Exploring the gospel principles of earth stewardship

Sewing Skills

I like to sew, but I can’t justify sewing most things. It is so much cheaper to buy ready made clothes, to pick up things on clearance sales or at thrift stores, than it is to purchase fabric and construct clothing. But I still sewed some things for myself and my children over the years, not with the justification that it was economically sound or that we would wear those clothes out, but because I was developing the skill of sewing.

And that skill is very useful. I often mend clothing for my family. I can buy things for us secondhand that need just a little repair or alteration to fit better. I’ve got a stack of khakis to hem for my husband now, or whenever he has a chance put them on for me to find the right length.

I’ve been able to sew curtain and pillow covers for my home. I reupholstered our couch, which involved quite a bit of sewing (as well as stapling, hammering, and hot glue-gunning). I’ve made ring slings for carrying my babies and as baby shower gifts for my friends. And we all have fantastic Halloween costumes. When my children want to dress up, we talk about how we can make something, not where we will buy it.

But I’ve finally found some use for this skill that is economically practical. My son has started wearing Utilikilt-style kilts. They are not available in his size (24″ waist), so I borrowed an adult sized kilt to use as a model to make one for my deacon. He loves it. He’s worn it camping and to his week-long scout camp. One of the leaders was the guy who lent us the first kilt. He brought about eight kilts with him to camp, and all the leaders and boys who were large enough to fit into them.

Back of the first kilt. Patch pockets on the rear and flapped cargo pockets on the sides.

Front of the second kilt. The buttons are from a second hand military jacket I found at a thrift store. Made of denim, this is a much heavier kilt. At his request, it also has bigger pockets.

This is made of USMC fabric donated for this purpose by our local kilt evangelist. Best made kilt thus far.

I’ve made two more kilts for my son, and it warms my little homemaker’s heart to see him so happy in something I’ve made for him. Even if I could buy a utilikilt for him, the price would be far more than what it costs me in time and material to make something similar. And so this humble skill, which I thought was less and less useful in today’s world, has proven itself to be both economic and practical. And my twelve year old son is excited to wear clothing I have made for him. How many mothers can say that?


  • Peter says:

    Nice kilt-work.  Your son inspires me to liberate myself from society’s narrow fashion strictures.

    • ReaderRachel says:

      They are super comfortable, have cargo pockets, and still look manly. And let me tell you, the air circulation is so much better, especially during the summer months. A kilt (or in my case, a skirt) puts shorts to shame every time.