"Shut up! You're making a fool of yourself, Clairee! Nobody gives a shit about that stuff. All the people want to hear about are touchdowns and injuries! They don't give a damn about that grape shit!"

I thought of that quote this weekend when Kyra, who was working over a new fashion design (in her sketchbook that she's designated solely for that purpose) turned to me and said, "Designing and sketching all these fashions is fun, but I'd really like to learn to make the clothes myself, like with a sewing machine and patterns and stuff. Oh, and by the way, I don't want to go to cheerleading camp this summer. I want to go to football camp, instead." I could have named this post the title of the movie from which the quote came because it is a fitting description for my divalicious linebacker, but then I would have given you the answer to the first trivia question below*.

I need some help here from those of you who are crafty with the fabrics (Oh, Kristin, whereart thou?). Kyra has a birthday coming up, and I'm pretty sure I want to buy her a sewing machine and associated necessities. Does anyone have any good recommendations for a dependable, yet inexpensive starter machine and/or basic how-to sewing books? Either kid-geared books or something in the Idiot's Guide to Sewing vein are needed, because I can barely sew on a button. I figured sewing would be a fun summer project for us to learn together.

Just think of all the money I'll save when instead of partaking in the torture that is shopping, I can get Kyra to just make me new Fat Pants. Touchdown!



*Points to the person who tells me the name of the movie. Bonus points if you can tell me the character's first and last name and the actress who played her role in the film. Triple bonus if you can tell me the playwright of the original stage play who then went on to screenwrite the movie script. Quadruple bonus points if you can tell me the title of a film he directed in which the actress who said the above quote also starred.




  1. kimbosue on May 2, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    STEEL MAGNOLIAS! the end of my movie knowledge… 🙁

  2. Pam on May 2, 2011 at 5:28 pm

    I have to admit google and IMDB are my friends:
    Movie – Steel Magnolias
    Character – Ouiser Boudreaux
    Actress – Shirley MacLaine
    Play/Screen Writer – Robert Harling
    Movie he directed – The Evening Star
    Full points!! LOL

  3. Moxie on May 2, 2011 at 5:31 pm

    Lol, Pam! I should have stipulated that use of the Internet was forbidden! 🙂

  4. Kristin on May 2, 2011 at 6:04 pm

    I would recommend avoiding the sewing machines that are aimed at kids. They usually do not have the power to do much of anything. Head over to your local Wal-Mart and pick up one of the cheaper Brothers sewing machines. Brothers sewing machines are made by Singer and do a great job for little money. You can probably get one that does everything she would need for about $80.
    You can buy her a nice selection of basic thread colors. Don’t buy the Wal-Mart brand of thread. It is kind of weak and tends to break easily. You could also check and see if there is a sewing class anywhere (maybe at a Michael’s store or Jo-Ann’s Fabrics).
    I’m not too sure about a good how too book but I know there are a ton of how to videos on you-Tube. Give me a call if you have any questions.

  5. Queenie on May 2, 2011 at 6:07 pm

    I can’t sew, either. In fact, the only “C” I ever got in my life was in 8th grade Home Ec. (I was an honors student, and have a graduate degree, by the way). I’m permanently scarred by my experience trying to sew at stuffed lamb. I wish I still had it. It was the ugliest thing you’ve ever seen.
    That wasn’t very helpful!

  6. Moxie on May 2, 2011 at 6:16 pm

    That sounds pretty close to the experience I had in 6th grade home ec, except it wasn’t with anything as technical as a lamb; it was a damned pillow. How difficult is sewing a square with stuffing?

  7. Moxie on May 2, 2011 at 6:17 pm

    I’ll do some shopping around and will no doubt blow up your tele when I have a case of the dumbs. Thanks, K! I knew you’d give good advice!

  8. Pam on May 2, 2011 at 7:16 pm

    ROFL – next time. 🙂
    As for the sewing machine, I’m not sure if you read Julia at http://julia.typepad.com/julia/ but she bought her son a sewin machine last year. I don’t remember how old Patrick is but I think it’s around 9. This is the post she mentioned wanting to get him one http://julia.typepad.com/julia/2010/08/to-the-victor-goes-the-foil.html and here is where she talks about the one they got (donated). http://julia.typepad.com/julia/2010/09/cry-havoc.html But you might find useful info in her comments.

  9. Moxie on May 2, 2011 at 7:20 pm

    Uh, yeah. I've been an avid reader   (and lurker) of Julia for years. Her blog (to search for her posts in re: Patrick's sewing) was going to be my first stop this evening once I got the Brat Pack down. Thanks for doing the legwork for me, buddy!

  10. Kate on May 5, 2011 at 11:08 pm

    I second Kristin’s recommendations for machines–the Singers they sell at Target are under $100 and will get the job done for a beginner. If and when you need to upgrade, Kenmore sells a line of reliable, mid-priced machines at Sears. My mom’s Kenmore is older than I am and is still kicking.
    As for books, they have some great options out now that come with patterns. There’s one called Stitch by Stitch that goes over the basics of sewing and pattern making, which sounds like what Kyra might want. Another series she might like is called Sew U–these come with patterns. Really, though, like most things, the internet is far more helpful than any book I’ve come across. There are so many blogs with so many free tutorials and patterns, it sort of breaks my English teacher heart to say she may not even need a book.

  11. El Cinco's GranGran on May 12, 2011 at 6:48 am

    A little correction on the quote, so I get the prize!
    Olympia Dukakis was Ouiser Boudreaux in the movie. She made the quote when Clairee, Shirley McClain’s role was talking about the color of the football team’s uniforms.
    *Cheesy grin*

  12. Jason Stancato on July 18, 2011 at 12:36 am

    Deference to website author , some wonderful entropy. “To have a grievance is to have a purpose in life.” by Alen Coren.

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