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Thursday, August 2, 2012

Why I Sew

When working with a student a few months ago who seemed to have a lot of angst about sewing, I wondered why she's even doing it. I didn't see any indication that she enjoyed a single aspect of sewing.
So that made me think about all the reasons why I sew, and here's what I came up with:

I love the challenge.
I like puzzles, and sewing is a sort of puzzle. All the pieces have to fit together. Sometimes they don't quite fit, then you have something to figure out.

The world goes away. When I'm immersed in a project, I don't think about anything else. Years ago I went to a seminar with Shakti Gawain. She talked about meditation as something that consumed your consciousness--that doing anything that you focus on so much that you don't have room in your brain for anything else is a form of meditation. That's what happens when I'm alone in my studio.

I love the process. and that there is a process.
I really do love that there is a rhythm to sewing, that there are certain steps you always do in order, starting with washing the fabric. No matter how accomplished a sewist is, they still have to cut the fabric before they sew it.

I always know when I'm done. I test software for a living, and with testing, you are never done (and wouldn't know if you ever were done.) I think this is one of the reasons that I've spent more time and energy on sewing since I got back into technology.

I love the sensual nature of (most) fabric. Fabric is sensual, as that is affects all your senses. The tactile part is pretty obvious, but I love the smell of steamed wool, the crisp snap of a high quality cotton, the swish of taffeta and the smooth coolness of silk satin. I do NOT like working with polyester. Go ahead, call me a fabric snob, I just don't like it.

I get great, well-fitting clothes out of the deal.
Of all the things you can do with your time, how many past times result in something you need anyway? Especially these days when it's next to impossible to find anything made well enough to last more than a few months, or in fabric nice enough that you'd want it to last, even if you're able to pay top dollar, sewing gives you the chance to make what you want, make it out of good quality fabric, make with higher quality, and make it fit well.

So, if you're reading this, I'd love to hear why YOU sew (or why you're thinking about it.) Please share!!


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