The tension of a Slow Sew!

Plugging away at an intricate and detailed pattern is a fulfilling and rewarding Creative experience. I know! I spent 12 months plugging away at a lined suede jacket Vintage Vogue designer pattern 2922. It was 10 years ago, but seriously it seems like it happened yesterday! What is it about "bad sewing experiences" that you never seem to forget? I loved this jacket! Every feature appealed to me: the big lapels, the brown soft suede texture, cropped length, drama .. this jacket was sublime.

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After 12 long months it was finally finished ... No other garments were made during this marathon. All my hopes were pinned on this fabulous jacket. I had many mix & match garments in my wardrobe awaiting this grand addition. The day finally came. It fitted perfectly and I was perfectly disappointed.  I just couldn't believe it! 

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Meanwhile back at the ranch! Reality at that time was me working in a 9 to 5 job, 5 days a week when hump day was a sad reality ... I was wearing the same outfits every week ... a bit like if it's Tuesday it must be spaghetti Bolognese for dinner. My life was built on routine. I was a full time working mother of primary aged children. I really needed this marathon investment in creativity to work for me. I needed a win. To feel victorious!

Looking back I really could have enjoyed the year more, if I had made some fast sews. In reality I had over invested!

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New outfits from existing fabric and patterns in my collection would have added interest and joy to getting dressed and given me a chance to talk with other Creative women. When you wear a new outfit to a humdrum job and you can say "you made it"  helps reveal kindred spirits. Dressing authentically will attract other creative souls. How good is it to share with like minded people? Conversation is so much better, deeper, richer. You discover the other Sewists in your midst and get to "talk shop" (fabric and patterns). Creatives find other Creatives when we wear what we make. We are marked. How delightful to find a member of your tribe in the hustle and bustle of an otherwise ordinary working week.

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That year of slow sewing taught me:

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  • I need to use whatever I can to help me negotiate a "not perfect" time of my life
  • Surviving is different to thriving
  • Remember I feel good when I sew great clothes
  • When I wear what I sew and it makes me smile I have done something for myself & I AM a nicer person
  • Simple survival technique .. make great clothes, wear them, enjoy myself wherever possible
  • Life is too short to sew clothes I don't / won't wear
  • Fast sews e.g. ponchos, pull on stretch skirts WILL lift my mood 
  • Use"TNT" patterns for  guaranteed succes
  • Where possible use FOE (Fold Over Elastic) it is a fabulous shortcut replacing the need for facings
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