As with all other things, I waited six years after everyone else to let KonMari into my soul.
For the uninitiated, in Marie Kondo’s book (empire, really), one modifies one’s external environment to suit internal needs. In her world, ultimately, tidiness is about happiness and happiness is about you. To that end, you divide your belongings by category, make a big pile, physically hold each item, and ask yourself, “Does this spark joy?” Reader, I am joyless. Had I kept on with this, I would have no socks, two sticks of furniture, and a pile of clothes that don’t fit. It seems that my joy button is broken. [[Not a word from you, Julie.]]
It should come as no surprise, then, that my sewjo is dead. Dead, dead. I spend as much time thinking about sewing as I do thinking about or doing anything else, really, but magically, I cannot spin thoughts into garment gold.
I’ve tried some of the old tricks: Heading to the fabric store and bonding with the high-priced merch; doing deep dives on all of your (yes, your!) Instagram accounts for news on new patterns and all the nifty ways you’ve made them your own; I’ve even gone to see a professional—I went to hang out with Bex at Stitch Sew Shop to make some bias binding, because it is a pull-my-teeth-out task for which I need adult supervision.
Things were on the up-and-up, until I signed up for a coat class that I never got to go to because my dry cleaner and work schedule banded together and decided that happiness was just not in the cards. (Yes, mine is a bottomless supply of self-pity.) My top-stitching was uneven but too delicate to unpick! I couldn’t find any muslin. I found the muslin and interfacing, but work got busy so I had no machine time. You know the drill. (Are you cycling through it right now?)
There is more to this, of course. I ended up needing two surgeries last year. (Yes, I tore the other ACL just a month after laying the bricks for my triumphant returns to my primary two esses!) A combination of medication, surgical complications, and post-op treatments have rendered me unable to exercise right now. One should cut one’s self slack, sure. One also is not complaining (god forbid). But! One could also fashion an unreasonable plan for one’s triumphant return to the machine. I dunno, reader. One of these things sounds more fun than the others.
The usual order of operations for when I’m in the sewing doldrums is:
- Find a nearly there UFO and fix her up. [[All of my UFOs are too small now! Which is okay, but just disqualifies this item from being a mood-booster.]]
- Go shopping. Ogle the goods on the fancy floors of Neiman’s, maybe even smuggle some in for a quick fit, then delight in the fact that you could probably make (a serviceable) copy and without that weird butt ruffle/peplum thing. [[I’m supposed to be babying the cement blocks that I call knees, so am limiting my galavanting.]]
- Read other people’s blogs! This is actually where I’d love some help, if you don’t mind. There are two people on the Internet (three, if you count the dearly departed A Sewn Wardrobe) who can coax me off the fence about a garment. Gina from A Feminist Stitch and Mary from Idle Fancy. I could literally be in the middle of an “Ugh, but seriously, another f*&kin’ peplum” rant, then come across their version of a garment and think, “That’s actually kind of all right. Beautiful, even” Poof—wallet out, pattern secured. Who charms your wallet away from you when those two are otherwise engaged?
Because I am me, and I like lists and do nothing if not share too much, here’s what I’m thinking the plan should be:
- Make some muslins. Indeed, I just bought a 50-yard bolt of muslin off of the Internet. I think that knowing that I can sew for myself at not an Indie 8/10 or Big Four 14 would be super helpful. I also think that sewing garments without elastic and with zippers would be somewhat heartening. See ya, schmattes. Have you been sewing anything fun lately?
- Take a class. A hard one. I think I might benefit from being out of my depth, a bit. I’ve only ever been to classes for beginning sewers, even though I’ve been at this for awhile. Thomas von Nordheim? Susan Khalje? Bueller?
- In a weird way, sewing has complicated my relationship with fashion. In some ways, it’s been good. In others, reading sewing blogs has supplanted a lot of the hardcore fashion editorial reading I used to do. I know this runs counter to supra 3, but I think I may try to bring some more Uncle Dries into my diet.
Oh, reader. Those were 800 words that added precisely nothing to your life. I think this means I’m using you for accountability. So, next time I pop round (in yet another year, maybe?), let’s talk progress. Pinky swear.