border dancing


off to borders and i find myself drawn to the “needlecrafts” section.  let me just reiterate:  i don’t sew.  but i want to. really want to.  i read a dress a day’s:  a guide to sewing part one.  it’s a sort of personality test for non-sewers.  i definitely fall into her “fingers just itch thinking about sewing therefore learn from a book” category.  and this borders.  it is so clean!  a rare thing for miami bookstores for some odd reason.  it is new, though, so i’ll give it a month.  the boys were being quite kind letting me browse these books.  especially this lotta jansdotter book.  and since at the moment i can’t sew, i like to browse her site and make the occasional purchase.   

i was about to have a mutiny on my hands ten minutes into my reading.  but then the samba music started.  and all was fine.




7 thoughts on “border dancing

  1. i have always wanted to sew pants… with a 36″ inseam or cool sheets or a table runner. Do you even have a sewing machine? i had one sewing project a couple years back… actually with yashi…you’ll have to ask her about it.

  2. “Sewing is a lost art” is what first came to my mind when I saw/read your post. But then I thought: “How typical to say that…” It used to be that sewing (like housekeeping, cooking–all of the home economics, really) was normal. It was a thing, a reality, an activity, a necessity. If your family was to wear clothing and sleep with a blanket, you sewed. It was not an art, like origami or finger painting. Nor was it lost, like an old language or your left sock. But, as with some many things in our present economy and culture, it has become both. Why?

    Convenience and affluence, probably. I’m sure Naomi Wolf and Co have written articles and books on the subject (something like: “The Changing Household Economy in Post-World War II America and Its Ramifications for The Global Textiles Industry, Women’s Leisure Time and Power Structures in the Middle Class Home”).

    On a personal level, I remember learning how to sew when I was young–at public school, in 8th grade and with boys! I sewed a wallet for Mother’s Day (and my mom used that wallet for at least a year, as I recall). Sure we all scoffed and protested (“this is stupid”), but you know what? It was–secretly–cool. We started with pieces of scraps and MADE SOMETHING with our hands. Even the 8th grade boys could see their was something truly satisfying about it.

    Since then I have not sewn that much. My mom has the sewing machine and, having grown up herself having to sew (and do all the other household “arts” by hand, as well), she, like so many other middle class women, turned to department stores to find her linens, curtains, duvet covers, clothing, et al. If you didn’t “have” to sew things but could afford to pay Ralph Lauren to do it, why would you? Sewing became a lost art in our home, for sure. Or maybe it was the sewing machine that got lost…

    Because of the globalized textile industry (and this is my opinion now, not a mock Naomi Wolfe one), it truly is way, way cheaper to buy most clothing and dare I say most linens, etc, from Walmart, Target or wherever than it is to sew them. Now, that said, I’ve said nothing about their quality (maybe we want them a little cheap so we “have to” replace them once a year?), nor have I said anything about the ethical issues related to buying items from the global marketplace (Who made them and how? Do underpaid, rights violated men, women and children ring a bell? How about “sweatshops”?). But, like our cheap and readily available food source here in the good ‘ole us of a, cheap textiles are not just sought after but demanded, whatever their true cost.

    It’s interesting to think about the fact that, Kate, as you sit at Borders thumbing through books on sewing and in the process fanning your desire to learn to sew, there is something not only what some might saw “retro” or “quaint” or “traditional” about this desire, but also something admirable and, dare I say, moral about it too…


  3. “Your kid likes to samba?…”
    yeah, sounds like elisha got the uncle joey puerto rican dance and rhythm fiend gene, the one that omie didn’t get! 🙂

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