bell bottom blues.


not mine, but a pretty accurate ‘before’ picture of my bellbottoms

with the return of outdoor ice-skating weather

i’m reminded of my ill-fated misadventure

when i made a choice to combine my bells with my skating.

and it wasn’t a good thing.

i was ‘home-ec’ years old

 in middle school

loved the cooking part

horrible at the sewing part

decided i’d make bellbottoms

instead of a stupid apron

ignoring the fact that

i wasn’t good at it

just wanted to get it done

bought some cool blue fabric and a pattern

somehow stitched it together

but really didn’t get the concept of alterations

all i knew was that

they should be very tight and have very big bells at the bottom

so i finally took a yardstick

just drew a chalk line on each inseam

didn’t measure anything

stitched them up

modeled them for our fashion show to pass the class

noticed they were quite tight even when just standing

 went ice-skating with my friends after school

wearing my new very skin-tight bells

to impress my crush who would be there

looking cool with my skates and my bells

it all began well

then we played crack the whip

it all took a turn

when i sailed across the ice

stopping in a huge snowbank

so fun

until i fully stood up


my entire inseam

from ankle to ankle

had all torn out

leaving me more or less wearing

a tight maxi-skirt/chaps type of garment

brought new meaning to ‘cool’

tried to casually walk home through the snow in my skates

with an air of ‘what?, this happens all the time, pretty normal…’

another reason why i am a teacher and not a seamstress.

“bell bottom blues, you make me cry…”

-derek and the dominos- eric clapton




92 responses »

  1. I applaud you for going out on your own to make something other than the standard apron we all learned! However, I wonder if your ‘incident’ was Karma showing you what happens when we don’t listen to authorities and directions. Just as an aside, I gave the apron I made to my grandmother because she always wore an apron, and I received it back when she passed away. And yes I still have it and it hangs displayed on a hook on a wall of my kitchen!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. And you lived to tell us about it, Beth! Why oh why did anybody ever believe bell bottoms were a good idea? I still remember tripping over mine in the junior high hallways. At least I never had to attempt to sew any sort of clothing.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. In the song “Pretzel Logic”, Steely Dan sings this about the high heel men’s shoe fashion craze of the early 70’s: “I stepped upon the platform, the man gave me the news….he said ‘you must be joking son – where did you get those shoes?”

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I don’t follow fashion, but I’ve recently seen a few girls wearing these again. Are they coming back in style? Fashion is such a fascinating thing. Who knew that ripped jeans with holes all over them would become a style. When I used to rip a knee out, I remember that Mom would sew a patch over it.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Brought back memories of my first ever pistachio-green colored bell-bottoms. My mum had sewn them perfectly and I was one of the first among my friends to wear mine proudly!
    Thank you, Beth for taking me down the memory lane.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Pingback: bell bottom blues. – Amazing

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