Thursday, February 19, 2009

Jaguar Coats and Silk Curtains

My mom once sewed a coat from a jaguar skin. Born in Ecuador during a time when women’s roles grew only to include mother, wife, teacher, nun, or seamstress my mom chose to begin her adult life as a seamstress. Barely out of her teens, she became adept at translating yardage of indistinctive cloth into defining garments for her patrons. After her life grew to include a husband and two daughters, she sewed while everyone else slept. In the dark, working under the light of only a small bulb, she was diabolical; a dark figure bent over a cast-iron Singer, a foot rhythmically pumping life into the old, black beast, nimble fingers feeding it yard after yard, severed threads dancing about.

Thirty-five years later I decided that I needed curtains for my bare windows. Stocked with ideas, I headed to my usual home improvement shops and was shocked by the prices charged for the simplest of curtain panels. My ideal window treatment would include two silk panels, a sheer curtain underneath, and decorative rods. That treatment for ten windows would have cost me more than I could justify. “I shall make my own,” I declared, “After all, my mom made a jaguar coat once. I, too, should be able to sew.” My little goal was lofty; the last needle I threaded was as a child.

And thus began my newest learning experience. Stay tuned.

(Photo Credit: cesarastudillo on Flickr)

No comments: