Why Sew?

August 26th, 2013 - 

I’m relatively new to sewing, and have enjoyed many hobbies over the years — singing, songwriting, guitar and ukulele, baking, cartooning, photography, book- and print-making, blogging, zine-making, podcasting, knitting, event planning and organizing — but why has sewing become so important to me now?

I have one grandma who sews, who taught me to sew, and another grandma who loves fashion.

My sewing grandma makes quilts — or did until macular degeneration got to be too bad.

My other grandma loves thrift stores and finding a good deal on a top quality brand names. She is also legally blind, from retinitis pigmentosa. It fully overtook her sight a few years ago, and now we describe her beautiful clothes to her. She has a good memory for things she has owned, and probably treasures good clothing more than anyone I know.

There is a pretty good chance I will be blind someday, I know it’s in my family, and I think about that a lot.

There aren’t many hobbies you can take forward into blindness. I’m hoping I can do as much of what I love now as I can, just in case.

I’ve always loved clothing, and weird colors. Clothing and styling used as an expression of self has always been important to me — something I value, though I can’t claim to be an expert.

I’ve had trouble with fit over the years, and have almost completely given up on jeans. I hate them. I will never find jeans that fit. Dresses forever!

My weight has fluctuated over the years, and I’m woeful to wear what I have that’s maybe a size too small, though I have been just as woeful to throw it out if it’s something I liked. The yo yo goes both ways!

It’s tough to move into a larger size, for vanity reasons, but even more difficult to find cute clothes in my size that fit nicely, are well-constructed, and use good materials. I almost always feel like I’m overpaying for ready-to-wear garments that are see-through or short or badly fitted, and I’m sick of wasting my money.

I like to be creative and express visual ideas.

I had some of the basic sewing knowledge, from my grandma teaching me to quilt, and the rest I’ve just been picking up as I go. I’ve tried sewing garments over the years, without patterns, without success. This time I’m taking a more formal approach, and having much more satisfying results. With the basic rules down, right now with my sewing, I’m definitely comfortable taking more risks — mixing and matching pattern pieces, adjusting patterns for sizing, etc. I’m glad when I came back to sewing, I started at the beginning!

I’m happy to be challenged and I love to learn. This is a skill that I hope will help me, to put focus on something that’s tough and rewarding, and will help my family, by making remarkable garments that are loved and useful.

Right now, the act of making something for myself and people close to me is very appealing. Of course I think about making things to sell or something like that, but the scale of what I’m approaching right now is very small and relaxing. After focusing on hobbies in the recent past that were very deadline-driven and did much to account for the needs and interests and timelines of other people, I’m just really feeling good about what I’m doing now. It’s done when it’s done. It’s good if I say it’s good.

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