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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Sewing (02/22/07)

TITLE: Sewing Moments
By Whitnie Henderson


With the dawn of the industrial revolution, the manufacturing of clothing is no longer a personal or individual endeavor. For generations, mothers and grandmothers taught their daughters the art and practice of sewing. Together they created, designed and sewed their familyís clothes.

At some point, those who had means were able to hire others to sew their clothes for them. This of course helped commerce. Today, most people in America have the luxury of being in a financial position to purchase clothes that were manufactured elsewhere and have never sewn anything.

Iíd never really thought about it until now, but its a shame we donít want to, think to or for the most part are unable to make our own clothes.

There are three reasons that sewing would benefit American society. First and foremost, it would draw us closer to God. Second, it would bring family members closer together and third, it would provide each and every one of us that sense of accomplishment and pride we all long to have.

Making our clothes would draw us closer to God by slowing us down and calming our minds. The act of sewing can be meditative because of its repetitive nature and the need for focus and attention to detail. It is an activity that can be done alone, in quiet solitude. It is times such as these that God speaks to us. We can choose to actively seek him or just as we are, he will come to us and we can receive him when our minds are unencumbered by other things.

Families donít spend the kind of time together that they did in previous generations before the advent of TV, I-pods, video games and structured play times. Parents, when living in the same house are often both working. The time spent with the kids is generally as a chauffer, shuttling them between practices or games of one kind or another. But if the entire familyís clothes were made by each individual family member and the family as a whole, think of the extraordinary bonding that would occur.

Lessons about the various stitches or sewing methods are the obvious beginnings of conversation, but there would be so much more. Each family member would have the opportunity to discuss their day, problems in their lives and generally sharing their interests. Beyond talking, they would share a common sense of purpose and the joy of working as a team. What American family would not benefit from these moments?

This brings us to accomplishments and the satisfaction that comes from a job well done. Everyone can sew. And while everyone may not be a great seamstress or have the imagination to design couture gowns, any and everyone can cut patterns or thread needles or darn socks. The point here is to participate in a process and know that you had a hand in the finished product.

I never took to sewing because I didnít have to. Both my mother and grandmother at various times in my childhood shared their knowledge and those are moments I remember fondly. My grandmother sewed my prom dress, a simple silk sheath that I personally selected. I even cut the pattern.

I didnít really know Jesus then. Had I, I can imagine sitting there on the floor pinning the pattern to that delicate silk material, praying for patience and thanking him for the time spent with my grandma, listening to her stories. Those moments are all too fleeting. But in order to cherish them, we need to actually have them.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Jacquelyn Horne03/03/07
Good pov. We miss a lot, in America especially, by not having family time, whatever the reason. Sewing would be a good place to start. Also at the dinner table, which is also losing its fame to TV snack trays.
Lyn Perry03/09/07
You definitely need to move up to the next challenge level - that was a good essay and well articulated perspective. Lyn