No Words

I’ve been trying to sew myself a linen jacket. I’ve also been trying to learn to sew in little 1-3 hour chunks of time, instead of completing a garment in a four-day marathon. It is hard to find three to four days where all you can do is sew, so I figured I’d better learn how to fit the activity into my life in a different way. The result has been that I’ve now been working on this jacket for over a month. It is the project that will never end.

A lot of the issue is that I’m really slow. This is only the fourth garment I’ve sewn as an adult. I’m teaching myself how to do all of this with the help of YouTube videos and pattern instructions, and that means I don’t get much done in those 1-3 hour chunks of time. And this jacket has bias bound seams, so every seam takes a total of three passes. It is, I hope, going to look really cool and I think I’ll wear it often, but it is taking me forever.

I have a self-imposed deadline. I’d like to finish it up by the end of this coming Saturday. The cleaner comes on Monday, so Sunday will be spent tidying up clutter. That means all my sewing stuff will get put away on Sunday, and I know myself well enough to know that this will kill my momentum on the jacket project. It would be nice to just have the jacket done by then. Today there will be no time to sew, leaving Friday and Saturday to work. I think I can do it. Maybe.

Despite my frustration at this being the project that will never end, I’ve been having a lot of fun with it. Sewing still feels like magic to me. It is a thing I couldn’t do a year ago. A thing I never even daydreamed about doing a year ago. I’m 48, and it has been awhile since I tackled a new skill with so much history and knowledge behind it. It has been good. It has significantly improved my happiness levels.

It is of course a continuation of my attempt to fill my life with non-word-based activities. I realized at some point that everything I did was based on words. I was a writer, and for fun I read things. Too many words. My head got too full of words. My writing was drying up. So I took up embroidery, which led to cross stitch, which led to sewing, and now I do all three and I’m happier than I’ve been in a very long time. I haven’t given up on writing. My hope it that by filling up my batteries with all these not-words, the words will flow onto the page easier than they were before. It’s worth a shot anyway.

Along these lines, I’ve signed up to be a part of Holidailies this year, a project in which people with blogs commit to updating every day for the month of December. I’m going to do my best to post here every day this month. It will be a bit of a challenge, especially since I do not really talk about my kid and parenting here in this blog, and that is a thing that takes up a lot of my time and mental energy. Instead I’ll talk about my sewing, stitching, and writing. Probably some other stuff too.

I actually finished a project last night. I’m stitching up a little Baltic cross to make into an ornament and give to a loved one who will, I think, appreciate it. Last night I put the last stitch into the design. Next I need to finish it into an ornament, which I’ll get to right after I finish my jacket. It felt good to put that last stitch in yesterday. A little bit of beauty, done by me. No words.

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