It often starts with a wine fuelled trawl through the vintage depths of a very suductive eBay!! I cannot resist searching for misspelt posts of vintage sellers ...anything to do with sewing! Patterns,fabric and bags of rotton old zips that anyone in their right mind wouldnt touch with a barge pole ! if it's out there I will find it and buy it, at a price so far over what it's worth because I have to have it (don't you dare go and post stuff on ebay deliberately misspelt for me to find...don't you dare !) ...addiction? Me ? No ...of course not ??
Anyway this leads to me being like a child on Easter Sunday who has been given so much chocolate that they make them selves sick ...
Every pattern I buy, I see it all made up in beautiful vintage fabric with me swaning around in it like a glamorous Hollywood star from the silver screen , you get the picture all made up with vintage hair and high heel shoes.
The reality is that the items get stored away in a box ,behind another box that I can't get to because I don't have the time to use all of it (and never will in my lifetime) or space to make anything at all if I don't put my hard fought treasure (or 'Tat" as hubbie calls it ..cheek !! ) away in 'Jenga' style boxes; herein lies the problem (I know some of you will say ,she's lucky to have such a problem , I wish I had all that stuff ! ..)
Every now and then I get some time or an occasion where I think I could make something for myself ,something beautiful that everyone in my social media vintage sewing family would love to see and admire 😁
So I spend hours tidying my sewing space ,the rest of the house I then do my hair and nails only then as all the old magazines tell me I am then ready to start sewing (and greet my husband at the end of his hard working day)... I pick the pattern and hopefully I have just the right fabric and it is the exact amount I need.
Now this is where it's starts to slow down through circumstance not choice .
I decide to wash the fabric, which needs to be done carefully by hand, as it's probably over 60 years old ! So much dirty water 🤤
I then have to wait for it to dry, so I start digging in those boxes for another piece of suitable fabric that is still old but not as precious and give it a press ...whew!! what a mess I've made of my sewing room ! time for a cup of tea , your starting to get the picture aren't you?
Don't stop reading I'm sure I'll get to the point soon 🙃
I come back to my sewing space push the mess to one side and lay the fabric out , take out the original pattern (I rarely trace them off unless I am making big alterations ) and I care fully give the pattern a press , lay the pattern on the fabric , then it time to prep the dinner ...
It might be the next day or even a week before I can find time again to start work on my 'me sewing' and by now I've started to lose interest in it...the dark side if my brain takes over, or is the the lazy side ? do I really need a glamorous dressing gown ? Who do I think I am? who cares what I wear ? where would I go to wear it anyway ?
(Picture of toile not finished yet and needing a press)
This far too 'slow sewing' is starting to make me anxious as I then start to feel guilty that I've not produced a fabulous garment for all to see, it seems more important that I post pictures of It, (not finished or with me actually wearing it) than my having enjoyed sewing something to wear that I love and treasure.
I have a personal theory that it's is because my mature figure does not look like the beautiful illustration on the front of the pattern cover, my life style does not warrant a dream garment that alludes to that starlite bygone era, my toile fabric doesn't inspire me the way the original vintage fabric did. (I've just come up with that whilst writing this )
Fitting a garment on oneself is very difficult, the perfectionism I use when dealing with my clients overtakes and I start getting frustrated and those thoughts of 'why am i bothering,its only for me' start to creep in .
So #slowsewing and #mindfulsewing has become a bit of a # in the sewing community of blogland and I have two takes on it
My first is about You
You will choose and embrace slow sewing as a good thing because
the bloggers you follow for your inspiration and courage, are telling you its the thing to do ...
If you are a beginner and hobby stitcher and doing it just for yourself and no one else, slow stitching would be an absolute joy , a medative time of self indulgence to enjoy and develop your creative skills.
But take this warning from an addict , be careful YOU will soon become addicted to all the fun magazines and books that offer you a world of free patterns and possibilities and have a secret fabric stash to rival your friends. And if everything you make is a slow sewing exercise you will never get to the bottom of your 'to do' pile
My second is about myself and others like me
If like me you sew and teach sewing for a living, have an life long obsession with fashion and sewing from a modern or vintage perspective, it always has to be perfect, otherwise your letting yourself and your followers down; if I dont perform often or fast enough I won' t make any money.
If I dont post something on social media often enough, I lose 'likers' or followers, so the pressure is on to be a very good but fast sewer who produces wonderful garments for the world to ohhh and ahhh at .
So much so that I rarely post a picture of myself wearing something I made because I never look 'good enough" in it ...I know ! Who said I had to look good enough in it ?..no one just me. That self inflicted pressure, takes all joy out of personal sewing of any kind ..so my slow sewing isn't though choice it's through struggling to motivate myself, beyond my perceptions of how people see me and loving myself and my sewing project choices for what they are ...blooming expensive hard won vintage inspired garments. My mindfulness comes, not while I'm Making but from when I've actually finished a garment that I love and feel great in. Like the dress below
The Jax an Italian wool jersey 1970s inspired day dress, I wear all the time , it's actually named after me , which is lovely ...co-designed by Dawn O'Porter and myself for her vintage inspired fashion label 'Bob by D O'P (click the Jax link for great tongue in cheek video of Dawn and other items we designed ) hope you enjoyed this post .please post a comment and let me know what you think .love Jax