Two years ago I moved back to Boston after a one and a half year hiatus back home. Some of my favorite memories from that time–which are most certainly romanticized in my head and convoluted by the passing of time–are from my cold little bedroom in the basement, tinkering away at my sewing machine or laboriously painting graphics onto tee shirts. My room wasn’t particularly big, but because it was just me and a twin sized bed, it allowed for a lot of room for a craft table, which meant that all of my “creativity supplies” were within arms reach at all times, and more importantly, that they were perpetually out. Now, in my current rented apartment, all of my goodies are stored away in boxes in cubbies that have to be reached by a ladder, which takes a lot of extra effort on my part. Unfortunately, I’m too lazy to reach them most of the time.
For some reason, though, I felt very compelled today to go up into the storage area and reach my muslin and sewing patterns. Because of all the fall and winter knitting I’ve kept myself busy with, I’ve thought about crafting as much of my ‘things’ as possible, limiting my material consumption of mass-produced goods. I spent several hours lying awake in bed last week thinking about all of the things I could make instead of buy, and then sew instead of knit, and then knit instead of sew, and on and on. I combed free sewing pattern sites for hours, bookmarking things to print off when I visit home next. I felt so inspired, and haven’t in such a long time that I had to capitalize on the fleeting sentiment.
So I’ve spent the larger portion of the last hour meticulously sewing a zipper into a mock-muslin skirt, and will hopefully finish it by the time Scott gets home so that I have something to show off and wow him with my seamstress skills. As I hunched over the sewing machine dreaming about other variations on the same basic theme (caramel corduroy knee-length skirt, plaid chevron-seamed above-the-knee skirt, appliqued navy canvas skirt, etc.), I thought back to my first class taken once back in Boston: beginner’s sewing. I chose to make basic pajama pants because I doubted my skills (okay, and REALLY needed pajama pants), and over the course of the class (including lots of tedious homework assignments involving hand-sewn hems and Hong Kong seams), my teacher came to ignore me. When I approached her to ask why she wasn’t as hands on with me as the other students, she replied, “well, because you could have taught this class! You should have tried to make something more difficult.”
So in the spirit of my kind sewing teacher, I’m thinking: today a skirt, tomorrow the world. Or really, just more variations of the same skirt, until I get over my irrational fear of lining garments and making myself a tweed winter coat.