truly wild

A few weeks back, my older daughter bought herself a sewing machine and now she stays up late at night teaching herself how to make linen skirts, coffee-dyed cotton petticoats, and corsets with zip ties for ribbing. (Next up, buttons, which have her positively buzzing.)

This sewing streak began when she was living in Massachusetts and made herself a Halloween costume based on a character from Outlander — lots of petticoats and a bustle — though, wait a sec. Hang on. Now that I think about it, she did take sewing lessons from a friend of mine years ago, and before that there was that “dress” she fashioned from an empty bag of dog food, the pair of slippers she made out of masking tape, and the doll quilt. So maybe she’s actually been into sewing a lot longer than I realize? Hm, I may have to rethink my narrative arc.

In any case, I find her fascination with sewing equal parts hilarious and curious. See, I dislike sewing with a vengence (just the thought of working with bobbins and fabric makes me feel almost nauseated) and yet here I am with a child who loves it, what the heck?

When I mentioned this bizarre turn of events to a friend, she pointed out that sewing isn’t that big of a jump from making cheese or baking a cake, which is true, yes, but still. I always find it a little startling when a child loves something I don’t — skydiving, horseback riding, motorcycling, chickens, coding, fantasy books, computers — and my surprise is usually greater with the girls, perhaps because I subconsciously expect them to be more like me. (I know better, of course, but this is how I feel.)

The other day after my daughter showed me one of her most recent seamstressing developments, I just shook my head and said to no one in particular, “Where in the world did you come from?”

Without missing a beat, she said, “Your hoo ha,” and we both busted up laughing. 

There’s no point to this post, really, except to say that it’s truly wild to watch the evolution of your children as they go from Helpless Blobs to Distinct Humans — quirky, curious, passionate, and driven. It’s so surprising, it’s almost funny. Like a cosmic joke but of the very best sort. 

I love it.

P.S. While I was working on this post, a box of fabric arrived in the mail for my daughter — yards upon yards of dark green, pinstriped wool — and now I’m beginning to think she may have been born in the wrong century…

This same time, years previous: any-cut-of-beef pot roast magic, beef tamales, from my sister-in-law in Hong Kong: Covid-19 at the two-month mark, spring hits, what did you eat for lunch?, the quotidian (3.21.16), a morning’s start, an accidental expert, over the moon, roasted vegetables.


  • Thrift at Home

    I LOVE what she’s doing. Also, her hair is glorious!

    My mom loathes sewing and I wanted her to teach me so bad when I was a teen that she paid a church lady to teach me the basics and then gave me her sewing machine. Now sewing is my creative outlet and my mom asks me for sewing favors from time and time and we are both very pleased.

  • Elva

    Speaking of wild, I just can’t get over all that blooming forsythia in your yard!! There is still two feet of snow at my farm. I am in awe of not only your daughter, but also your weather!

  • suburbancorrespondent

    Those clothes look awesome!

    Also, I was just at a fiber festival in North Carolina, and there was a woman there who grows her own flax, spins it into linen thread, weaves that into cloth, and makes clothes from it. I mean, if your daughter wants something to aim for…

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