Image of shamrocks via

Fabrics don’t make exquisite dresses, it is the stitches.” Treasure Stitches

By: Gabriela Yareliz

I haven’t sat down to sew in a long time. Sewing was a part of my childhood. My mom sewed and hemmed her pants and such. My grandmother would come and take over the dining room table with our sewing machine and make me beautiful dresses that easily rivaled anything in any store. (My favorite was a white dress with a square neck and a navy ribbon that lined the collar– it made me look like a mariner).

I took Home Economics (Home Ec) in the 7th grade. We learned to cook, sew and carry around a fake baby. We heard horror stories of kids that had accidentally sewn their own fingers with the machine and had wandered off into the hallway in a state of shock. I made a pillow case (it was a white fabric with green little shamrocks– don’t ask why I chose this. Maybe it was the cheapest fabric, maybe I was feeling lucky, or maybe it was just the funkiest thing I could find); I made a couple of other random things I am sure I treasured, and we made the parent breakfast. Then, the next semester we took Industrial Arts, where I made a wooden shelf and toaster tongs, all on my own. (I kept the absurd goggles from this class– still have them. For some reason they are among my treasured possessions). This was the class I was taking around my birthday, and my mom sent me balloons (it was magical to get balloons delivered in class), and I nervously kept eyeing them to make sure they didn’t get close to any of our saws during that period. Kids can be vicious. I kept them close. I was glowing.

I remember a good amount of time in Home Ec was spent ripping the stitches out with our little blue handle seam rippers. The seams needed to be straight. I wasn’t at home making my American Girl doll a skirt or patching a purse I refused to throw away. Nope. This needed to be right. I was being graded. We would sit together in little clumps and seam rip. There was a comfort in knowing we were in this torture together. Even though we were being graded on our pillow case stitches, it wasn’t perfection that was expected but good faith effort. They knew we were only like 12.

Good faith effort– the kind of effort we should put into life. We don’t need perfection, but hey, maybe we should take a pause and evaluate the stitches. Are they straight? And if not, we should know there is no shame in stopping to rip some stitches to start again. We can sit together and seam rip. The shamrock pillow case is worth it. You are worth it. Don’t be afraid to start the stitch line again.

Published by Gabriela Yareliz

Gabriela is a writer, editor and attorney. She loves the art of storytelling, and she is based in NYC.

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