Springing From The Hem

photo courtesy: Forest & Kim Starr

One year, young Ms. SpoolTeacher planted a packet of zinnia seeds in the little border patch under the window of her mother’s south facing bedroom window. She would look for any little patch of dirt to dig and dilly dally in, trying her hand at seeing what she could magically make appear. Sowing/Sewing

Whenever she has a day without alterations or sewing for someone else, she goes to her room full of fabrics and do dads and wills herself to do something with something. (It isn’t hard to make herself because that is exactly what she really wants to do anyway)

This day she found a border print that had been forcing itself to the top of the heap for some time. She cut it in half width wise thinking she might just be able to make one to keep and one to sell. It was a little on the skimpy side for the fullness factor (minimum 2.5%), but she knew she could come up with some kind of creative amendment if need be.

The next maneuver was to determine what length she would want. She used her metal yardstick and marked the measurements across the width with her blue chalk. (Measure Twice Cut Once!)

What to add, what to not.

Sewing is very improvisational. Thinking on your feet is a great skill to have. She decided to line it with the same pink she had used on her Red Gingham Dress.

Red Gingham Dress

Should the seam be pressed up, down, open? It makes a difference.

As it turned out, several trims would be added right at the seam and over it; so, it wouldn’t show, so to speak, anyway.

Now for how to gather at the waist.

It struck her that a pocket for a belt or tie to traverse through might be a novel idea. Something different, then the fullness could be adjusted for a smaller or larger waist size. And why not in a small version of the red gingham, especially since she had a wrap of it in her binding collection. Easy, peasy!


In her mother’s garden, to her delight the packet of zinnia seeds filed the plot to capacity, reaching ever closer to the sun each day with their brilliant multicolors. She felt thrilled by the lust the little seeds had to spring forth. Nothing she could do seemed to thwart their intent. They were hardy and low maintenance and seemed to love the placement she had chosen for them. They seemed to last forever that summer, reaching, reaching, holding the color intensity in their perfectly formed flowers onward and onward throughout the summer months.

springing from the hem

She learned patience and a little about longevity that summer. A little, too, about hope and expectation.

Ms. SpoolTeacher loves that she has lots of dirt to dig in of her own now. She’s a little frustrated that it is in a desert, where the summer sun is so intense, things only seem to want to grow under filtered tree light. Winters offer freezing just enough to threaten anything that can survive the summer’s scorching blare.

She saves all her table scraps and leaf debris, weeds that haven’t gone to seed and makes messy piles wherever it is convenient. Someday she hopes to have patches of better soil.

She has a garden of sorts inside the house where all the “seeds” of her imagination are sitting on shelves, in drawers, hanging on hangers or half put together into a vision of her own delight. Some things have to wait for the right amendment to come along, just as the grounds around her house are waiting for the leaves and food scraps to amount to enough to amend the composition of nature.

Be sure to put scraps in compost

Sometimes nature does whatever it wants to. Actually it always does.

Compost Heaps out in Ms. SpoolTeacher's yard

volunteer gardening

“Volunteer Garden” … happy, happy, joy, joy!

Anyone want to volunteer to be on Ms. SpoolTeacher’s table for dinner?

How about that!


3 thoughts on “Springing From The Hem

  1. Pingback: No Lick Security Overalls | Spool Teacher

  2. Pingback: Spool Teacher

  3. Pingback: While She Was Spooling a Vintage Tablecloth Apron | Spool Teacher

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