“It is never too late to be what you might have been,” according to George Eliot (pseudonym used by Mary Ann Evans, 1819-1880). For the last two posts, we’ve been discussing sewing, embroidering, knitting, etc., and quite a few of our blog friends wrote that they wished they’d been taught to do some of those crafts.
The good news is that George Eliot was right: It’s never too late.
For instance, Roosevelt “Rosey” Grier, former football player for the NY Giants and the LA Rams, later was also a bodyguard for Robert Kennedy. Rosey is seriously strong and rugged, and he was one of the NY Giants’ original Fearsome Foursome, so he caught the gender-sewing issue off guard when he added needlepoint and macramé to his talents. Some of his creations became so popular that there was demand for his patterns.
And now, Mom, for my favorite “never too late” story, let’s tell our friends about your freshman year in college. At the last minute you needed a long dress for a formal dance. When you took your gown out of the clothing bag, there was a loose thread. You pulled it, and–z-i-p!–you unraveled the entire hem.
You’d learned basic embroidery and quilting when you made your bird-pattern quilt, but you’d never learned to hem a skirt or do any practical needle work beyond sewing on buttons.
Ever resourceful, you ended up using safety pins to hold the hem in place. And when you ran out of safety pins, you finished the job with masking tape. You said that when you danced, you made an odd-sounding rustle. After that, you told Grandma you were ready and eager to learn “real” sewing.
By the time you were married and had children, you could make everything from hats (see picture) to underwear (no picture available…) You even dismantled one of your long wool winter coats and created a little coat for me. You made it with a big collar, and I was truthful when I said it made me look like “one of those people who came over on that boat.” (I think I meant the Pilgrims.) You also made a little jacket for David out of the wool, but I don’t remember him ever having to wear it.
Pablo Picasso said, “Others have seen what is and asked why. I have seen what could be and asked why not. ”
I would add this, Mom. You saw what needed to be done and asked someone to teach you the basics. After that, there was no stopping you.
Picasso also said, “The chief enemy of creativity is good sense,” and you proved this point by creating hats, underwear, and Pilgrim-style coats. But other than those few examples, you created amazing, beautiful and useful things. Hats off to George Eliot, Rosey Grier, and Mary Shepherd!