I was at my grandson’s hockey game last week, all the kids wearing the same jerseys, their faces hidden behind helmets and masks. At that young age, unless it’s a girl with a long pony tail hanging down her back, they all look somewhat the same.
I was glad to see that some of the kids had large name tags with their last name sewn on the back of their jerseys. It was so much easier to find my boy, and learn the names of the other players.
I know about those name tags, an option for parents, because for the second year in a row, I’ve sewed that tag on my grandson’s jersey. It’s not a difficult bit of sewing. But to get it right, and to make sure it was straight, I pinned it in place, then basted it, and finally sewed it on with smaller stitches around the serger finished edge.
I do it, because my daughter has no knowledge of, or interest in sewing. I have been the go-to person for repairs and little sewing jobs for her and her family. She’s not alone in her disinterest in the art or craft of sewing.
At the end of the game, another Hockey Mom approached my daughter, wanting to know where she had the name patch sewn on. Really, I’m thinking. My daughter pointed to me and we all laughed. And I ended up volunteering to sew the patch on.
It’s nice to know I have a needed skill, but I think it’s a shame that this next generation, and the one that follows have no interest in sewing, as a hobby, or even just as a required skill, like how to cook or do the laundry.
I still have handmade quilts made by my great grandmother. She also crocheted, and tatted. My grandmother sewed her own clothes, and some pretty dresses for my sister and I when we were little.
My mother made beautiful clothes, even had a home based clothing line for a while. She was also a talented artist, did landscapes and portraits in oil, and then switched to acrylic and watercolour. She could knit and crochet, but like rug hooking, weaving and crewel, done in wall hangings of her own design.
I’ve been like my mother. I started out painting in oils and learned to sew as a teenager. Later I tried just about everything, like pottery, ceramics, macramé, but the mainstays of sewing, knitting and crochet were my ongoing activities.
I got back into art and discovered mixed media collage was my best style, and a few years ago began writing.
Maybe it’s a sign of the times, with everyone being so busy, but I don’t think that’s really an excuse for why people seem to have abandoned learning these useful skills. I still found time to paint, even as a single Mom, working full time. I think it’s because life is fast, and everybody wants what they want, quick easy and right now. It’s easier to buy what you want than make it.
Or maybe, it’s part of our individual genetic makeup. I much prefer time in isolation, doing whatever creative venture I’m interested in at the time. And some people prefer the company of others, you know...being social.
Maybe, at some future time, the younger generation will want to create, and seek me out. Right now, they seem content to benefit from my knowledge, skill and talent...second hand.