What Lies Beneath

I had the house to myself this evening. It feels mean to be too celebratory when my boyfriend goes out but, ooh… The delicious, rare pleasure of Me, Myself and I. With a sewing machine! I ran upstairs to the spare room where I keep a box of fabric beneath the bed. (From the blogs I read, my supplies are VERY modest.) I pulled it out, excitedly unfolding fabric after fabric, holding each piece up to my body. ‘I could make a blouse! Or a bag! Or would this stretch to a skirt?’ Decisions, decisions, indecision. Faced with so many options, my brain turned to sludge. Does this happen to you, too? Here you can see the box of supplies, photo taken by a woman with too much choice. In the background is the very first thing I ever made on my sewing machine – that cushion. At the time I was dissatisfied with the lack of perfection; now I marvel at what a tidy job I did with no pattern but an abundance of enthusiasm. The quilt you can see was made by a Great Aunt, I believe, and was given to me by my darling ma.

In the end, I decided to tape together and cut out my downloaded Burda pattern for the Jenny skirt. This project has already been made and blogged about in glorious fashion by both Gertie and So Zo. Sadly, I don’t enjoy quite the va-va-voom figure of either of these lovely ladies, but I fell in love as soon as I saw this skirt. I want one! So this evening I set to with a roll of sellotape and many pieces of A4 paper. Ian arrived home and watched me from the comfort of the sofa as I knelt on the floor. ‘I must really love sewing to do this,’ I commented. I think Ian’s snort of laughter meant that he agreed. Here’s the final pattern:

Keen to be green, I reused paper that had already been used to print out a copy of my latest manuscript. So, flipping the pattern over, there was an interesting montage of my work in progress with notes such as ‘Lose this chapter’ scribbed over!

Writing meets sewing: heavenly union

Some people must wonder why a grown woman, after a hard day’s work, would choose to sit on a floor with sellotape, scissors, and a paper jigsaw of pattern pieces. But I found the process of lining up pages strangely satisfying. Life can be terribly serious for grown-ups. How nice to balance all of that with the very important art of lining up one triangle with another, choosing a size and cutting out. Like craft classes at school? Almost.

I leave you with a last photo taken in my garden just before the sewing started. These flowers don’t last long, so I felt the need to capture for posterity. Enjoy your evenings! Or mornings. Or lunchtimes. But most of all, enjoy your sewing.


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