The Sewing Sisters are Coming to Town

Get out your needle and thread, ‘cuz it’s Hammer time!

 My three sisters are coming to visit me next month and I could not be more excited. The four of us are starting what we hope will be an annual sisters’ get-together.

Getting together with my sisters is in my Top 5 Things I Love. The only evidence that I was switched at birth and was actually born to another, less talented, family is the fact that I don’t sew.

My sisters sew like you would not believe. They have basements full of bolts of fabric and specialty sewing machines. They make things that everyone else on the planet buys in stores and some of which I really was convinced were made by fairies. Like winter coats. Who sews a winter coat? Kathy, Reenie and Pam do. If one of them told me they sewed up a pair of running shoes, I would believe them and immediately order a pair.

They also quilt, felt, cross stitch, knit and some other stuff I don’t know the names of because I don’t do any of that stuff.

My sewing career ended in eighth grade. After successfully making a winter scarf in home ec sewing class, I deluded myself into thinking, because I was a Laney girl, I could make a jumper.  I had a blast picking out the brown corduroy fabric from Joann’s. And that was where the fun stopped.

By the end, I had sewn the yoke on backwards, upside down, and both backwards and upside down. Three times I had to rip it out with a tiny seam ripper, do it again and again. And then again. Finally I threw it across the room and declared, “I will never sew again!”

My sister Kathy picked up the brown corduroy mess, half-made jumper with the yoke sewn on like something from Nightmare Before Christmas, and said, “I’ll finish it for you.”  Since that day, she has also hemmed all of my pants.

My daughter showed an interest in sewing a few years ago, when she said to me, “Remember how you told me that Aunt Kathy takes pictures of designer clothes and then goes home and makes them for a fraction of the cost, but they look exactly like designer clothes?”


“Well, I want to do that.”

By that, she meant she wanted me to be more like her aunts and work magic in the basement and make her cool stuff, post my creations on craft blogs and be a sewing diva.

“There’s stuff I do that they can’t do,” I said, as she walked away, disgusted by my inability to rock.  Like what? Like this blog. I mean they can write a blog and would probably clean my clock with it, but they don’t (probably too busy sewing up some canvas boat covers), so I’m going to take up some space here photo-quoting from, a Web site that these two women stopped writing three years ago, but continues to entertain on the perpetual laugh riot that is the Internet.

I don’t care how crafty you are, you should not under any circumstances sew/knit/macrame or forge out of any material any of the things pictured below. Let me add that my sisters don’t make any of this. They are classy women who use their talents for good, not evil.

Spats made a brief comeback in the early 1970s, much to the dismay of high school marching bands, who thought the new style was just too femmy.

A crocheted skirt. For when you’re, you know, doing tai chi down by the river.

Don’t forget the flesh-colored lining! This macraméd warrior vest can be made out of the hair of your victims, if you run out of hemp.

The next time you’re racking your brain for a gift idea for the gondola captain, whip one of these babies up. Don’t forget the contrasting color belt-like feature.

Sophia Loren and Jackie O impersonators show off their costumes for the off-Broadway production of Charly and the M&M Factory.

Baby straightjackets. The mere fact that we children of the 1950s lived to middle age without opening fire from the top of a tall building is a miracle.

But then again, some of us grew up to wear this shit.

I may have gotten one of these for a bridal shower gift.  But I used it for a wine bottle cozy.

Don’t know what to say. Really. I’ve got nothing.

How to Know You’re Sewing Too Much: When you’re tempted to make a Speedo for the man in your life. Also can be under the heading How to Get Your Boyfriend to Break Up With You.

No. Just . . . no.

To the people who bought this pattern: It’s time to go back to work now. I don’t care if you are still nursing the baby.

Candy woke up in a field with a terrible headache and discovered that she had been violated with fringe.

He’ll never walk the dog now, you moron.

Peeping Tom and Peeping Tony knew how to stay warm when stalking the ladies.

If Queen’s Pride flour had wanted to get into the clothing business, they would have opened up a shop in Greenwich Village.

If this is a “small needlework gift” then I’d hate to see The Small Book of Big Huge Needlework Gifts.

I don’t know about you, but nothing turns me on more than a guy in a crocheted potholder vest whispering “rib ticklers” in my ear, through the plastic fruit on my beret.

Fashions for Klan members at home, when their hoods are in the wash.

Diane Laney Fitzpatrick can be reached, in all her store-bought clothed glory, at

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