I took a few weeks off to gather myself and find direction for this blog (amongst other things), which I'll write more about later. I played mom-nurse to two sick kids for a week, too. But most importantly, I was learning to sew!
Many months back, I stayed up until 3 am reading the entire Ermie blog from it's beginning post. When I got to the part where Jennifer launched her own line, I actually cried. The next morning, with only a few broken hours of sleep fueling my inspiration, I pulled out the broken sewing machine I'd owned for years and decided to finally learn the basics. Chris fixed it up for me and I learned well enough how to wind the bobbin and thread the upper thread, but life took some crazy turns, and I didn't touch the machine again until last week (the lower thread proves trickier, right!)
I've had Jenny's enticing Wiksten tank pattern waiting in my dresser for several months with the promise that I would learn to do something with it. Seeing her creations in pattern form years back was a hefty influence in my wanting to make my own clothes. After reading Jenny's pattern, it was so very clear that I decided to just dive in, to use the pattern to help me learn my machine, learn sewing, all of it, even though I'd never sewn so much as a napkin.
I headed to JoAnn's 50% off rack for some cotton fabric and found several cottons that were reminiscent of the garments in my Japanese craft books.
After encountering a little snafu with my machine while sewing on the pocket, I sulked around for hours, cut a larger pocket to cover the mishap, and finally bought a seam ripper before it hit me: I will not replace this pocket! This imperfect pocket is the mark of my learning. This pocket says, "Someone made me. with her hands (and machine). while materializing a life long aspiration!" Well, it says that to me. And this mindset is just as much a feat for me as the sewing itself, I tell you; I'll likely wince at the pocket a few more times before completely believing my pep talk.
I must say, it feels great to learn something new and love it, to overcome the challenges and feel as pleased with the outcome as the process. I fell in love with sewing from the second I began to cut the pattern, and my love only grew with each stitch and every "aha! that's what those lines on the needle plate are for!" type moment.
I've wanted to sew for an incredibly long time and now that I know how much I love doing it, I'm certain it will stay a special part of my life.
I can't recommend Jenny's pattern enough. It's easy to follow (it taught me to sew, after all!), the tank is such a flattering fit, and the pattern also provides a longer dress version. I expect I'll return to this pattern over and over again. My 2012 summer will be draped in it, for sure!
Now, this new, hard-earned tank of mine needs a name, I think. The first person to comment with a name shall name it (but we'd all love to hear additional suggestions.)
What are your experiences with sewing? What's the last thing you made? Is there anything holding you back from trying?
Up next: more Finnish blogs and names, and a very exciting Ask segment with one of my favorite people.
(p.s. I'm not drinking liquor while breast feeding; The beverage pictured is a club soda with olives! )