a potholder and some hand towels and a "few" other things that would make up a list longer than an entire roll of toilet paper.... but that is another story).

I do the sewing around here (our home) or at least I used to. Be it Mom's new salwar-kameez, Dad's kurta-pajama, pot holders, pillow cases, my clothes or even our canine family members' bedding -- I sewed them. But lately, I had been somewhat distracted.

I decided I needed to take a day off from my writing and do some serious sewing. But that needed some doing. I had three different sets of writing projects and all had deadlines. I managed to submit a set to one client but I needed to complete 25 articles for another... and I had some serious law-related articles for another. Darn!

In order to set aside some sewing time, I had to take drastic measures. I was up till 3 a.m. two consecutive nights in a row. I had no time for my Squidoo... no time for Hubpages... even Facebook! Who would've thought that day would come? Not me. But then, there is a first time for everything.

I managed to keep Monday free. After I got up late (after all I did work all day Sunday till 3 a.m. Monday),  I rushed through breakfast and the house cleaning. I then took the cloth from Dad's room, took out my trusty scissors, tape measure, matching spools of thread and opened the cover of my trusty old sewing machine

Then it hit... I forgot how to cut!!! Darn it! I had three years of sewing and embroidery school for cryin' out loud... how could I forget how to cut! But... thank goodness for my obsessive need to have copies of everything... I remembered I kept a notebook with all my sewing notes. 

I ran to the living room, opened the drawer below the bookcase and took my trusty old sewing notebook out. I flipped through the pages and found what I was looking for. I didn't even have to read through the page... everything came flooding back. 

I took my measuring tape and measured the length of cloth I needed (Dad needed 3 boxer shorts first)... took my tailor's chalk... made the marks... got the scissors and cut. I felt confident again. The feel of cloth between my fingers brought back fond memories of sewing school.

I sat in front of my sewing table. Now, this is weird but bear with me. My sewing machine is an old manual, hand-crank type which I inherited from my cousin's wife (they are in Canada and the large old trunk of their wedding stuff was at our house and there I discovered a shiny black sewing machine). It had a way of making a funny sound when you cranked it but it works beautifully. Not once in 11 years did it give me any trouble. 

That machine (an old Padma) is on top of a sewing machine table which houses my Singer Disc-O-Matic (do they still make those?). That was the machine Dad bought for me when I first told my parents I wanted to learn to sew. Dad bought that expensive pile of junk for 10K. Never worked properly. The guy who sold it to us, sold us a lemon and I thought lemons meant bad cars. What I am trying to say is, I use a manual, hand-crank that sits on top of a motorized Singer's sewing table... told you it was weird.

So I started sewing. Before I knew it, it was time to make lunch so I had to take a break and prepare some grub for Dad and me... Mom was off somewhere. After lunch I was back at sewing. By the time I finished Dad's set of boxers and pajamas, I decided to tackle Mom's "kachera."

Mom is an Amritdhari Sikh (baptized Sikh) so that meant she wore the prescribed "kachera." Now that it one complicated thing to sew. It takes as much attention to detail as sewing an entire salwar-kameez and most tailors charge the same amount as a Punjabi suit for sewing a "kachera." I, however, was feeling the sewing rush. I started to measure and cut and sew.

I managed to finish it by 3:00 p.m. but then I remembered Mom was complaining she needed a new potholder and that we needed a new set of hand towels. So I went on sewing those too. By 4 p.m. my back was killing me and my right wrist felt like it was ready to fall off. I had wanted to make a laptop cover for my "Laffy" (that is my laptop's name... don't you dare laugh!) but I no longer had the energy... nor the cloth. 

I packed up all my sewing stuff, covered-up the old sewing machine, folded all the new clothes neatly and took a break. I felt good. Although I know I still have a pile of clothing materials I need to start working on, I knew my day had been productive... (and pretty achy -- the two consecutive very late nights were taking their toll on my back and hands.)

But I did it! I made Mom and Dad feel good. They had smiles on their faces and they were holding their new clothes lovingly. And... some times... it is the smiles from the people you love that mean more than anything else in the world. I am so glad I took time out for my parents... even if was spend just sewing.

Posted by: Bames Pabla
Bames Live, Updated at: 4:35 PM