Thursday, April 23, 2009

Back to the 'to do' list

My last item on the 2009 list was to "Make or at least modify my own clothing using my new sewing machine and some creative flair."

I've been acquiring 'handy' skills since graduating from architecture school, mostly to fill the time. I'm not sure anyone who didn't go to design school would understand the sudden vacuum that is actual free time. Since graduating and buying our house a year later, DH and I have learned about plumbing and electrical wiring, plaster and laying tile. We've learned about natural pest control and attracting beneficial insects to our garden. We've learned how to compost. DH has learned to weld and operate amateur radio. I've learned yoga, knitting, crochet and how to bake a mean cheesecake. We learned how to train dogs and make their food from scratch. Yes, we're those people.

So the next logical step in my skill evolution is 'for real' sewing. I've always been willing to do slight modifications and repairs, plus I have a weird shape that sometimes requires what good old Target just can't provide. I've never torn anything apart to put it back together. I never knew how to sew because I never took home economics. For whatever reason I didn't have to and, although I learned hand sewing from my grandmother, I never thought to ask to learn to use her machine. I don't think she used it for more than minor things, though, because she quilted and cooked and gardened. I'm sure I'll repeat this often, because she is in my thoughts daily, but she was pretty awesome.

So the real urge to sew came about partly because I'd see handmade clothing on etsy and think, "that is super cool and why can't I do that myself?" I'm never sure if that's a tacky thing to think or if it is just part of being creative. It isn't like I am tearing stuff apart in a 'I can do it better' way, just... well, I could totally do it myself.

I've been shopping at consignment and thrift stores for a while now, since we luckily have a couple of good ones in walking distance of my office and it is way more fun than Target, which is my other inexpensive clothing option. My storage space is minimal, so I have plenty of reasons *not* to buy, but it is tough with clothes. They don't take up *that* much room and, well, they're just fun. Especially when they're original (or handmade or vintage) and only cost $10. Our money situation has me looking at it in a different light, though, now. I feel like more of anything is unnecessary unless I need to actually replace something. If I accomplish nothing else, I feel like sewing is a way to give not-so-gently used things a second chance at a life other than as a cleaning rag.

I'm still in the process of setting up my sewing space in the second bedroom. DH helped me rearrange things and it is "cozy", but I think it will work. I've been too busy to sew much lately, but I did help Allison modify a thrifted top and I have a couple of dress projects for my best friend's little girl, so I'm excited.

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