My daughter decided that she wanted to be a bat for Halloween. After assembling black leggings, t-shirt and a little pair of pointy ears on a headband I skipped off to Woolies to buy some bat wings.
I poked about and muttered darkly about spending $25 on something that we’d use for one day before I had a flash of inspiration. I would MAKE wings. For the first time in seven years of motherhood, I would be CRAFTY MUM. Off I went to Vinnie’s and came back clutching a second hand black skirt and a sense of accomplishment. I would get out my little needle and thread and… ah crap. The skirt is huge. There’s a heap of sewing to do. It’ll take hours. Unless…. I could buy a sewing machine! Ok, so I would be spending a lot more than I planned to on the original wings but surely in my new incarnation as Crafty Mum I would get loads of use out of it. I could sew costumes and cubby houses and new clothes and possibly an entire fabric adult male to prop around the house so that my kids stop asking me when I’m going to hurry up and get a boyfriend already.
So I hit Gumtree and bought a second hand sewing machine. My children gathered, fascinated, as I sorted through a sewing box they’d only ever heard about in theory before (it was kept in the Cupboard That Shall Never Be Opened, along with my ab roller and the scuba diving gear I bought that one time).
After I’d used 300 pins to mark out an intricate scalloped edge (four minor stab wounds) and chopped off all the extra bits with my blunt kitchen scissors (16 muttered swear words), it was time to sew. Except the effing machine doesn’t work. It skips about making interestingly random patterns but does bugger all about joining two bits of fabric together.
I ended up gluing the edges together with that hemming stuff that everyone knows is a total cheat. I used about four miles of it. And then I tied the neck together with a bit of elastic. The whole thing took over three hours and cost $100. And at the end of it all, my daughter turned a carefully blank expression on me and said “You know, mum… I think I might go as a zombie.”