I’ve been sewing like a crazy woman lately. This last weekend alone, I made a pair of shorts, a new pencil skirt, and the cutest dirndl dress for my summer wearing pleasure.
I’m getting better at my craft, honing it a bit more every time I sit down in front of the machine. When I wear my new frocks out around town, I love being able to smile and say ‘thank you, I made this’ when I’m paid a compliment. The best part? The reaction to the notion that it’s not only homemade but that I homemade IT. I’m proud that I’m teaching myself this time honored craft, that my mom is my inspiration and my tutor, and that my collection of garments I’m making for myself is growing. This isn’t to say I don’t have failures, there are plenty of things that don’t come out right and I get so frustrated that I finish them and donate them to the Goodwill, because I can’t stand the damn thing anymore. I have yet to learn how to install a button hole. 50% of the time when I install a zipper I do it backward. But it’s not slowing me down. I’m already on to my next two projects, a couple of shirt waist style day dresses in flirty summer fabrics.
Guess it’s time to learn about button holes. I’ve been watching WAY too much Mad Men lately, does it show in my pattern choices? The costuming on that show is incredible and I’m in deep love with shirtwaists, full skirts, fitted bodices, higher waistlines, cardigan sweaters, all of it all of it all of it. I’m already scrounging up my fabrics and patterns for fall wear (boucle pencil skirts and fitted sweaters and kitten heels, sigh!) and starting to line up my projects. I’m getting a little overwhelmed and woozy, giddy with the idea of a new fall wardrobe created by my own two hands. For the most part, I think I can do it too, with the exception of the sweaters.
I was flipping through a magazine on my lunch the other afternoon, sitting in the park under the leafiest of trees, dog earing pages of things I liked when it dawned on me that I wasn’t turning the pages down for things that I wanted to go buy, I was marking pages of things I wanted to make. I’ve also been wholly disenchanted by the lack of quality in ready to wear clothes for the median-income American woman (i.e. most of us). I’m tired of having to buy something just to take it home and reinforce all of the buttons. The things I really love that are well made, classic lined sturdy brands are all so expensive I just can’t swallow the cost but I understand where the pricing comes from, having made some of my own things. I understand they’re investment pieces, but you try telling my bank account that. I find myself flipping these designer garments inside out to see how they’re constructed, and am learning a lot from mentally taking these things apart. The sales ladies, however, think I’m crazy, sitting in a dressing room mentally tearing out seams and muttering to myself.
These days, I find that I’d much rather sit down with a pattern and fabric and spend an afternoon sewing by myself, instead of heading out shopping with friends. Not sure what it’s all about, though I’ve always liked quiet activities. I was bookish and quiet as a kid, and the older I get the more I find myself returning to quiet, solo activities. Sitting down with a pattern and my trusty machine forces me to clear my mind, focus only on what I’m doing, and patiently put the puzzle together.
I’ve had a lot on my mind lately, and I’m a worrywart who overthinks EVERYTHING and the What If’s haunt me. I know that que cera, cera, whatever will be, will be, but it doesn’t stop me from ruminating about it and trying to fit the pieces of things together differently. When I sit down and sew, there’s really only one way to put something together so that it works and I’m forced to put the puzzle together in order. It’s an exercise in patience, which has never been my strong suit. And it makes me calm. It also keeps me from eating because my hands are busy, and off the computer because it I can’t be in two places at once, ya know? I’ve never been a big watcher of the TV, but this definitely keeps me from overwatching the tube unless I’m hand sewing, in which case I bring my pincushion to the sofa and off we go. My sewing machine is in a corner of our bedroom and there isn’t a TV in there. Et voila, wholesome projecting.
What are your hobbies? What do you do to keep you busy? Are they high tech related, or a little more low tech and hands on like this?