Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Blazing New Trails

I am not ashamed to admit that I went through a big blazer phase in my early teen years.  In fact, my first "expensive" clothing purchase was a blazer that I bought at Elder-Beerman while visiting my aunt.  It was a patchwork design consisting of many different patterned wool swatches complete with a brown velvet collar, and it cost over a hundred dollars worth of my hard-earned paper route money.  And, a local newscaster, who was probably thirty years older than me, had the same one (but, to my credit, I didn't know this until after I bought it).  My sister referred to it as the "Mamie Blazer" because it distinctly reminded her of a chair that our Great-Great Aunt Mamie used to sit in.  Whatever; I thought it was fabulous.

This was just the start of a larger blazer collection because, you know, you need a sophisticated wardrobe when you're fourteen years old.  But the blazer fad reached its pinnacle when I decided that I was going to make one myself in Home Ec class.  While our teacher discussed possible sewing projects with us (boxer shorts, pillows, other items consisting of less than five seams), I immediately pictured myself creating the coolest blazer ever.  And, my teacher, whether she was unaware of my of lack of sewing experience or just plain clueless I'll never know, agreed to this plan.

That night at home, I explained my grand idea to my mother.  "And your teacher said this was okay?" she replied skeptically.

     "Oh yeah, she said it was fine.  You're going to have to take me to Jo-Ann Fabrics to get the pattern though because they didn't have any blazer patterns in the Home Ec catalog." (Perhaps this should have been a red flag.)

     "So, she thinks you're going to be able to sew sleeves and a collar and make button holes when everyone else is making a pillow?"

     "Mom, I really want to make a blazer, besides I'm sure she can help me if I need it."

And I'm sure she would have helped me if I would have used my time in class a little more wisely, rather than talking the whole class period when I should have been working on this ambitious pattern.  It came to the point when the sewing projects were due on Monday, and on the preceding Friday I had not even cut all the pieces of fabric out, let alone begun using the sewing machine.  This is when my panic mode set in just a little bit.  You see, I might have squandered my Home Ec time by talking to all of my table partners, but I was the kind of student who hated to get less than an A.  But it now seemed that the blazer would be a one way ticket to an F, and in Home Ec no less.

I brought the pattern, fabric and accoutrement  home that night, and I think my mom was shocked by how little I actually had done.  I'm sure she asked me something about what I had been doing during class for the past several weeks, but I'm also sure that, given my lifelong talking problem, she already knew the answer.  After several hours, it became evident that I was not going to be able to accomplish in two days what I had not been able to do in the previous three weeks--the blazer was just not to be.

My mom saved me from the F by taking me on another trip to Jo-Ann's and getting me a pattern for a simple wrap-around skirt that I was actually able to make.  I chose a fine wale corduroy in a lovely red and green plaid. I even wore the finished product to school, and looked like a Christmas present, I'm sure.

I never forgot about that blazer, though.  Especially since my mom reminded me that it was in the basement waiting to be assembled every time I claimed I was bored.  I think it was eventually thrown out in one of my parents' major basement sweeps, but it will always live on in my heart as an unrealized fashion dream.

1 comment:

  1. Ahhhhh Projects --- so many unfinished projects currently exist in my world!!!!!