Monday, September 5, 2011
Domestic Yearnings: Cooking and Sewing
A checkered skirt at the Family Jewels vintage shop in New York City which I'd love to be able to recreate - but I can't, since I can't sew by hand or operate a sewing machine.
When I casually mentioned to my sweetheart Steve that I wish I could make some of my own clothes, he said he heard making your own clothes is growing in popularity due to the rising costs of clothing. I wouldn't want to make all of my own clothes since I come across so many great pieces for free at seasonal clothing swaps or for significantly reduced costs at thrift and consignment shops, but would love to reproduce some of the vintage pieces I see.
I love vintage clothing, but the problem, aside from it is often over-priced: it's small. At a size 12, I don't fit into a lot of it. I would like to get down to my ideal size, an 8. Looking at photos of myself when I was a 4, I actually think: too thin! But even at an 8, it would be a challenge.
While the cost savings would be a benefit, I really don't want to support all this cheap foreign labor. On this Labor Day, I'm thinking about how little is produced in the United States.
Do you sew or make your own clothes?
How about cooking? Do you enjoy it and feel like you have enough time for it? I love cooking but with a minimum two-and-a-half hour round trip door-to-door commute and an eight hour work day, it doesn't leave me with the time I'd like to pursue it. Steve is a chef but after cooking all day, he has little desire to go in the kitchen at day's end.
I adore the film Julie and Julia, which always makes me want to get in the kitchen.
I watched two seasons of Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution, and I remember him remarking about why aren't we teaching cooking in schools and giving people eight recipes that can help them survive in any economy.
As back to school is starting up, I'm also reflecting how few life skills we are taught in school. Are test scores all we value and what defines us? If I had to take an algebra test, I'd fail. There was a front page New York Times article about technology in the classroom - but education isn't just putting a computer in front of the child and expecting miracles. Being able to cook your own wholesome food is not only good for your health, but is an act of economic empowerment.
I had a home economics class in my suburban New Jersey school, but as far as I can remember, we learned how to make muffins and chocolate chip cookies. Did you have a home economics class? Would you like to see culinary education and home economics in our school system?