After suffering many years on the back-burner of hobbies, sewing is finally more than an irregular blip on the radar. This is in part because I have this nifty new sewing room with L-shape tables but also because my friends have started coming around to sew with me. My guests used to suffer my infamous Old-Fashioned Folding Parties in which I forced then to help fold my clean clothing while chatting. It’s amazing I still have friends. Thank goodness for goodness they stuck by me… because I now throw Old-Fashioned Sewing Parties instead. They are WAY more cool.
This particular sewing party was centered around a skirt which would transform my friend Katy into a nerd. She and her husband planned to dress as nerds and then partake in the Halloween festivities in Columbus downtown. She found a pattern, bought the perfect fabric, and headed for my house. With Van Morrison and Etta James playing loudly in the background, we spent the day pinning, sewing, and giggling. Of course, being an O.C.D. multi-tasker, I baked a deep dish apple pie, too. We will not delve into my complete inability to accomplish one singular task at a time in this particular post. Quite frankly, I can’t plumb those depths while making soup, baking bread, and blogging. One can only do so much before lunch.
As I watched Katy feed the fabric through the sewing machine, I couldn’t help but feel inspired to tackle the mountainous mending pile under the table and make those cloth napkin sets I want to give out as Christmas presents. Having blamed my sewing dry spell on any number of things from weather to inconvenience, it may finally be time to explore my fifties housewife side. Of course, feeling as though we’d stepped through a time portal into the fifties is not a new experience for either of us. Katy, a fellow throwback, researches interesting graves she finds at the Linwood Cemetery and makes her own gnocchi. While I can’t say that I can picture her vacuuming while in pearls, a housedress, and drenched in AquaNet — Katy shares my love for all things retro. I can’t think of a better guest for an old-fashioned sewing party. I mean, it’s hardly a stretch since Katy is already a fellow knitting circle member. It was only a matter of time, right?
And the almost-finished product… very nerdy, indeed. Now, I am aching to make my own housedresses having already ordered patterns from Klassic Line Vintage Clothing. Because, thanks to June Cleaver and the clever marketing of vintage ads picturing contented housewives doing household chores in pretty dresses with tiny waists, perfect hair, and tasteful jewelry — I am fixated on trying on that particular reality (a plaid, checked, or floral patterned one).
In truth, doing something messy, unrewarding, and unpleasant like scrubbing toilets and emptying dirty mop water, you might as well do it in a comfortable flattering cotton housedress or housecoat. Designed with plenty of extra fabric to wipe your hands on… they dry faster than a pair of old jeans, and still manage to look somewhat neat and tidy after a full day of housework.
On second thought… I should throw an Old-Fashioned Cleaning Party and require my guests to dress in vintage housewife garb and bring their cleaning buckets. Too much? Too transparent that I am trying to get out of my housework by attaching “old-fashioned” and “party” to my chores in an attempt to lure my friends over to help?