The Brakes

by Charlotte

I can make a dress in about four hours.  A pencil skirt takes about an hour and change, and a blouse like the Colette Sorbetto takes even less than that.  From cutting to sewing, I can think of something in the morning and have it made up by that evening.  It feels great.  

When I sew, I buy fabric like a madwoman, then I spend months hemming and hawing about what that fabric should be.  Sometimes I feel that I never buy enough yardage, others I find myself drowning in scraps that hover around two yards.  By the time I get down to the business of sewing, I’m usually in some sort of rush.  Mostly because I don’t want to give myself enough time to change my mind again.

Why am I doing this again?  I love to sew, but it’s not a race.  Just because I can sew something in an afternoon doesn’t mean I should.  So I’ve decided to take it slow.  Mostly because I’ve been watching Claire Shaeffer’s videos on Threads, reading up on technique.  Your sewing never feels as shameful as when you watch someone like Claire Shaeffer take a hack at it.  Good Lord, I was taken with the vapors.  You thread trace your seam lines and hand sew but not before you wax your threads and please remember the seventy-five types of stitches while we’re here?  I sew because I want really well-made garments and because I’d like more of a connection with my consumption (hippie, yes).  Obviously, this means that I asked for it. . .

This week, I’ve cut out two dresses.  While I haven’t thread traced the pattern markings, I have actually basted the skirts and darts into place so that I don’t have to pull out my hair come showtime (or sew-time—yes, I slay me).  Y’all.  I don’t baste.  Ever.  I usually just perpendicularly pin and call it a day.  This is a big, big deal.  Tomorrow I’ll insert the interfacing and turn on the sewing machine.  Then I’ll let you know if the slow sewing is worth it.  Usually, I’d have banged out these two dresses already.  Sure, they’d have had crappy darts, and I would’ve spent most of my natural-born life fighting with sewing the bodice through pleats, but still.  I wonder if it’ll be worth it.

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