The semester is coming to an end and that always means lots of exams, papers and presentations. Right now, I’m preparing a presentation for Listening & Speaking: It’s all about structure and micro-strategies and about talking freely. The topic should be something we are interested in. It took me some time to find something suitable but then I decided I’ll talk about the growing sewing community and the reasons for it as well as providing an outlook. We also have to add some personal aspects to our talk, so I’m currently thinking about why I started sewing and what I love about it. Sarai from Colette Patterns asked a similar question a couple of months ago, so this post is like an answer to it, as well as some brainstorming for my presentation…. Read on if you are curious, but be warned: There’ll be a lot of writing! :)
Let’s start at the beginning. (An introduction, to warm things up a bit :)) At first, I only sewed for my (fashion-)dolls. Even though IT dolls fit into Barbie’s clothes, there was now way I was going to put them into these horribly made, pink-and-silver party dresses that are available. IT does sell some extra garments, but these are just few and though beautiful, mostly rather expensive. All I could always think about was: I could do this myself, if I practiced a lot. I started with zero knowledge, draping fabric around the small bodies, eventually creating (re-)usable patterns and getting better. And then it hit me – what works for them could also work for me. And I would have it easier, as there are millions of ready-made patterns out there, with instructions telling you exactly what to do. That was the start… and I couldn’t stop, even if there were times when I didn’t sew anything at all for myself: The dolls started it and they always made sure I wouldn’t stop making clothes for them.
But why exactly do I sew? I sew because I love it. It’s that simple. It’s my favourite hobby, also because it’s so rewarding. The satisfaction of holding up a garment that I made completely myself is incomparable. I like that I don’t have to rely on shops and current trends when I want to buy clothes, I can simply make them the way I want them to be. Or, on the contrary, I can make garments that are inspired by my favourite brands, without having to spend a small fortune. But it’s not just the finished item that gives me satisfaction, it’s the whole process. I sew because I love the sound of scissors cutting through fabric (and all the different sounds different fabrics make), my noisy old sewing machine and how the pedal gets warm when I sew too fast for too long. I love holding up a piece of fabric and letting my mind go crazy and finding the perfect project for it. I love clicking through images of runway and historical fashion, finding interesting details in existing garments and sketching all these inspirations into my notebooks. I love hand-stitching a hem (so luxurious! :)) and the feeling when I close the zipper after having finished a garment. I love the look on people’s faces when I tell them that I made what I wear… Shall I go on? I think you have an idea now :)
The thing is, while I love planning and sewing and finishing a garment, I still have to take breaks. Sewing plays a vital part in my life (and soon, it will be even more important – I’m starting fashion school in September) and I never want to get tired of it. I want each piece to be special and even though I’m not seeking perfection (an impossible task), I take my time and try to make is good as possible.
If you are still reading, congratulations! I won’t be this personal in my presentation, but now I’m really sure of why I’m going to talk about sewing – my very favourite hobby!