As you can tell I am continuing to think deeply about major issues and what works for me, as opposed to everyone else.
The truth is when we are all kids we are pretty clear about what we want to do, and what we like.
I am reminded this every time one of the little girls spits out weird food or does that hit the floor in despair over the injustice of life thing - like being told to do something not when they want to or how they want to do it.
All that changes, maybe beginning the first time someone says, "what a good girl you are." Translated as you did something you didn't want to, but I wanted you to do it.
Fast forward to the expectations of boys, and then men, and workplaces, and all that advertising stuff that we think we are too intelligent to be affected by but of course are.
If you sew you also are influenced by looking over to the next sewing machine (I am getting highly poetic here so this is a figure of speech, a metaphor or whatever) and thinking you should be sewing better, faster, more stylishly, more often. And if you read blogs let's face it sometimes you get this feeling really frequently. Unless of course the blog you are reading is this one.
I am the only one who has tried to peer into the background of those shots for housework/chaos of life evidence to see how they really get all that sewing done? I am self-revelatory phase, you might have to excuse me here during the confessions.
The thing is it is easy to get detached from yourself, I am totally into reattachment activities right now as you can tell, and far more significantly from the reasons you sew.
In periods of deep mediation, while staring at serger this evening, it occurred to me that I am really a fabric sewer.
I have the shelves to prove it.
I just love fabric.
Sewing and patterns give me an excuse to have it, work with it, be consoled by it, and be elevated by it.
Now I like a good pattern, but I really like it even more if I can cut it out more than once, many more than onces.
A good pattern to me is like designing a good course for my students, you tweak it and improve it every time you do it, but a good course can bring out the best in a totally new group of students - that's it's job - but it's working with the kids that matters.
Connecting with good fabric is like that moment when I am lecturing and I look out and some student catches my eye and they are smiling/laughing and we have that moment character to character.
The character of fabric matters to me.
When I remember a favourite dress it's for the fabric, and when I think of my best sewing memories it's the fabric.
Do you remember you first fabric shopping experiences?
We used to have these department stores in Canada called Eatons - ruined of course by a bunch of second and third generation dingbats - with terrific fabric departments.
I used to wander around those departments (kids used to go downtown by themselves on the bus when they were young in those days) and used to have to go and sit down at the pattern chairs every once in a while to give myself a break when I was too overcome by the fabric.
That was good fabric.
I have been thinking of this lately and kicking myself that I didn't pick up some off white boiled wool last spring at Mood - now that is a real fabric department store- and thinking that one piece of fabric you regret is worth 50 yards of fabric you got just because.
I am thinking that this TNT thing, with a few new pattern accents thrown in, might be me, after many detours, because that's where fabric sewers land.
What comes first for you?
The pattern or the fabric?
- 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