My story takes place in 1981, when I was a "starving student" and living in a tiny one-bedroom apartment. My husband, Ray was courting me at the time-I didn't know what to buy him for Christmas. I decided to sew a gift for him- a cute terrycloth bathrobe was my idea. So one afternoon, while he slept on my fold-out sofa, I took his measurements in order to sew him the bathrobe. This present would be extraordinary, (or so I thought). Gathering thread, scissors, pins, and my Montgomery Wards sewing machine, I was ready for the challenge ahead.
The first thing that went wrong, was that I decided to use four terrycloth towels as material. My theory was that using towels was much cheaper than buying terrycloth from "House of Fabrics". The towels were so thick that I could barely get the pins into them. When I started cutting it, the towel would bunch up. It took me about three days, just pinning and sewing, to get it all together. The finishing touch was making a long "tie-belt" and I had run out of material. Grabbing a small remnant of the terrycloth, I went to a discount store and purchased one more towel. Even now, I remember returning with the towel, sitting down at my sewing machine, and crying! I wanted to throw the whole project in the trash, and start over. But I didn't give up-just grabbed my scissors, and cut out the "tie-belt" so that it could be finished by Christmas Day.
As I looked over my finished project with pride, the robe looked huge...what had happened to it? Somehow the material had stretched-it was now "King Kong"-sized. I just folded the whole bathrobe up, and jammed it into a box, and wrapped it. On Christmas Day, my boyfriend,(now my husband) and I got together, over at his parent's house. I gave him the holiday gift, dreading what his comments would be about the terrycloth robe. He unwrapped it, took it out of the box, and started laughing. His parents also laughed, and his mother told me that "it was a good attempt at sewing". I took a picture of him sitting on the sofa, dressed in a navy blue bathrobe; his eyes almost closed and his face grinning like a boy who opened a "Jack-in-the-box". The gift that I received from him that year was something I never expected, but truly needed- a new Singer sewing machine with its own carrying case. Somehow, he knew that was a perfect gift for me. Truthfully, I never saw my husband wear the terrycloth robe, but I would bet that some pieces of the robe were used when he waxed his new car.