Friday, August 29, 2008

I cannot sew a line

It's kind of a crappy day out here on the East coast. We have a fine constant mist that turns into a light shower and back into fine mist. Maybe it's the atmospheric pressure which is giving me such a headache.

School's in, summer's done, time for fall. The grocery stores have already begun to stock Halloween candy and the kids are deciding on their halloween costumes. This year I will not be able to get away with recycling their old costumes. This year they want new ones and they want me to make them.

What the hell is wrong with these children? Does this blog say Random Arts and Crafts? Do I look like Martha Stewart? See the angry pig shake it's piggy head. I blame this completely and entirely on a friend of ours who I shall call PIMA, short for pain in my ass. She likes arts and crafts stuff. She scrapbooks beautiful photo albums with lovely captions and swirly heart thingies. She makes homemade chocolate lollipops, with color too. She knits sweaters and shawls and can even sew patterns to make dresses. She cooks and bakes and takes her kids to fun places even without them begging to go somewhere because they are bored. Seriously, I hate her. In fact when I see her, cause Oldest is best friends with her oldest, I tell her to her face, "You know I hate you, right." She laughs. I laugh. I picture running her over with my van. I laugh again. Etc.

So apparently, last year she made a fantastic fairy costume for her daughter and this really cool Tide detergent box costume for her son. Both won costume awards at the Halloween party. This year Oldest and Angus have come to me with serious faces and announced that I will be making their Halloween costumes this year, bringing Youngest along to nod emphatically in agreement.

"That's crazy talk. There is no way I am making you costumes!" I say. "I can't even sew a button, or a hole in your clothes."

"You can learn to do it!" Angus says. "You watch that sewing show all the time?" (She means Project Runway.)

"I'm terrible at sewing. You all know this! You've seen me sew. I'm really terrible. I do crooked seams. I stick myself all over. I can't even cut straight. Do you really want the worst Halloween costumes in the school?"

The three of them caucus together.

"She's right, she is a terrible sewer." Oldest says. "She always waits for grandma to come visit and then gives her all our clothes with holes in them to sew.

Angus giggles, "Remember when she had to sew a hole in your rabbit and she got it all bloody from sticking the needle in her finger a 100 times?"

They laugh. "Bloody rabbit!"

"I want to be a vampire!" Youngest chimes in.

"Well then it doesn't matter if her costume gets bloody," Oldest says.

"Yeah and we want to be witches and that's just black," Angus says.

They turn back to me.

"So we decided that you can make a vampire and 2 witch costumes for Halloween and it will be ok if you bleed all over them," Oldest says.

"Yeah cause blood will be cool!!!!" Angus says.

"But you gotta make them otherwise we can't enter in the original costume contest," Oldest continues.

"There is no way I am making 3 costumes!" I shout.

All 3 of them stare at me. "But Sara's Mom makes Sara and her brother costumes every year. And they win every year!" Sara's Mom is PIMA - who I hate.

"Yeah and even Matt's Mom makes him costumes too!"

"And so does Meg and Kate and Sam and ...."

"QUIET!!!!!"

The sudden silence is depressing as the girls stare with disappointed eyes at me.

"Sheesh! So sorry I'm not as good as Sara's Mom, why don't you ask her to make your costumes!" I say peevishly.

"Great idea!" Angus says. "Come on let's go call her." They turn and head for the phone.

"No NO No! Come back here. I was kidding. Don't ask her. Fine. You win. I'll make them!"

"HURRAY!" They all say as they pile over and give me big hugs and kisses. "We just know you'll do a great job and we will win this year!!!!"

As they run off, I bask in the warm glow of their completely misplaced belief in me and I think "WHAT THE HELL AM I GOING TO DO?!!!!!"

So do you think if I hire a tailor to make their costumes, it still counts as original homemade?

35 comments:

Riss said...

Ah, a kindred spirit. I'm a fiber artist and I hate to sew. I can't sew to save my life actually...it's pathetic. But, I have faith in you. (c: I think you will pull it off...and if nothing else, they have those costumes at other places and you could buy them and then add a few little tiny things with glue and call them original.

Don't buy slippery fabric whatever you do (c:

Merry Monteleone said...

I can't sew either. Luckily, my daughter is completely over having them made - she wants store bought just like all the other kids.

I did make her a Lollipop Princess costume (from candyland) for kindergarten - that one was actually pretty easy and she won a prize at school - if you can convince any of yours to be that foofy, I'd be glad to send you a picture and directions.

Oh, my oldest was Danny Phantom one year and that one was super easy - a little white fabric paint, black sweat suit, and white hair spray - voila.

If you're really low on ideas, put them in green lotards, stick a bunch of purple balloons to them, and call them grapes :-)

Brenda said...

I feel your pain...I made my son's costume only once (because he asked and he said I could make whatever I wanted, he just wanted a homemade costume like everyone else)...So I thought about it and I decided to buy him a pair of red sweat pants, and a big red t-shirt...I took a black permanent marker and drew a big M on both sides of the t-shirt...had him stuff pillows under his t-shirt, had him tuck his t-shirt inside his sweat pants and I painted his face with red face paint...He was a red "M&M"...That was my "no sew" idea to a homemade costume...

He has never asked me to make him anything else since then...he won't even let me sew a button on his shirt!

So my plan worked! grin...

Good luck with your costumes...

Lilfix (blueboards)

Patti said...

oh lordy, the very idea of arts and crafts anything makes me break out in hives and flop-sweat. hire out...do it!

cindy said...

if it's any consolation, my best friend's mom (and our neighbor) had to sew my costume too plays, too. my mom couldn't sew, either. me, too!

Kim Kasch said...

Okay I can totally relate. My PIMA was my roommate in college. She was an artist, one who got a great paying job working in multi-media design the day she graduated. Then as a gift for my wedding she designed and sewed my wedding dress - 'cause she's that talented - it was beautiful so I shouldn't complain but then another friend got married and she designed at baked the wedding cake - 'cause, like I said, she's that talented.

I could go on and on 'cause she's REALLY that talented but let's just suffice it to say we probably all have a PIMA in our lives.

Good luck with the sewing classes - 'cause you might need 'em. And, heck, you've got two months...

;-)

Charles Gramlich said...

Believe me, I'd hire the tailor.

Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

I think you should just settle down and get PIMA to make the costumes.
I can't sew to save my life and would never dream of doing so. I write and I paint and I take photographs - that's quite enough. Know your limitations, girl, and give the other stuff to them wot loves it!

Lana Gramlich said...

The tailor works for me. What some people don't know won't hurt them. ;)

Travis Erwin said...

Tailor away! You're time is better served at the keyboard.

laughingwolf said...

make like sandy claws, and get the elves to make em! ;) lol

Barrie said...

I am laughing out loud at this post! And, yes, of course, it still counts as homemade if you hire a seamstress. A thought: there is a book about making Halloween costumes where you only use a glue gun. No sewing. I think it's by Tom Brokaw's wife. There'd be less blood with a glue gun...

Steve Malley said...

An appropriately child-sized coverall in gray would be ideal.

With mop: janitor.
With wrench: mechanic.

The possibilities are endless. As long as they are janitor and mechanic.

Steve Malley said...

May I also suggest using yellow electrical tape on one of their dark blazers to create an agent of the FBI, ATF, IRS or, if you feel four letters' wroth of ambitious, SWAT.

Also, a simple bedsheet can, with a pair of scissors, be transformed into a frightening ghost. Frightening to the child wearing it, knowing they shall be beaten up for this lame costume.

Me, I was usually a Screen Door Repairman...

M said...

A tailor sortof DOES count. If you bleed on it your kids will be happy :-)

Hotwire said...

when my kids were really little they got the kick-ass hand-me-down costumes that their auntie made so ludky for me i was off the hook. best of luck to you!!!!

Bernita said...

I can sew. BUT. The best costumes I made for my kids were stuff like a coffin and a train engine made out of cardboard boxes.
They won prizes.

Ello said...

Oh my gosh, what great ideas here. The other problem though is that I am terribly lazy. Or I am lazy about doing things I hate or am bad at. I just got this great catalog for costumes in the mail! They look so cool that I am going to try and convince them to buy and not make me sew.

jason evans said...

That IS an inspiring picture. Almost inspiring enough to take up sewing.... But not quite.

Melissa Marsh said...

Fortunately, my daughter wants costumes from the store - so I'm off the hook for now!

Good luck... *grin*

Colorado Writer said...

Oh geez. I used to do the scrapbooking, cookiebaking, beading, knitting thing.

Now, I'm don't. Instead, I walk around the house like a zombie. I can't keep my children straight from my characters.

And I think it is totally okay if you rent/buy/steal the costumes instead of making them.

Demon Hunter said...

LOL. Don't feel badly, Ello. I can't sew either and my grandmom was great at it, and mom is great at it!! I suck. I need to learn. My future husband sews better than I do. :-)

adrienne said...

Why does every neighborhood have a mom like that? I saw ours this morning with an armload of handsewn skylight covers for every classroom. They even had grommets!

The Anti-Wife said...

Try velcro or double stick tape!

pacatrue said...

Every time I see this post's title I want to sing in my best Johnny Cash voice: Because you're mine, I sew the line."

SzélsőFa said...

I can't sew either, but my husband can.
Last year my son was Hades, reigning over the seas. He had a pitched fork we made of cardboard tubes and plastic bands and a blue crown (paper) on his head. And a black robe.
My daughter was Hermione (from HP) got dressed up in a neat uniform and that was all.
I am bad when it comes to costumes, so I can totally feel your pain.

But going to the tailor is NOT home-made, that would be a lie.
Ask your PIMA instead.
PIMAs like her would just thrill in doing some extra work I bet. That's why we hate them, don't we?

Carrie Harris said...

I think there's a PIMA club, because I know one too. So last year I spray painted a diaper box, cut out arm and neck holes, glued pop bottle tops on it, and Son went as a robot. Because if someone held a gun to my head and told me to sew or get shot, I would be so dead.

writtenwyrdd said...

I can sew very well. I used to sew myself tailored suits all the time when I needed them for work. But I'm not making your kid's costumes, lol.

I just wanted to let you know I'm having a contest in honor of my 2nd blogaversary and hoped you wouldn't mind spreading the word!

http://writtenwyrdd.typepad.com/writtenwyrdd/2008/08/2-year-bloggave.html#comments

ChrisEldin said...

OMG!
My kids are lucky to get what's left on the rack 2 hours before the Halloween festivities begin.
:-)

Robin said...

In Home Economics, I sewed my stuffed animals ear to it's tail three times...teacher ripped it pu and gave me a "C".

Luckily "my girls" (psuedo birth, bff's kids, I don't pay for college) were way more crafty than I. One year S wanted to be a "dead" cheeleader...she handled it, I just applied blood and gore. The next year "M" wanted to be a scary clown...bought the wig, applied the makeup...good to go!

I don't, won't, can't sew. But it's obvious you are creative in so many ways...can't wait to hear what you have don! (But DO NOT, under any circumstances call PIMA...she'll feast on that satisfaction for decades, starve her!)

pacatrue said...

I had to google PIMA. I'm guessing it doesn't mean, "Polyisocyanurate Insulation Manufacturers Association" in this case.

J. L. Krueger said...

Great story...I always hate Halloween...didn't even like it as a kid once I was done with Trick or Treat thing (around fifth grade I think).

At my house it was always chaos because the dogs sensed my attitude and they decided the kids at the door were "enemies."

Anyway, hire a tailor.

Sarah Hina said...

Better you than me, Ello!

I so related to this post (even liking Project Runway, but looking at the contestants the same way I look at zoo animals--completely other from myself). I tried to sew a Christmas stocking once. Pretty easy, right? Total failure. It's still in the closet, on the top shelf, reminding me of what a loser mom I am.

Buy the costumes. Tell them you had a marathon session of sewing. They'll swoon! :)

Mary Witzl said...

I'm betting that if someone gave a crappy sewing contest, I'd beat you at it. I got a C on my pillow case in home ec. I won't tell you about the other stuff I was forced to do, but I assure you it never got worn.

One of my friends is like your PIMA. She does sugar craft, makes professional-looking wedding cakes, sews coats, bags, evening gowns, costumes -- you name it. She paints and cooks and bakes at a professional standard and can butcher her own roadkill, plumb and wire her own house, and fix damn near anything. She doesn't just make me sick; she fills me with despair and feelings of terrible insecurity.

Can your PIMA write? Mine can't, and she can't spell either! It's wonderful: every time she asks me to proofread anything she's done, I have a real field day. You can bet I point out and correct every single infelicity.

Natalie said...

Ha! I won't' tell anyone if you call a tailor. I have one called mother-in-law, if you need a good one. :-)