Like me, my ten year old daughter is a Project Runway fan and like me at that age- (ok, I might have been a bit older) she has started sketching her own collection of clothes and shoes.
The ideas are well thought out and the color scheme is definitely forward thinking, unusual yet workable. I am very proud and not a little surprised of her secret talent.
But here's the thing.
She brought her sketch pad to school and showed her girlfriends. Now they all have sketch pads, too and are competing with collections. And worse than that one of the girlfriends bragged that HER mother was taking the sketch to a tailor and having the garment made.
I learned this AFTER my daughter convinced me to stop in a fabric shop and buy the black and silver satin she thought would be perfect for her #4 dress. It was on sale, and for $20 I was willing to indulge her this one thing. I warned her that I wasn't a seamstress and confessed that I am not very good at following directions (leaving out the part where I claim it feels too much like obeying authority), but I said I'd help but the rest was up to her. She understood.
SOMEHOW we ALSO ended up with a jersey knit and a pajama pattern and when we got home she was determined to sew up her new jammies and wear them to bed that night.
When I stopped laughing, I opened the pattern envelope and showed her the directions. First the page in French. Just because I like making things seem WAY too complicated.
After a few hours, some crookedly cut fabric was pinned to a pattern and she pretty much got the idea of how it would all go together. Or at least she nodded her head a lot.
That was Sunday.
Last night we put the pieces together, re-read the instructions and even though it looked like a really bad puzzle, I actually began think I was explaining it well enough. The blank look on her face told me otherwise.
I told her not to worry, that we'd do our best. But that we should leave out the interfacing and maybe skip the trim thing and would it be okay to just slip the top over her head?
I said, "The last thing I made from a pattern was that dog suit, and the last thing I even sewed was a skirt I made by taking apart a thrift store dress and copying that. I can't even follow knitting instructions without getting bored."
She pointed out all the things I'd knit.
"Yeah," I said, "but those are all straight lines, or things that I can be creative with stitch or length or yarn. It's my idea, not a pattern. This is hard, bunny. Are you sure you want to do this?"
"C'mon, Mom. It will be mother-daughter bonding time."
"How about we go do mother-daughter pajama shopping time," I tried.
The look on her face was all the answer I needed.
"Give me those directions."
And then, she did what she always does, softened my heart and reminded me why I'm here. Just by putting her little arms around my neck.
She said, "I love how you're with me through thick and thin, Mommy. ...This is the thick."
"Yeah, bunny. This is the thick. Let's go sew."