I set out on this period of adventure with this idea that I’d like to learn to do and make some new things. Physical things, I mean: things I build, assemble, or fabricate, and that result in a concrete product.
Recently I’ve been working on sewing. My mom taught me to use her sewing machine sometime around the time I graduated from college. I made myself a jumper, felt a small sense of accomplishment, and that was about it. In the years since, I’ve never had much urge to sew anything, certainly not enough to motivate me to get a machine, figure out where to keep it, and get in enough practice to actually remember how to use it the once every 5 years or so an idea gets hold of me.
The ideas I would get weren’t very Martha Stewart-ish. They definitely weren’t Project Runway. (Well, I shouldn’t say that, really, because I’ve never seen Project Runway. But I don’t have the impression that they make things out of old tablecloths, so that lets me out.) I would get fixated on a stained or holey tablecloth seen at a yard sale and wanting to be able to cut it up and turn the good bits into napkins or something. Or, I’d wish I could darn the holes in my socks. Small projects, silly even, but ones that would make me feel like I’d used things well or restored some order to my little corner of the world.
Now I find myself living in a house with three sewing machines, some wonderfully soft–but torn–cotton sheets, and a shortage of kitchen towels. It seemed like an opportunity.
There’s a kind of meditative quality to sewing straight lines that I’m finding very relaxing right now. True, my hems aren’t all that straight yet, but they’re getting there. And I’m wishing I had even more old sheets to cut up.