New Fabrics on sale! 25% off taken at chevkout.

Getting Out of My Head

September 13, 2021

Getting Out of My Head

I started sewing at the age of 51!  It was daunting. I had to learn my machine, how to read patterns, how to buy fabric.  And of course I started by making button up shirts.  Probably the most fiddly sewing I could have possibly chosen.

And so I was noodling around, sewing straighter and straighter seams, creating imperfect topstitching, mangling collars and collar stands and still not making a wearable shirt. 

Then I was talking with my therapist and she laid down a challenge:  At our next meeting, she wanted me to wear a shirt I'd sewn.  Challenge accepted!

I chose a pattern (New Look 6197), bought a beautiful brown and cream gingham linen from Gorgeous Fabrics (Hi Ann!) and began sewing.  Over the next two weeks I sewed in the evenings and on the weekends. I learned how to sew a camp collar.  And on the day of my next appointment I was still sewing on the buttons right up until I left my house.  

The shirt had a BUNCH of issues.  The sleeves are too big, the inside seams aren't finished, and the collar is a bit wonky.  But it was wearable and it was finished.  I was and am proud of that shirt, which I still wear.  

Finishing this shirt wasn't the beginning of my sewing practice, but it was an important milestone.  It represents a commitment made and kept.  It represents progress.  But mostly, it represents overcoming the fear that my makes wouldn't be good enough to wear.  That my skill just wasn't there.  That I would never be proud of the end result.  

All of those fears were wrong.  I didn't magically become a better shirt maker when this project was completed. Hell, I still struggle with collars/stands and topstitching.  But when I finished this shirt I went from a potential shirt maker to an actual shirt maker.  I stopped doubting it was possible.

I will always be grateful for that nudge.  Since that first shirt, I've made more shirts, chore coats, and even chinos and shorts. 

I haven't doubted the possibilities since.


Leave a comment


Also in T&H Blog

Victory is Mine!!!!

July 16, 2022

I sat in my roomette on an Amtrak train headed south to Tampa.  My suitcase was precariously propped on a little shelf next to my seat, threatening to topple onto me as we chugged along. 

Continue Reading

A Tale of Two Shirt-ies(????)
A Tale of Two Shirt-ies(????)

July 16, 2022

I've learned to accept (or even love) my mistakes because of what they teach me.  And I've learned to love the less than perfect garments as a reflection of where I've been.  They remind  me of the courage it takes to learn anything new and to be the one who has no answers, only questions.

Continue Reading

Futzing with Fabric
Futzing with Fabric

January 26, 2022

My mother had a wonderful vocabulary.  It was full of great expressions and evocative words like galavant and rigamarole

Continue Reading