Liberated Through Sewing

I would never have guessed,

Had you asked me before,

That sewing would be something

I would opt for.

I never took a class,

Never really liked it,

Watched my older sisters suffer,

And hate every bit.

See, they chose to take classes,

In their high school years,

And seeing them sew,

Was what bred my fears.

Oh, the nights they stayed up late,

With coffee cup in hand,

Fretting over backwards zippers,

And stray threads and strands.

Oh, the tension that grew,

As the minutes ticked by,

Their projects still not finished,

They would sit down and cry.

I would pass by their rooms,

Not letting out a peep,

And hear them recite mournfully,

“And miles to go before I sleep.”

From those days and on,

I did everything I could,

To make sure that sewing,

Was something I withstood.

Then fifteen years passed,

And I was alone with Mom,

“Let’s teach you to sew,”

There, she had dropped the bomb.

I fumbled and stumbled,

And somehow got through,

Sewing some dresses,

And a skirt or two.

Then nine more years passed,

In which I had never sewn,

I now had a husband,

And girls of my own.

I gathered up my courage,

Overcame my qualms,

Bought one dress pattern,

And imagined I was at Mom’s.

Many errors did I make,

And chaos almost ensued,

But I bit my bottom lip,

And my dream I pursued.

Oh, the happiness I felt,

As pieces became a whole,

Having no deadlines,

Being in full control.

No teacher to grade me,

Taking marks off for each mistake,

If something proved too hard,

I calmed down and took a break.

No one cared the sleeves were bunched,

Nor that the zipper was in wrong,

Nor that the dress was short here,

And that the other side was long.

For you see, I had no one,

To please except me,

I could do as I wish,

I was finally free.

Asiya Akyurt

Asiya lives in Virginia with her husband and twin daughters. She is an active MAS member with an ijaza (certificate) in Qur’anic recitation and tajweed, and enjoys teaching, interpreting and translating.

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  • Khadeejah

    Fabulous!!!! You poem and the restrictions grades can put on our creativity, are exactly one of the main reasons I continue to homeshcool my two kids, in hope that they can, unlike what happened to me, follow their dreams without the fear of being graded, chastised, or frowned at for the littlest mistakes.
    and a HUGE hug and congratulations on your freedom!! You really should collect your poems, drawings, and many creative outputs, and PUBLISH them. :))))))

  • Maha

    Lovely! I’m so glad you had a good sewing experience. I too really enjoy it from time to time. Although for me the hardest critic is sometimes my self, so when no one is looking over my shoulder, I still can’t shake the dissatisfaction. :/ I’ve sewn a whole dress and then find out it was too tight to salvage, and the frustration was enough to boycott sewing for six months. But I always come back eventually.

  • Maha

    Sewing is such a great skill when your daughters start wearing hijab–you can make them all kinds of skirts and tunics and salwar kameez’es. :)

  • Susan

    Masha’Allah what a great poem! I stink at sewing, but I recently purchased a good sewing machine… and I have high hopes that ONE day I’ll get to it.

  • Aishah

    Asalaamu Alaikum

    I loved your poem too. I took a sewing course when I was pregnant for my fourth kid. I couldn’t believe how much work there was to make a garment. The whole thing made me cranky. I never went back to it. I can’t blame the teacher though but just my impatience.

  • suma

    Congratulations on your new found freedom which iA will lead to a new you!!!!How exciting!! Loved the are sew creative!!!!!Masha’allah.

  • Asiya

    Thanks everybody for the encouragement! I haven’t sewn since, but it’s good to know that I CAN if I want to. If I could do it, anybody can, insha Allah. Go for it! :)