Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Sew, sew, sewing

So here I am going to these temples in Korea where you have to wear monastic clothes. Think grey, grey and more grey (like the socks). Even though they kindly offered to loan me clothes from storage, I was fairly certain that nothing would fit. Trying to explain this to the nice Korean lady over the phone was actually kind of funny.
So, I decided to sew my own.
There’s a reason I haven’t sewn on a sewing machine in so long. In my teenage years when my mother was trying to teach me, we had a number of creative clashes about the whole process. We had the same problem when she was trying to teach me to cook. My mother is the type of person who not only measures everything she adds to a recipe, she levels the cups and spoons off with the back of a knife so that they are perfectly flat. When I cook, I throw stuff in until it tastes right. I’m the same way sewing and it drives her nuts! Our most memorable clash came when I said to her, “Why can’t I just lie down on paper, draw around myself and make pattern that way?” This was not well received and heralded the end of my teenage sewing career.
So, I, the ever brave and foolhardy soul, decide that I’m going to make my own retreat clothes. I bought patterns, I bought material, I bought interfacing! I got everything the pattern said and then asked my mother to help me. She took it pretty well, though we did have a few heated discussions about some modifications I wanted to make to the patterns. She wasn’t anywhere as uptight about it as when I was a kid. I think it may have had something to do with the fact that I paid for the material.
Well, for the last three weeks I’ve been cutting and sewing (and swearing) and I’ve succeeded in making myself three pairs of pants
and a work jacket! True to form, I’m a relatively messy seamstress. There are a lot of wavy seams with the occasional pucker and we just won’t discuss the pockets on the pants (at least they have pockets). This was actually a really good project for me to get back into sewing. These garments don’t have to pretty. They don’t have to be neat. They just have to be grey and cover my nakedness for the three weeks I’m in retreat.
Notice I said ‘get back into sewing’. I’ve been starting to look at clothes the way I’ve been looking at sweaters all these years. I’ve been thinking of patterns and fabric and having those tingly covetous feelings that I have towards yarn and fleece! I could make myself pants, dresses, anything! Mmmmwhahahahahah!


Rosemary said...

And then you will have beautiful clothes that fit well.

Lucy said...

I don't know how beautiful anything will be right off. I definitely need some more work on my skillz.

Patience said...

Laura's sewing school on Broadway in Arlington is offering Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday morning series sewing classes in September/October. She's also thinking of offering knitting classes.

omly said...

Very snazzy! I really need to consider a new sewing machine, because I think my cheap one is half of the problem. I get so frustrated with the one I have.

Also re patience's comment:

My daughter took the children's class at Laura's and really liked it. Email me or talk to me in person if you want more thoughts on it.

(I was teaching a children's knitting class there but could not commit to this next session since my plate is so full.)