My grandma taught me how to sew when people used sewing machines quite often. In the sixties she made all three of us sweet dresses to wear to school. It even seems odd to me today that we all did wear dresses or jumpers every day of the school year. Well, I wanted to learn from her; her clothes were the best and somehow I realized that she would have the perseverance, patience and time that my mom seemed to be in short supply of.
We started out simple, making many scarves that were simple triangles that we wore constantly back then. She taught the angles and how to keep the needle down as I turned the corner. We moved on to making simple jumpers where she taught me clean finish. A clean finish involves pressing the seam open, turning the fabric under a quarter of an inch and then stitching down either side of the seam a second time. It prevents fraying….and guess what…it was lots of work, but I learned how to sew straight and also how to do a clean finish every time. Grandma also always insisted that I clip the ends of the threads precisely and as close as I could get to the fabric on either side. It is a miracle that I survived the teaching, her persnickty ways, because guess what???? I ABSOLUTELY HATE TO FINISH! I loved Grandma and I did want her to keep on teaching me, so I tried.
I love to start, I love the middle, I just hate endings. But they are so…so…important. I want a clean finish to this school year. I want it all wrapped up with the threads clipped. I don’t want any frayed edges. Having just two days left, I feel like it almost is impossible to get all the book room books inventoried, put away in a tidy fashion and lost books re-ordered. I have to say to myself repeatedly…I think I can…I think I can. I’m feeling her whispering in my ear these days, “Nancy, do a clean finish, I know you can do it, you can, you can.”