Al bought me a sewing machine for Christmas last year (at my request, not in a fit of 1950s patriarchal present buying bastardry), and I had visions of learning to run up idiosyncratic and stylish things for myself and the girls while on mat. leave. It didn't happen and my confidence and motivation slowly drained away. It doesn't help that I don't really care about sewing, I just want to buy beautiful fabrics on the internet and collect retro pillowcases from op shops. I packed away my sewing machine so it didn't stand as a silent reminder of yet another thing I'd failed to do.
But my friend Tamsin gave me a pep talk the other day. She sews but only in straight lines, and she makes lovely, lovely things. So I dragged everything out, found an old skirt pattern for a little girl in my Grammy's stuff (indeed, I think she made it for me when I was tiny) and then figured it's all just common sense and spatial concepts, like a jigsaw. And I did it - I made a skirt. Behold, its glory.
It's very, very wonky, with not much straight line sewing at all. But since Lu never stands still it doesn't matter - it passes as a skirt from the distance.
Pehaps the best thing about the whole process is learning a new skill (except I haven't really learned much, and I'm not at a level to be described as 'skill'). I'm really good at some things and I just keep getting better at them; it's rare to master something new. It's a bit confronting too, because I don't like being a novice, I like to be if not perfect then pretty damn good. In sewing I am neither.
However, I picked up a few things, and I'm listing them here for future reference:
* Ironing paper patterns and materials is probably not just being overly-pernickity
* It's important to know where all pins are at all times
* Straight seams come from straight cutting
* Blunt nail scissors don't facilitate straight cutting
Armed with this knowledge, I'm about to embark on a bag for the deli shopping. I expect to open a store on Etsy by the weekend, and very soon shall be making huge amounts of money selling my wares.