Susan's Blog

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Sew Happy Together

The spring birds and my own thoughts woke me up at 4:11 this morning. Not a drop of tiredness, but it’s coming, for sure. In the meantime, coffee: mostly-decaf, drop of cream, and 1 1/2 packets of Splenda, stupid, barely readable, gossip-lit novel, and laptop (and birds) to fill my senses.

Today is supposed to be the day, the warmest and sunniest day of the week, so all week I have been anticipating it. Ned, Max and Ben are going to the Big Apple Circus with Ned’s dad and Nat’s at school until 4 so I am here by myself for the first time since — I don’t know when. I am probably going to the beach. This has been one long school vacation, starting with Passover a week ago, Good Friday off, Boston Marathon on Monday, and the whole week of no school for Ben and Max.

I have filled myself with my boys this week. Mostly Ben and Max. I always dread vacation weeks because we generally make no plans and I worry about boredom and too much down time. As I mentioned earlier, however, Max had planned on making a Star Wars sequel, but I did not actually believe it would happen. His ventures are so ambitious, and he is such a perfectionist, that it is tough to get it right with him sometimes. I was surprised how well the green screen turned out and how satisfied he was with that. But then he started telling me how he was going to need seven Sith robes! And Ben kept asking what his role was going to be, and I kept noticing, with sinking heart, that Max did not answer him. Poor Little B.

Anyway, Max’s pouty words about the lack of costumes in stores finally got through to me. First I tried calling around, to I Party and to Toys R Us, to find cheap Star Wars costumes. But April is the cruelest month for costume wearers, it seems. None to be found. Next idea: go into the dress-up box and put robes together, from all the old Halloween costumes: Zorro cape, Dracula cape, guy-with-brain-leaking-out cape. All made Max sneer in disdain.

I saw what was coming before he did. Another trip to the fabric store. So, off we went, and bought twenty yards of $1.99 black. And, of course, a couple yards of brown to make one for Benj, who figured he’d be a young Jedi, even though Max kept saying, “NO!”

Lunch at McDonalds, in a sunny window table, view of the parking lot and Route 1 (ugly) the place was filled with threesomes, moms with two kids, dads with two kids. Vacation week McDonalds. I had two Quarter Pounders with cheese without the rolls (Atkins). I still can’t believe the counter-intuitive freakish way that I eat, but I have kept off that 20 lbs for almost 4 years. Drinking in my Diet Coke and that warm sun, I was filled with a feeling of wellbeing and just snuggling in the moment. Max and Ben are very pleasant to be with for the most part. Max’s low, soft voice and Ben’s helium-filled louder voice mingle and give and take, discussing the stupidity (or not) of Neopets, the fight scenes Max is planning, and the downhill progress of Happy Meal toys since Max’s younger days. His naive cynicism is one of my secret pleasures.

Back home, plastic bag full of fabric and potential. Okay, time to make the robes. We go to the third floor, where I have my sewing machine (named Irving, for my grandfather the tailor) set up. I have a river of black material spread out all over me and the floor, and Max and Ben trying to help (trying). We fold, cut, rip, pin. No measuring, no patterns. My favorite kind of sewing. I call on Grandpa’s spirit to help. I tell the boys about winding a bobbin, and why there’s two threads in a sewing maching seam. How Grandpa was so used to the old sewing machines, where you turned the wheel away to reverse, using your hands, and how he used to jam my machine because it was all electric. Ben feeds the fabric and steps on the peddle, Max does not want a try.

I end up with a huge Emperor’s robe, with some of the seams mysteriously inside-out, and a lot of lumpy fabric leftover in the hood. But Max is grinning at himself in the mirror, so I know it’s going to be okay.

They go downstairs and come up with a picture of a Jawa, and I determine to make that for Benj. It is much easier, it turns out, to work with three yards than ten. I piece it all together in fifteen minutes, pointy hood and all. A black stocking to block out Ben’s face. They are thrilled.

The best part is, the Jawa costume is too cool to leave out of the movie.


I’m just so envious you can sew! 😉

— added by Estee Klar-Wolfond on Thursday, April 20, 2006 at 7:14 am

Far from an expert seamstress, I totally relate to the sewing without a pattern, eyeball it, looks right, stitch it up method. When I ‘wing it’ like that I come up with good stuff. Now I just need a sewing room… oh and a scrapbooking room… and an excercise room… hmmm maybe I’d better go get a lottery ticket ;o)

— added by Jen on Thursday, April 20, 2006 at 10:41 am
Exotic Costumes Made To Order

— added by ExoticSeamstress on Friday, July 7, 2006 at 2:51 pm

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