The Pleasure of Making Things

The Pleasure of Making Things

The weather is still sort of strange and blustery here — intermittent rain, yesterday was windy, and while it’s been warm, its really only been warm-ish. So while I put in some turnips and beets and more onions over the weekend, it wasn’t really a gardening weekend.

But spring is here and I’ve been feeling that I don’t have anything to wear, so yesterday afternoon I made a couple of skirts. I fixed/finished one that I’d sort of botched — I wasn’t using a pattern but had cut it out using instructions from Sew What! Skirts! One of my projects in this blog, and in my little experiment here in Montana, has been not just to learn how to sew or knit from a pattern, or cook from a recipe, but to learn the skills I need to do some of these things without relying on instructions. My grandmother, for example, could sit down at the sewing machine and run up new dresses for all three of her girls in an evening (and often did since she’d rather create something than do the laundry, which she thought was boring). She could also knit gorgeous ski sweaters, with designs, without using a pattern (unfortunately she used cheap acrylic yarn from Woolworths. I have a number of them. She thought they were marvelous because you could throw them in the washer).

Now the skirt I was fixing was kind of a botch. I don’t think I’d really been paying attention when I cut it out. I’d managed to fix a bunch of shirts I bought from LL Bean that were too long — nice linen shirts but the shirttails were so long that they got all rumpled. I’d managed to measure off a shirt I had that I liked the fit, and had altered the four shirts I bought that weren’t right, and by the time I cut out the botched skirt, I was getting impatient. It showed. I finally left it for a few days and came back to it yesterday. I fixed it — it’s not entirely what I would have wanted, but it will be cute and I’m sure I’ll wear it a lot.
Because the freehand approach wasn’t working so well, I picked apart an old skirt that I really liked, but that was sort of worn out, and used it as the pattern. I decided to try cutting this one out on the bias, which just seems to hang better. And as always when making things, I discovered that when I really took the time, and slowed down, and payed attention to the process without rushing to just finish the thing, that I had a really nice time. The second skirt came out really well. It fits nicely and I finished all the inside seams and it went quickly and easily. It was a pleasant afternoon in my little basement sewing corner, with a golf tournement on the TV, and the laundry getting done. Outside the weather blustered away while inside, as my grandmother would say, we got something constructive done.

Now, if only I could get back to my novel with the same efficiency!

One thought on “The Pleasure of Making Things

  1. I love making things too. Tonight we had a wonderful farmer’s market lamb stew, complete with baby carrots, heirloom tomatos, english peas, and red potatos. (Okay, the lamb was from Costco.) It was excellent. And yesterday I bought more material for making the boy some pants (he refuses to wear most pants, so I’m copying the only ones he will wear!).

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