1.24.2009

like looking through a fogged mirror



in years gone by baka has indulged me and spent most of her evenings knitting various things for the kids. the first year, when cohen was but a babe, it was fairly ridiculous. last year it was more reasonable, but still, i took full advantage of her incredible talent. lately though her hands have been having trouble and knitting isn't as fun as it used to be, so this year she made me the cowl and a sweater/hat for ada, and then she asked if i would like her to sew something instead. it didn't surprise me to learn that she could sew as well as she knit, old world ways i guess. when she was a young women she went to special classes to learn these things, darning socks, hemming skirts, mending towels with blanket stitches, all things she has done here at my house for us, things that make me shake my head and ask, why not just buy new socks? lazy in my new world ways i guess. i have come to appreciate it all the same though, especially when i find an old sweater, the one i loved but had long since relegated to the top of the closet because of the unsightly hole in the sleeve, as good as new and neatly folded on the bed. i wish i had more "everything old is new again" and less "out with the old and in with the new". i suspect there is some philosophy in there somewhere.



so she asked and i happily accepted the offer of some sewing for ada. we bought tracing paper and i pulled out and washed up fabric, we talked pleats, debated over button vs zipper, and then baka fell ill. the last week she was here she was quite sick, lying in bed moaning sick. everyone but me got it, but baka got it worst. so it didn't look like it was going to happen, the sewing, but in true form she pulled out the machine on her last full day here and set to work (don't worry, she was finally on the mend). the idea was that i would watch closely, learn. i have been talking about making ada clothes since the day she was born. a girl! alright, i can make a dress! it has never happened though and to be honest i am pretty sure my sewing isn't up to speed for it, i probably could have used some of those eastern european home maker classes.



the problem was that trying to watch your mother in law design/cut/pin/baste, and sew a dress while watching out for two small children, one of whom is snotty and grouchy and insists on being carried and talked to, is akin to swimming with cement shoes, it is possible but only with the most determined perseverance and even then it is only for a short while. i did manage to pop in and see the things i was the most troubled about, the hem around the neck and arms, the pleat and the general assembly prior to basting. i think i learned enough to at least attempt a go on my own, and i got a pretty cute dress out of it in the end as well. i could tell that silvija was pleased with the result, she couldn't stop smiling, and immediately asked me to take a picture of ada in it so that she could remember. i wish i had a perfect shot of ada standing up straight in it so that you could get the whole picture, but i don't. it is grey wool, a fabric that i bought two years ago now because i fell in love with it and i knew that some day i would find something to make with it. i am so glad i did. when she was finished and saw ada in it she laughed and said that next year she will do much sewing. i can't wait.

9 comments:

Randi said...

LOVE! It all!! Everything!!!

Baka, the wool, the dress, the polaroids especially (the tint, the prints, all). You are really very talented.

That is the one thing that tempts me for another go at pregnancy - the possibility of making girl clothes. :-)

Hope all are feeling much better now.

Phototally said...

lovely ladies !

I like the poladroids -tell me more - on their demo, the best part is when they 'shake' the developing picture with the mouse.

The toque and cowel are lovely, but those pictures are creepy.

t said...

ha ha it's funny paul, i never thought of the photos as creepy but now that i look again i can see how i look pretty freaky, or at least freaked out. that is what i get for attempting an arty diptych.

the poladroid is a pretty good time, you should download it (it's free) and give it a whirl. it automatically determines the tint and whether there is a thumbprint or not (so i can't take much credit there randi). it is a pretty silly application but good for the odd effect here and there. i think your tanker ship pictures would be pretty cool poladroided, so do it! oh and don't worry you don't actually have to shake it, but come on, you know you want to.

libragal said...

love the poldaroids! and i do agree that the hat and cowel shots look creepy.
however, what i love most is the punny way you link together baka's sewing and how she was "on the mend." thanks! you had me in stitches...

cheesefairy said...

Oh...homemade. I wish to knit if only to make my own socks but I hear they are the hardest things to knit.

I think you look like an evil Anna Karenina (or other Russian heroine of your choosing) in the hat and cowl. But they are both so lovely and warm looking.

Klay said...

I haven't even read the post yet - but I must know how to do the Polaroid thing. OK, now I'll go read

Klay said...

I love the gray wool dress. I love that there are people who know how to darn. Although, having worn socks that have been darned - not very well - I would opt for buying new ones.

A. Nonya Mouse said...

By the way - am crazy for the Poladroids - had never heard of that! Cool.

And I forgot to mention - so cool that Baka knit all that stuff. I was wondering where you got all the cool kids sweaters. I need a European Grandma! ;-)

Randi said...

^ whoops. apparently i have an identity i don't remember creating, tied to my gmail account... weird!