I took up sewing again last week.
While rain pelted windows and Barkley snored at my feet, I pressed and pinned and patiently stitched one yoked shirt of breezy yellow calico.
It felt good to know again the tension of fabric under needle, the musty scent of hot iron, and the risky snip of the ever-sacred Sewing Scissors.
The hum of my Brother machine sang the memories of my childhood.
As sure as spring itself, my mama pieced together our matching Easter dresses. I remember watching her on tiptoe. Oh, the anticipation. She would murmur to me as she went along, answering my questions and teaching me about the process. Words like “eyelet,” “selvage,” and “gathers” tasted yummy in my mouth, and still do. They meant good things. They meant mama sewed, created, loved…
Putting together my own spring garment was emotional and consuming. Even the sweetest memories can sting.
But there is much good in the doing of things and much healing in the hands at work.
Regardless if the end itself is a complete flop, as was the case this time.
The pattern I chose had a few flaws in design. The yoke fell in an awkward place and the neck gaped something terrible. Even after several edits, the finished lines made me look like a pregnant woman from the 1980s.
Nonetheless, it felt good.
It felt good to bend over uncut fabric, to figure unknown possibility, to create, to stitch in line with my foremothers…
Sewing in spring is a sweet kind of resistance.
A few thoughts:
Sewing tickles my fancy. It is not every day that a hobby can be so applicable to the needs of everyday life. I also love the feel of reviving a popularly lost concept. Love me some DIY.
Sewing can be sustainable. Creating our own clothes, pillows, sheets, fabric art, etc. cuts off several large carbon-producing steps in fashion and merchandising. This is even more the case if reclaimed fabric remnants or thrifted items find new life at the hand of a creative sewist.
Sewing is empowering. Even the most rudimentary knowledge of garment engineering and sewing techniques equips us to better serve our community.
Do you sew? How did you get started? Have any memories to share? I'd love to hear.