I’m thinking about trying to sew some new pants for myself. I could buy pants in town but, due to the pandemic, the dressing rooms are closed. It seems risky to buy pants I don’t try on. I could buy multiple sizes, but then there’s the chore of returning the ones that don’t fit. Sigh! And I spend a lot of time around Elders, who are at higher risk for severe illness, so it’s not good for me to be in stores too much. These are practical reasons for me to sew my own clothes.
There are spiritual reasons as well. One of my Aunties was a fabulous seamstress. I used to sit and play next to her as she piloted fabric so quickly through her sewing machine. How that fabric would fly! The sewing machine needle moved so fast it was a blur. Once the seam was done she’d expertly cut the threads and out would come the garment with a perfect straight line of stitches. Or a perfect curved line if that was the intention. She could get that fabric and thread to do anything she wanted. That was Auntie’s work and wow! It was beautiful. Like a prayer.
When I sew it doesn’t go exactly like that. It is a prayer, but it’s more like, “Oh, God! Why are my seams all over the place?!” But I still enjoy it. I feel close to my Auntie when I sew, as I carefully lay out my fabric and smooth my pattern pieces made from that brown tissue paper, light as air. I even use the same pins and magnetic pin “cushion” she used. I mimic Auntie’s actions to the best of my ability, her presence strong in my mind. She’s with me when I sew. I keep my patterns and fabric in the same wooden chest of drawers she used. I feel her spirit when I pull or push those large drawers open and closed. Like her, I can’t resist stuffing them to the brim.
Sometimes I miss my Auntie and feel sad. But then I remember how lucky I am to have an Auntie who brought so much joy and love to my life. Those memories are mine. They fill my heart. Like those overstuffed wooden drawers, my heart creaks it’s so full of good memories. It’s the sound and feeling of love.
Yes, I think I’ll sew a pair of pants for myself. It’s summertime now, so I’ll choose a lightweight fabric and a pattern that will yield a garment made for hot sunny days. Yet the true purpose of these pants is to warm my heart with Auntie memories. My spirit delights in this, no matter how crooked my seams.