I've mentioned once or twice that I happen to know how to sew. One of the great mysteries of the universe is how I actually came by this skill. I'm a domestic idiot savant.
Can sew like Betsy Ross on steroids.
I supposedly took a Home Ec class in eighth grade. I've blocked most of that class out due to the traumatic topics covered therein (obviously).
My mother is domestically challenged. She clearly did nothing to encourage my sewing skills. I remember that I saw her sew a button on once but she had to stop when she sewed her finger to the shirt. I think some international sewing groups still have her on their terror watch lists. But I digress....
One of my grandmothers taught me to stitch by hand (I believe she owned a sewing machine but I never saw her use it). She would cut out barbie size patterns (free hand) and then have me stitch the pieces together. None of the creations were glamorous but it was very satisfying to have put thread to them myself.
This inexplicable ability to operate a sewing machine has landed me on the costume committee of my children's theater group. While it's not a committee that has a "wait list" to join it is a well respected committee with a fair amount of backstage clout. I don't abuse this clout (what? shut up).
Last weekend was a rather spectacular production of "School House Rock Live" with a cast of 111 kids each with 4(+) costume changes. In addition to sewing some costumes from scratch, we also hem and mend them. Then during the production we assist the kids who have "quick changes" between scenes. Nothing says backstage clout like being yelled at by an 8-year-old you've barely met, "where the heck is my other shoe?". Ahem.
However, I was partnered with two remarkable women for almost the entire run. We'll call them S. and D. (I don't want other sewing committees to discover their identities and poach them from us). These two were excellent worker bees.....but the problem was they were hysterically funny.
We were often shushed by passing scenery pushers. Which often just made us laugh harder. S. was especially funny (if rhubarb addicted). I came back to our spot once to find her completely clothed in one of the flapper costumes, including long red gloves.....she just wondered if it would fit, and it did.....over her clothes.
D. was AMAZING. There were several times I saw her calm a crying kid down, while shooing an anxious stage mother, and hemming a pair of pants all at once. She was completely unflappable (and I don't believe she ever found her way into one of the flapper costumes).
I was of course the biggest help of all......between yawns I would occasionally rise from my chair to go get a snack out of the green room.
It was such a hoot. I begin to wonder if all women who sew are gifted with this same delightful temperament. Quilting bees never looked like THAT much fun, but I'm thinking of rounding one up.