Sewing, or, a farce in three acts

So far, this blog has mostly been about knitting.  I knit a lot and I’m good at it which means I knit a lot and so I get better at it.  But there’s loads of crafts I’m not very good at and I know I should practice more and get better.

Take sewing.

I have a complicated relationship with sewing.  I’m happy to put on buttons, take up hems, make little bags and easy patchwork blankets and whatever.  But I really want to be able to make my own clothes.  I have high ambitions.  I blame my mammy.  She’s great a making clothes and so I have a skewed opinion on what ‘homemade’ clothes should look like.  She’s keen for me to learn too – she bought me a sewing machine for Christmas a couple of years ago.  And for ages I told myself that the reason I didn’t do much sewing was because I didn’t have enough space or time or space/time or whatever.

So, I bought myself a craft table earlier this year.


There it is.  As idle as a painted ship or something.

I shouldn’t have done that.  Now I have to accept my own role in this farce.

And it is a farce.  It starts with noble ideals and descends, first into comedy and then into buffoonery.   The whole thing is bathetic.

Act One: I trip down to the haberdashery.  I select fancy fabric.  I watch in awe as the haberdasher snips a tiny bit of the cloth and then just RIPS the rest of it down.  And in a perfect straight line too. I can’t do this so I am jealous and impressed.  And then I get the stuff home and it sits around in a bag for months making me feel guilty. I ignore it and knit instead.

Act Two: I get a sudden urge to sew ALL THE THINGS.

Which isn’t practical because craft should be a slow delight rather than a sudden act of violence.

My sewing is a bit like a one-woman riot.  I fight with the fabric and fight with the patterns and stab myself with pins and have to put band-aids everywhere and then I’m even clumsier and then instead of practicing sewing, I just practice swearing.  My sewing skills are not nearly as good as my swearing skills.

Act Three: And in the end I hate the things I’ve made because all I can think of is the hot hours of stabbing, swearing frustration and I can’t wear them.   And then they sit in the press and glare at me and make me feel guilty.

Cue hysterical laughter and curtains.

I tried sewing at the weekend.  I had great intentions. I picked out a pattern and traced it out on nice tracing paper and got the iron out and everything.

And then there wasn’t enough fabric.

And then I was miserable.

And then Charlotte (crafter and clever person) sent me this.



And it’s all clicked into place.  Obviously, the problem with my sewing is that I’m secretly afraid that a visitor will call and interrupt my fabric raptures.  And there is, clearly, a direct correlation between my sewing skills and the general untidiness of my hair.  Bald people are probably brilliant sewers sewists dressmakers.

So, next weekend I’m going to try to look neatly put together and see if that makes me any better at sewing.  I’ll keep you posted.

5 thoughts on “Sewing, or, a farce in three acts

  1. Would it help if you make a garment under supervision of someone who does really know what she is doing? Your mother or a good friend who can help you when you get stuck on the tricky bits and who’ll stop you from cutting corners that should really not be cut? To turn it into a fun experience instead of a bloodbath? 😉

    • It’s a really good idea! Unfortunately, when Mammy gets involved she tends to get carried away and finish the whole thing herself… 🙂

      • Ah yes, then it would be better to find someone who can restrain herself or who brings her own sewing machine and works on her own project until you reach a difficult spot that requires some help.

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