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A Stitch in Time

My first sewing project at age ten was done on a treadle machine. It was a flower print, elastic-waistband skirt made for a 4-H badge, then whisked off to be exhibited at the county fair. My sister Jean taught me how to decipher a pattern, the importance of a keeping a straight grain, cutting notches out not in, and pressing as you work. Before long I was whipping up jumpers, pajamas and Bermuda shorts. As a tall, skinny kid, almost everything store-bought needed nipping, tucking, raising, lowering and occsionally, reworking entirely. I've often wondered how people got by without sewing skills.

Later, any job associated with the arts was my goal and creating costumes for an opera company involved sketching, so I grabbed it. I inherited a ton of weighty period costumes, that smelled of mildew and sweat, all of them destined to be tailored to fit the bodies of persnickety singers. Of course, everything needed alterations. I LOVED that job and thought nothing of providing multiple sets of clothes, every production, for casts of thousands---or so it seemed. The sketches I did were far from artistic, they existed to convey information and ideas back and forth. At the end of the night, when the curtain fell, I knew the applause was for me too. I stayed at that job for seventeen years.

This journal is for you to write about how the needle and thread found its way into your life.

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