5 Reasons I’ll Never Win Project Runway

28 Oct

I learned to sew on my mother’s old Singer when I was 15 years old. In those days we had ‘Home Economics’ classes in school. In my grandmother’s day it was called ‘Domestic Science’. Along with learning how to boil an egg and bake a cake, we were assigned projects like sewing napkins and aprons. Hell, it was better than calculus, which I’m happy to say I’ve never used since I graduated.

Over the years, however, I have fallen back on my sewing skills, such as they are.

I don’t believe sewing is on the curriculum of any high school in my city these days. We’ve come a long way baby. Or have we? Neither of my two daughters knows how to re-attach a button on a sweater or darn a hole in a sock, much less operate a sewing machine. I suppose with feminism and equality of the sexes, somebody decided teaching sewing to high school kids was a political hot potato.

All that has changed with the popularity of the TV show Project Runway. Apparently kids are signing up for sewing classes. I think that’s neat. I love Tim Gunn, and Heidi Klum is delightfully intimidating. In another life, I would have liked to be a fashion designer. I used to spend hours sketching outfits as a kid, just for fun.

Once or twice a year I drag out my mother’s Singer to hem curtains. I made a slipcover for our family room love seat that looks pretty good because any mistakes I made are hidden out of sight. I still use the sewing book I had back in the 70’s, published by Simplicity.

My latest projects, with my vintage Singer and Simplicity book

Halloween is my biggest sewing extravaganza. I like to make costumes because the standard is lower. Nobody’s going to look too closely at your handiwork. This year I made myself a poodle skirt for a 50’s look, and I made my daughter a fringed, faux suede skirt for a Native look.

Here are 5 reasons I’ll never win Project Runway:

1. Faulty measurements – I can’t get my head around measuring anything. Pattern sizes are like 5 times larger than your actual clothing size. For example, if I were a (cough) size 14 in the store, I’m a size 22 in a sewing pattern. Size 22! I’d like to kill the person who decided that was a good idea.

2. Crooked seams – it’s not always my fault. It’s the sewing machine’s fault. Seriously. At the crucial moment (putting in a zipper, attaching a collar) I’ll hear a crunching sound coming from the bobbin. This happens frequently, and means the thread has bunched up again and jammed the whole mess. Yes, I could invest in a brand new machine, but this one belonged to my mother (sniff).

3. Time – the contestants on Project Runway only get about 12 hours to finish their stuff. I would need 12 days.

4. Details – I have trouble with the small things. I can construct a skirt, but the darts might be crooked or the zipper skewed. I’m sure Michael Kors would notice.

5. Lack of talent – I only have rudimentary sewing skills. I know enough, but sewing is a struggle, and I curse a lot.

How about you? Do you like Project Runway? Do you know how to sew? Where did you learn?

One Response to “5 Reasons I’ll Never Win Project Runway”

  1. Sewing Machines December 27, 2011 at 11:49 am #

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