I have sewed for fifty years. One would think this would bring some expertise. While this is true, it also means I have had a lot of trial, too much error, and a compelling need to get things right and perfect. While I have done many techniques a thousand times, a multitude of others fail to be in my repetoire.
I have baskets of patterns, some dog-eared and torn from overuse, and some pristine and pondered waiting for construction.
Like every good sewist, I have a stash of fabric. Textile lingers in every drawer or is perched on a shelf. Each time I buy new cloth, I swear it will be the last until I have completed the projects already waiting in line. Some is even cut out and ready for assemblage, and one dress is even partially sewed and perched on the dress form.
Of course one cannot part with the scraps left from the jigsaw puzzle left behind after garment pieces are cut. My drawers are a memory lane of every garment I’ve made. Quite a few times the extra yardage is recycled and put to good use. I think I made a hundred masks. I have an eclectic collection of lingerie, pillows and some unconventional drawstring and tote bags.
To my credit there have been many line-cutters that have made it through complete production. Some I will be proud to wear if I’m ever in the office again and have places to go. Some, my cherished loved ones wear. My husband, daughter, granddaughter and sisters all have handmade somethings to sport.
Sewing is an investment. One of time, money and mood. I have spent – and misspent – in all departments. I have spent hours viewing tutorials and have read and reread all the sewing books on the library shelf.
Sometimes with great satisfaction; sometimes with great dismay. From the beginning with planning and preparation, to the end with a fail or a triumph. Triumphs are preferred, but in the fails there are lessons. (I think there is a quote from Thomas Edison here … Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up. Or more simply my husband would ask “did you learning something?”)
The truth is I have learned multitudes. The problem is every step of the process must be executed perfectly for the end result also to be perfect. While perfection is always my goal, it is seldom the outcome.
So, I continue to dream of the lovey couture or elegant accessories I will create. Garments that I, my family, or even someday an appreciative client will proudly add to their wardrobe.
There are miles of cotton and wool, silk and satin, denim and knit, waiting to be draped and seamed. Much awaits in the warehouse or retail store. Stacks are in my closet. The hope is the stack will dwindle and the triumphs will grow and my investment will reap a good return.