I was about seven, and for years (!), I'd been offering
really helpful suggestions about the clothes my mother
designed and sewed. Now I was going to make my own skirt.
At the fabric shop, I ran my fingers along each bolt of
cloth, probably about sixteen times. My mother didn’t
mind. She was doing the same thing. Finally, after much
indecision and heavy consultation, I chose a navy blue
cotton broadcloth with a red pin stripe.
Back home, under my mother’s close supervision, I cut
out a couple of large rectangles and a strip for the
waistband. Using my mother’s old black Singer, I
carefully stitched the rectangles into a tube, then gathered
the tube to the waistband. I made a buttonhole and sewed on
a big red button. We folded a deep hem, and my mother, whose
ability to stitch a straight line was far superior to mine,
sewed the hem with her machine. For the finishing touch, she
showed me how to wind red embroidery floss under one machine
stitch and over the next.
I had made my own skirt and embroidered it, too. I was hooked.
I also loved reading. I asked where books came from. People
wrote them? Wow! I knew what I wanted to do when I grew up.
Whether I grew up or not is debatable, but now I’m
writing books in which my main character solves crimes. She
also embroiders the way I do now, with sewing and embroidery
What could be better?
Thread and Buried, June 2013
Threaded for Trouble, June 2012
Dire Threads, June 2011