Here’s the thing…sewing somehow takes over your life. It starts as a hobby and eventually, slowly, by creeping degrees, it takes over. Quite literally in a physical sense because everything you need in order to do it needs a space somewhere in your home. It might start out as a few needles and threads but very quickly that turns into a pile of fabrics, paper patterns, scissors, pin cushions, trims and general pretty bits and bobs! Not to mention the machinery needed too… I’m lucky now as I can use the smallest bedroom to keep my machine and a lot of my kit in but that doesn’t mean that things don’t very soon spill out of there and tumble downstairs onto the dining room table aka cutting table. There they sit, taunting me to get on with whatever I’m supposed to be making, usually a mixture of half thought out projects for me, or the things I’m being paid to make or alter for somebody else. These are the ones which eventually win out because, after all, they’re the ones which will earn me a little money. I sit here now at the table writing so even this has distracted me!
I’m actually finding adjusting to working at home quite a challenge, not least because of the siren call of other bits of technology-phone, iPad, laptop etc. Who’s talking about what on Facebook? Any good pictures on Instagram? What are Tilly Walnes or Lisa Comfort up to? (If you don’t know who they are, look them up, they’re queens of modern sewing and I’d love to work with them) Fortunately daytime telly isn’t a lure otherwise nothing at all would be done all day!
I like to have the radio on while I’m working, Ken Bruce chattering away is good, Jeremy Vine stirring up opinions for the sake of a ‘story’ less good. Listening to Jo Whiley in the evening reminds me of my younger days as a student when I would be sewing and listening to Annie Nightingale, they both have similarly eclectic music tastes which open up your ears to new music without the inanities of some younger DJs.
Sharing sewing seems to be the new Big Thing, what with the Great British Sewing Bee back on telly and a proliferation of magazines/bloggers etc etc. I’m not sure how helpful some of them might be, I was well taught at the end of an era when we still learned actual dressmaking. My teacher-Miss Flint!- was an absolute stickler for accuracy and correct technique and I thank her for it…now. It has enabled me to have not just a hobby but a career (somewhat varied but another time for that) Having worked until recently in secondary education as a technician it is in no way the fault of the teachers that few people can sew any more. It’s been dumbed down to such a degree as to be almost useless unless the student is very driven to make a career of it. Finding the teachers who actually know what they’re talking about isn’t easy either-why do the thankless job of teaching when you could work in the clothing industry?
Perhaps now is the time for dinosaurs like me to come out of our sewing corners and share our experience with the world! Younger people are keen to find out what they’ve missed so far, it’s fabulous to see shops filling up with gorgeous projects and fabrics and patterns and trims and equipment etc etc etc. Most of it is probably totally bamboozalling, a lot of it is definitely bandwagon-jumping and a bit of it is here-today-gone-tomorrow but I’ll live in hope that quite a bit of it sticks! Either way I’ll carry on sewing as I always have and hope that others will care to join me for the ride! It’ll be an enjoyable journey and it’s never too late to climb aboard.
PS I’ve included the picture to (hopefully) prove I’m not an actual dinosaur!
PPS yes I did make the dress