A perfect opportunity - the granddaughter’s ball dress. It’s been tried on, measured and pinned. We’ve had expert advice. “Blind hemming,” says my fashion school friend. “If you machine that, it won't look good.”
I know just the person.
By 11 a.m., I’m in Mum’s room. She's lying fully clothed on her bed. I tell her the plan and she’s up. We talk about it all the way to my place.
"And when is this ball?"
"Goodness, we’d better get going!"
Back at my house, Mum’s straight into it. “Herringbone or feather stitch?” I have no idea. “I’ll just do something very plain,” says Mum.
It’s so plain I can't see it. Tiny neat stitches underneath with not a trace of thread on the outside. Mum’s happy as a clam, head down stitching away.
I suggest lunch. She politely declines. “Not till I’m half way.”
An hour later and she’s gone right round. "Finito!" says Mum. Then she agrees it could possibly be time for lunch.
Mum admires the dress. “She going to look smashing in that!”
“I wish I could be more helpful,” says Mum, later, as I’m driving her back to the rest home. So I tell her about the hemming, the perfect job she did and how it’s practically a lost art. No-one knows how to do that stuff anymore.
It’s not that she doesn't believe me, it’s just that she doesn't seem to remember. Then she thinks for a minute.
"I’m not that good."
"No?""If I was that good, I’d have made sure you learnt how to do a decent hem."