I’ve always loved fashion. I remember the clothes I wore as a girl like they were dear friends. The pink blouse with the pleated sleeves that ballooned dramatically. The red button-down shirt with glorious ruffles down the front. The thinly striped yellow peasant skirt that I would hike up in front for dancing. The red alphabet shirt my mom sewed for me the night before picture day so that I could have something new to wear.
My mom sewed.
I have so many memories of tucking into her sewing closet and spending hours upon hours hidden away amidst the piles of fabrics and pattern books. I’d flip the huge pages of these weighty tomes deciding for every single outfit which options I preferred: this collar, that length, this sleeve. I’d run my hands over the fabrics, taking in their textures, immersing myself in their colours. Creative heaven.
But sewing? No.
Maybe it was because when we were little my younger brother played with the sewing machine and the needle went right through his finger.
Maybe it’s because I missed the lessons in Home Ec where they showed you how to use the machine and so every class I felt bewildered and lost.
Sewing was not for me.
But this year I was was reading Lisa Congdon’s blog and came across her Sewing Odyssey in which she commits to a year of not buying any new clothes but rather sewing and upcycling. I looked at her cute dresses over tights and great boots and thought, maybe I could do that. An unexpected seed was planted.
I started to wonder what it might be like to sew. Would I still feel the same way? Would it surprise me? Would it be worth trying just to break through the barrier of “that’s not for me”?
I found myself mentioning it to people, this curiosity I had, this wondering. One thing I’ve come to know about myself is that when I hear myself saying something out loud that’s a sure sign I’m about to do it!
When I asked my Auntie Laima for advice on sewing machines (I was just looking for a little beginner clunker I could try out), a door opened. She invited me to come over the her house to learn. She’d introduce me to the sewing machine and help me get started. Oh! What a gift!
How could I say no?
So, I’ve said yes to this adventure and I’m so curious where it will take me. I’m stepping into a whole new realm of creativity, one that for decades I thought wasn’t for me. I’m going to learn to sew. I’ll let you know how it goes.