She makes coverings for herself; Her clothing is fine linen and purple. Her husband is known in the gates, When he sits among the elders of the land. She makes linen garments and sells them, And supplies belts to the tradesmen. (Proverbs 31:22-24 NASB)
Last week I joined Meredith Bernard’s Woman 2 Woman linkup and did not realize it was a walk through Proverbs 31, so shame on me and thank you to everyone who didn’t post a catty comment about my poor blogging etiquette 🙂 Meredith’s sewing machine struck a chord with me, this morning, so I’m going to try again.
My mom was raised by a keeper of the home. I mean that. Her mother believed in tri-folding towels and ironing curtains and hospital corners on the bed (which served mom well when she enlisted in the Air Force). And my grandmother taught my mom how to sew. So growing up, if a button fell off a favorite dress, mom would put it back on.
Mom also had a beast of a sewing machine that sat in the corner of my sister’s closet for a long time until, one day, mom announced she was going to make me a dress. We were not well-off people and this probably coincided with the time that dad was losing or quitting his job (depends on who you ask). But I didn’t really think she meant it. I was not aware that people could make clothes. It seemed so far-fetched!
I remember going to Wal-Mart to pick out a pattern and the material and all the “stuff” one needs for this undertaking. I remember it seemed like piece parts of the dress sat in our dining room table for what felt like months because my mom worked full-time and this was a side project. And I can still remember what the dress looked like and how proud I was to wear it. I just thought it was so neat that my mom made this.
Fast forward to me, now. Mom never taught me anything about sewing. I have been known to donate clothes because they are missing a button. Seriously. And a couple of years ago, my husband was looking for a new, better paying job. He’d been looking here or there for months and finally had a promising lead. After being called for an interview, we realized in horror that none of his suits fit. He had two days, so he bought something from Kohl’s and had to drive all over town looking for someone who could get the alterations done in time. Because the good Lord knows I can’t do it.
Despite the fact that men’s clothes are designated by waist and length (ladies, can I get an amen?), my husband seems to require a lot of alterations. I, on the other hand, buy my pants on the long side and just wear heels that make them work. But that’s neither here nor there.
So, here we are in this season of our lives where money is tight. And sewing would be a valuable talent, not just because it would be convenient for us, but it’s a talent where I could probably make a buck here or there. And I wish I could make my daughter a dress and have her feel the pride of literally wearing my love (and likely my blood, sweat, and tears) wrapped around her. Not to mention I could keep her modestly attired, no matter what is hanging on the racks.
I read Proverbs 31 now and think to myself that someone should have taught the high school me all these things. But I also know how I used to think. I wouldn’t have thought this applied to me. I mean, Proverbs 31 sounds so archaic. Rising while it’s night and her husband sitting at the gates. Who does these things??
But man. If I could sew now, we’d save so much money. And I could hire out my talents to other women who can’t hem. Or I could sew things to sell and put that money toward our debt.
And who would have known that Proverbs 31 contains the recipe for a mother’s love? I wish I had known how valuable sewing could be – back when I had time to learn it. And I wish I’d known how valuable my mom was. I can’t even have her show me how to sew on a stinkin’ button anymore. But I will forever have the memory of that dress.