Pedaling On (otherwise known as “My Mum & The Sewing Machine – A Story That Binds”)


My mum was a seamstress, and a darn good one at that. When I was little, she brought home expensive fabrics and patterns from boutiques to work on to help with expenses at home.

There was always a sewing machine in our house but I was never allowed to play with it. I recall asking my mum to teach me how to sew, but she declined. She said her children should never need to sew for a living. She said I should study hard, work in an air-conditioned office and be able to afford pretty dresses for myself.

Fast forward to today. I came home distraught over the progress of my appeal for maternity leave coverage from my employer, an organisation I worked with since march this year. The chances seems slim and the road ahead seems bleaker as the date of my EDD draws nearer. I wasn’t in the right frame of mind to play with the kids, so I headed straight into the room and started to sew. I had in mind to make some small items for sale online to help make ends meet during my maternity leave. It sounds like wishful thinking (I know) for someone who have just figured out how to operate a sewing machine the day before, but it’s better to be wishful than to be helpless. And, so I pedaled away, making clumsy stitches which I believe will get better with practise.

Making a nursing cover

The sound of my sewing machine was softer than my mum’s. But it was still familiar and brought back memories of my mum working late into the night. I wondered if it would break my mum’s heart to learn about my yet-another work-from-home business plan, which involves the use of the sewing machine.

My thoughts drifted as I reminisced those pretty dresses that fitted nicely on the mannequins… They were so beautiful yet out of our reach – we couldn’t have afforded them. I wondered if my mum ever wished to own one of those many dresses she made. What was it like to create something you cannot afford? I never asked. But I recall an incident when my mum bought her own fabric and made a dress for herself. I thought it was beautiful but her boss mocked her and said she was dressed like a domestic maid; She never sew for herself again after that.

My sewing machine is a gift from my mother-in-law 3-4 years ago, but I’ve only figured out how to work with it yesterday. The girls were pretty fascinated by the machine and stayed close to watch me sew. But the light from the machine was a little too glaring for their liking so they ran off and came back shortly with their sunnies. Lolx.

Yesterday, I finally sat down and figured out how to use my sewing machine. For my first project, I chose to work on an advent calendar. I told my girls that if I succeeded, I would like to give it to my mum. Shanice however suggested that I give it to my sis, her reason was:

“Cos, Ahma is very good at sewing, she can tell if it isn’t perfect. First try usually not very nice.”

I thought what she said made good sense. Perhaps I should wait till I perfected my skills and make something prettier for my mum. Meanwhile, I shall start small and work harder to get some quality stuff done. The clock is ticking and I should at least get some samples ready before I pop so that I can put them up for sale online. Wish me well! :)

3 thoughts on “Pedaling On (otherwise known as “My Mum & The Sewing Machine – A Story That Binds”)

  1. This fabric for the advent calendar is so colourful, vibrant and unique! And I think your sewing looks just fine! May I ask where you got the fabric from?

    1. Hi Carol. Thanks! That’s great encouragement for me.
      I got the fabric from Spotlight. It’s actually a fabric template with instructions on how to put the advent calendar together. It was a steal for me cos I got it during their Christmas sale. :)

  2. life is tough, but your courage on survival and having a better life touched my heart. Pls continue to be who positive, because you are extremely precious to your kids, especially when you smile :)

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