sewing with grandma Jo


I love sewing. Sounds random but stay with me. I have such fond memories of sewing with my grandma, Grandma Jo. She was all about the polyester when it came in strong in the ’70s. Being married, the first time around, to a military man, I think she ironed enough uniforms to turn her to the dark side: synthetics. I can see her in one of her very own caftan dresses, with a long brown More cigarette held between her long fingers with long fingernails, polished coral pink, of course. 

In her other hand would be the amber rocks glass of watered-down wine. She started drinking at about eleven am, and since it wasn’t her first rodeo, she knew to water it down to go the distance. The Carlo Rossi jug of wine was kept in the pantry for easy access. This was back when good people smoked in their homes. Not like now. Now only ‘bad’ people smoke inside. My kid turned me on to Joey Coco Diaz. We’ve got a fondness for Cocos. Damn, I would love to see Grandma Jo and Joey Diaz talk and smoke together. That guy is a character, almost as much of a badass as Grandma Jo. Double down on the Jo, Jo-ness squared, Jo to the third power. 

The fun thing is that my recent financial strain has created a new quest when it melded my love of thrift stores to my love of sewing. Well, add the fact that my body size and shape is as unique as my sense of style. Cue the horse laughter. I find clothes that I like but don’t quite fit or flatter me, and I alter or outright mutate them. And it’s not just clothing. 

I found a perfectly good dark navy cotton queen size zippered duvet cover. It was just crying out for something. I decided on adding an orange octopus, like duh. I hadn’t cut out different shapes and attached them onto fabric before with fabric paint, but it was a blast! I found an image online of a line drawing of an octopus for a tattoo and enlarged it on a copier and made a pattern. The handy thing with octopi is that they are so squishy and have so many ‘legs’ that you can get super creative. This was such a fun project! And it was cheap-cheap too. I do love getting crafty. Creating something my very own feels fan-fucking-tastic. And I know Grandma Jo would’ve liked the way it turned out also.

excerpt chapter 3: enter scrappy coco

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *