Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Why I Sew

Oh goodness – what a tricky question. I guess, in part, I sew to create. I’ve always said that my true passion is making clothes, and sewing is just a convenient way to get there. Growing up, I enjoyed textiles classes at school if only because it was the only ‘arty’ sort of subject that I was any good at. All my friends at school were very artistic, and I felt like the dunce of the class whenever we were doing painting, drawing, or clay modelling – but in textiles my work was passable. I was always overly ambitions as well, our final textiles project was to make a piece of clothing from a pattern – everyone else chose pyjama trousers (as our textiles teacher recommended) and I chose a fitted shift dress, which I made in a lilac fabric (I still remember it) and actually, I didn’t do too badly (although my grandmother put the zip in when she came to visit!)

I didn’t really sew much once textiles stopped being a compulsory subject, the occasional flag when we’d made a cool den and wanted to put our mark on it, or some clothes for my dolls (yes, I’m talking about being between the ages of 14-18 – I have delayed emotional development, so I act quite a lot younger than I am) until I graduated from school, and decided on a dress I wanted to wear to results day – which just so happened to be a dress that existed only in my head – so I made it (badly, I hasten to add, but I made it none-the-less)

That turned into a bit of a theme, wanting clothes that didn’t exist, like the time I was in my first year at Uni, and wanted a denim mini skirt with yellow ribbon edging to wear out (that evening) – I didn’t own it… I did own a torn pair of jeans though… I hand stitched the entire thing, because I didn’t have a machine with me!

By the time I’d reached my second year at uni, I’d stolen my mum’s Toyota – which I mostly used to make kit for LRP events – which was all I made throughout uni, until I started working, and needed a black skirt for work, and I happened to have some black corduroy. The rest is history!
Mostly, I love being able to envisage something in my mind and then create that thing. I’ve never been the sort of person who can imagine a picture, or look at a landscape, and then transfer that to paper – but I can envisage a dress, or see a skirt that I want to copy, and make it for myself!

Recently I’ve gotten more into hand sewing. The ladies over at Simple Simon & Co wrote a wonderful post entitled ‘Heroes of Homemaking’ – I won’t go into it now, pop over and read it, but the essence is that the dull tasks are when we can let our mind be free. I’m terrible at setting aside time to pray each day (I have a friend who prays in the shower, but oddly, I just can’t pray to God when I’m naked… which is stupid…) but I pray whilst I’m swimming lengths of the pool in the morning (which is a fantastic start to the day!) and I pray whilst I sew – mostly I pray around the garment, either thanking God for creating the amazing people who went into the pattern designing, and the fabric making, or thanking Him for giving me such a wonderful gift. If I’m making a gift, I often pray to Him to help me be a better friend or relative to that person – at the moment, I’m doing a lot of work on my wedding dress, which means I’m praying for His help to become the wife that Mr P needs.

Handsewing has also become my portable hobby – I used to read all the time (on trains, in cars, anywhere I had to be sat down but didn’t have anything to do) but sadly, the M.E. has affected my concentration sufficiently enough that I can’t do that anymore, but I can sew! Although sewing requires concentration, for me, hand sewing is very repetitive, so good for someone with a memory like a goldfish!

In short I sew because I love to create. I sew to keep my hands from being idle. I sew for love, love of fabric, love of clothes, love of God and love of the people I sew for.

This is me at LRP with some of the people who I love dearly. I made the top and skirt
that I'm wearing (although not the corset) (I'm the one in the green skirt btw)

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