Breland: Doing what you know and remember

Published 9:42 am Friday, April 29, 2022

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When I was growing up, I often heard the adults say “things certainly are changing”! In my youth I thought it strange that they didn’t realize things do have to change. That is the way life spins!

Truthfully, I find myself in the same position so many years later. I find things really are changing … faster than we can imagine. Sometimes personal things! Sometimes even simple things can be difficult.

I decided I was going to sew, although this is something I have not done for quite a while. I have a sewing machine and since I was having a difficult time finding clothes to fit me, I would sew.

I bought material and a pattern for a dress. Apparently not many people are sewing garments anymore as I had trouble finding what was needed to make a dress. I finally found fabric and searched high and low for a zipper in the right length and color. Even Walmart didn’t have it.

Getting the pattern pieces cut with fabric was fairly easy. However, there was the sewing machine to reconquer. I have one of those wonderful sewing machines that does everything but cook supper. It can be pretty frustrating to get it going when it hasn’t been used for a while.

I took out the manual and I had to look again at how to get the machine working properly. The thread was put on the machine, and the bobbin filled, thankfully I remembered those! I had to clean it up some and add a little oil. Sounds easy, but once some things aren’t used for a good while, it can get complicated, especially for an older seamstress.

I reminded myself I have been sewing forever, so it can’t possibly be this hard, but it was! We raised three daughters and I have created clothing from infancy to adulthood, costumes and even at least two bridal gowns over their years…not to mention sewing for me!

On a trip out of town, I finally found the proper zipper. Then I had to go back and remember how to sew it in. I have put in thousands of zippers, but it took me an entire morning to get that zipper in properly!

Do you know they have videos online describing how this is done? I needed it because my old methods didn’t spark my brain on this issue. In addition, my hands couldn’t quite hold on to things like they did in the past. I was constantly dropping and retrieving things. Arthritis doesn’t help in any way!

With many problems cropping up and mostly conquered, I finally got the dress practically finished. Although I measured very carefully at every step, it was just a wee bit tight across my tummy. Either I will find a creative way to make it fit, or losing some weight is in the picture!

Since I have conquered the machine and getting the zipper in, I am thinking about trying it again — only adjusting a little more for fit. I am ashamed I had forgotten so much. Made me feel sad for my trusty machine, sitting there all this time!

My body doesn’t respond to a lot of challenges … but we are talking about a lot of years!

“Mom, it is just like you did with making pies. You had not made pies for a long time, and when you started again, I believe you had a few flops before you were successful,” my daughter told me. “If you want to sew, keep at it!” I did take a lot of teasing for leaving sugar out of a pie!

Getting older means we may have to give a little with the things we love to do. Trying to “keep up and keep on” can entail some challenges and failures…but the results can be worth it!

Retired as Associate News Editor, Bob Ann Breland writes a weekly column for The Daily News. You can email her at