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I am a mother, a new grandmother, and a teacher. But whatever happens in my life, I keep sewing. I have worked as a political communicator and now as a teacher in my formal life. I have also written extensively on sewing. I have been a frequent contributor and contributing editor of Threads magazine and the Australian magazine Dressmaking with Stitches. My first book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge will be published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon


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Saturday, March 7, 2009

On not insignificant small pleasures

My mother had a cousin she liked but who sometimes embarrassed her. Disabled as an infant by a birth injury he learned to walk only just before he started school and struggled to keep walking his whole life. This she admired.

What made her uncomfortable was that sometimes he was pretty colourful. Let's just say his nickname was Eight Ball and leave it at that. He worked as a store detective and even as a small child I figured out that it was pretty weird that he was supposed to be undercover when anyone could see him coming and never forget him.

The man had a way with words though. One of his favourites I will never forget was "You never know from where you sit when the man in the balcony is going to spit."

This needs no explanation.

Thing is things happen, and the older you get and the more extensive your family, stuff just happens and increasingly I can see that, as a woman of this age, my role is transforming into one of someone who needs to support but often just can't fix it. That's the role I am growing into this weekend. Hope for the best and do what you can do, and keep yourself going so you can do that.

A while ago I was moved by a post on A Corgihouse about a series of events, a death, and some hard times. Seems to me that sometimes things happen that just are not fair, and sometimes lots happens at a time. So what do you do?

I personally believe that big problems are often handled best by holding on to small pleasures. Restoring order when you clean -a shiny bathroom in a messy day, the way an old dog still lifts her nose to catch a new scent in the wind, someone walking carefully across a room so they don't spill the tea they made for you. Making tea for someone else.

I think it is so important we do not underestimate the power of these things, and I find so many of these small and restorative pleasures when I sew.

Here are some I enjoy:

Finishing the seam before the bobbin thread runs out.

Sewing and particularly pressing cotton after a long time of working with other, more difficult fabrics.

Putting in a zipper and doing it up and finding that it is perfectly even at the top.

Thinking, being sure, you have thrown out that facing piece and finding it right on your sewing table.

Looking for the first time in the mirror at something you were not sure you would like and realizing it is the nicest thing you have made in a long time.

These small things are not so small. They are little links to normal life when life isn't normal, reminders that life is lived in the details, and as long as well hold on to that, we hold onto ourselves.

What are your own small joys while sewing?


judithastansky said...

Thank you so much for this blog. We are coping with the same situations here, and I needed pleasant distractions this weekend to break the chain of grim news and added responsibilities. Some small sewing pleasures? When the right lining makes a skirt slide over my hips. When a set in sleeve goes in with nary a wrinkle. When I've chosen the purfect fabric for a new pattern. When the pattern pieces fit nicely in their envelope without tearing it. When I treat myself to lace edging on a hem that only I will see. Have a lovely day! Judi

a little sewing on the side said...

I love to manipulate fabric with my hands. I don't pin much, I enjoy using my fingers to put the pieces together & I find it satisfying to guide pieces under the presser foot to be joined together.