Saturday, April 18, 2009

My Month of Martha

I recently spent a week in Palm Springs with my friend Leslie. I might have mentioned that Leslie and I don't agree on ONE SINGLE thing...but I take that back - we do both agree that Martha Stewart is a paragon of craftitude and an inspiration to anyone looking for perfection. Leslie works very hard all day, but she plans her lunch break to watch Martha Stewart each day (Martha comes on at 1 p.m. here in Vancouver). I do check Martha's website every few days to see her Craft of the Day and Organization Tip of the Day - but I haven't watched the Martha show really at all. When I got back from Palm Springs I decided to launch my own personal "Month of Martha" - to record her show each day and watch it. The best part of recording the show is that I don't have to watch the segements on animals (not interested) nor her weirdly uncomfortable interviews. I still think Martha was at her best on her old shows where she wasn't trying to be personable or folksy - she just showed us the perfect way to make drapes, or preserves, or gingerbread houses. Having a guest make a sprinkle craft (when they have no interest in crafts at all) or watching a guest cook (when they never cook and don't even know what they are doing) is just a time-waster.

But - Martha is perfection. Look at this photo from her Organizing Tip of the Day:

Wouldn't you want to have this?

My mother is an excellent sewer. She made virtually all of our clothes when we were children. I don't really even remember having store bought clothes - my mother made us dresses, winter coats, shorts, pants and even bathing suits. As I grew up I also became a sewer. In highschool my next door neighbour Cheri and I would often make a ourselves new dresses if we were going out to a party on the weekend. As you can imagine, my finishing skills were never very good - so I almost always needed help to put in a zipper properly or finish button holes - my mother was flawless at those things. My mother made me my highschool formal dresses, my graduation dresses - and she would have made me a wedding dress if I had wanted one. When my children were little she made them all kinds of things - costumes, dresses, shorts, list of things she made them is exhausting. She made them Christmas pyjamas almost every year until they were in their teens. Heck, one Christmas when my brother and his wife came out for the Christmas Holidays, she made us all red and white striped Christmas pyjamas and nightgowns so we all matched on Christmas morning.

When we were growing up, my mother had the sewing machine and a large table set up permanently in our basement. It was easy to think of sewing - everything was available and convenient. I have never had a dedicated space just for sewing - I do have an old sewing machine and I often haul it out if I need new drapes or duvet covers or even school costumes. But it is a pain in the neck to do so and it disrupts our lives to have sewing on the dining room or kitchen table.

Not many people sew anymore - even friends who used to make their own clothes don't seem to sew as much. I don't think having Martha's perfect sewing setup would inspire me to sew more, but it is heavenly to look at. Oh - and I'm going to go for another Month of Martha - who knows what I will learn.......

1 comment:

Kali said...

I have a few friends who are amazing sewers. They have surgers and sewing machines and free-style (can I call it that?) their own designs. It is amazing.
The art of sewing is not dead...Maybe just not as prevalent.