The Project: A Hat
Knitting is like an analog version of the Lumosity app. The crafting can help strengthen your cognitive memory, prevent cerebral atrophy, and significantly delay dementia — all thanks to the constant counting and pattern-work. But, for my mom, who found solace in the craft when Dad died, it’s an opportunity to clear her mind and have moments of peace and creativity to herself.
The Project: An Oompa Loompa Costume (Basic Overalls)
After making the hat, I think my mom felt pity on me. So, next, we worked with the simplest form of garment construction, with felt and a glue gun instead of a sewing machine and fabric.
The Project: Hemming Pants
This was the most satisfying skill I learned. I felt like a superhero for fixing the hem and actually wearing pants that would have probably sat in my closet until I remembered to head to the cleaners and pay a silly amount for a ten-minute job. Knowing how to hem officially makes me Supermom! Bring on the uniform skirts and palazzo pants. Hell. Yes.
1. Put on the super-long pants and turn up the hem to determine your finished length.
2. Measure how much needs to be hemmed. There is usually an already existing hem — keep note of where this is.
3. With a measuring tape, calculate the length of the entire hem.
4. Take off pants and turn them inside out.
5. Turn up required hem edge and cut off the existing hem/edge.
Time Saver: Use iron-on binding and iron onto the cut edge, then stitch hem all the way around using long and tiny stitches so they don’t show through finished side.
6. Turn pants right side out and iron.
The Ultimate Takeaway:
I have no patience and am a terrible student. I felt like I was back at Sunday school, with my mom teaching the class. I was forever clowning around, but her expert way of redirecting me back to the project at hand was impressive, to say the least. The products really didn’t take much time — so, I think, with a lot of practice, I too will be able to master the patterns and then improvise, to create finished products that truly represent the love they're made with.
This is dedicated to my Viking mom, Mariann Florio. Happy Mother’s Day, Grandmare, you are the best teacher a terrible student could ever have. And PS, there is no way Steven can top a gift like this!