Tuesday, August 26, 2008

In Which I Mend My Family's Clothes

I need to wait for batting to go on sale at Joann's this weekend before I can finish my quilted T-shirt wall hangings (Isn't that always the way?), so this week I've been taking up the huge piles of mending that I've been steadily putting aside for months, waiting for a time when mending didn't actually sound like something that sucked. So instead of telling you that I did sooooo many awesome things today, I get to tell you that I sewed a hook back onto my bra strap, put a zipper into a too-small jumper I made for Sydney last year so that she can wear it throughout the winter-- --although she'd rather wear it like this--
--reinforced all the seams in my Ren Faire dress, threw out two pairs of ripped pants that I looked at again and thought, "What's the point?", made bias tape and hemmed my most favorite pair of jeans ever--
--and printed and cut out with an exacto knife some of the stencils I'm going to paint over weird stains in my family's clothes. So far I've been able to use stash for my repairs--vintage zipper, polka dot fabric gifted from a previous craft fair attendee, etc.--but tomorrow I'm going to get to wend my way over to Hobby Lobby for fusible webbing so I can embroider over holes Syd has been cutting into her T-shirts.

My goal (except with, um, the bra, and I guess the Ren Faire dress, because it's already so awesome) is to leave each of the mended clothes with more personality, make each better looking, than it looked when I originally acquired it. Mending my family's tattered clothes involves more than what the mom of one of Willow's schoolmates must have thought today when, upon hearing what I'd been up to while Will was at school, she exclaimed, pity on her face, "You must be so frugal!" Well, yeah, I do like to save my family's money for take-out pizza and weekend trips to Chicago, but that's not why I ironed the word "STELLA" over the permanent marker stain in Willow's green shirt and then hand-sewed star beads all over it--I did that because sure, it's not as easy as just throwing the shirt out and buying her a new one at Target, but she's not easy, and raising her isn't easy, but I do raise her lovingly, with thoughtfulness and care, as well as mess and fun, and if that love and care and fun (and mess?) can be reflected in external ways, what she wears and plays with and lives in, then so much the better for the world to look at my happy, bright, energetic kiddos in their hand-embellished T-shirts and think, "Somebody loves those little girls."

Hmmm... but what does the world think when it sees my partner in his hand-stenciled Darth Vader T-shirt?

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