I am still supposed to be reducing my running around while the bones in my foot heal from getting beat up by the cutting board. This has shrunk my sewing time to increments.
I have been working in small bursts on the Archer shirt, which really is a wonderful pattern. All the pieces just slot together so nice.
However I have been picking it up and putting it down and this has had its consequences.
Somewhere along this start and stop process I did a very nice job of applying the collar and stand (credit to the pattern) but when I held it up to admire my spectacular sewing skill I noticed I had put the collar in upside down, meaning the center back seam of the undercollar is now on top.
Compared with problems like what to do about North Korea and melting of the polar ice cap this is not the end of the world. But that doesn't mean I just can't believe I was this dumb.
Of course the 500 collars I have applied before in my recent sewing career all went in with this not happening, but what I am going to do? Wear a sign on this shirt that says "I never make this mistake?"
What I am really going to do is just concentrate on the part that was not a mistake, and move on to the sleeves.
All this sewing has made me this way.
Which has got me thinking about all that sewing has done for my character. Of how many transferable skills there are to it.
Here are a few I can think of tonight, your own thoughts would be much appreciated.
Let's start with the obvious:
Sewing makes you resilient.
Essentially you have no choice. To have invested so much time and energy in something and have it not turn out, usually because of operator error, but to keep on sewing develops your bounce back. I figure years of moving past the ones that were duds, onto the next one that won't be, develops the moving-forward-despite-current-evidence skill and an outlook that's very useful say when you lose a job, have a crappy interview, or serve your worst ever meal to the people you most wanted to impress.
You learn to say oh honestly, then oh well, and then move on.
Sewing makes you persistent.
I don't actually like to tell those folks who make a pillow one week and want to design their own line the next that, in addition to the ability to move past failures, sewing also requires you keep at learning how to do it better. Buttonholes and zippers that don't give you a heart attack take a lot more practice and patience than anyone is really willing to tell you - sort of like those nurses who refer to labour as uncomfortable. You have to use a seam ripper a lot to be a good sewer. You have to be willing to revise your technique and try new ways of doing things all the time.
What sewing teaches you most of all is that if you stick with it you can get pretty damn slick.
Sewing makes you open to the unexpected.
Right this very minute as I sit here with my dog on my bed with my foot wrapped in ice and elevated on an exercise ball I am wearing a top made out of some fabric that I was going to ditch and in a dolman sleeve pattern that I thought wouldn't suit me. Because I didn't think the fabric was my colour I figured why not waste it on a pattern that will also look terrible.
The thing is that both the fabric and pattern were a surprise and this is my favourite top.
Surprises like this teach a person a lot. They also keep her from missing good opportunities, like that diamond in the rough man or that quiet person who turns out to be real funny. Being open to surprises reminds you are probably aren't as smart as you thought you were and judging too fast keeps you from missing out on some of the real good stuff.
I am sure that over the next few days I will think of more things sewing has done for me, but tonight that's enough to make me at peace about that upside down collar.
What do you think about this?
- 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