The Long Exhale

petersham ribbon

Sometimes, it’s helpful to appreciate those midweek days when you just can’t find the time to sew. This is your thinking time, when challenges percolate in your head. Yes, that’s how to stabilise my zip insertion. Selvedges! The right answers don’t always come to you when you’re wild-eyed and strung out after a six-hour sewing marathon. Sometimes you need to go and let your limbs relax in the bath. (Don’t your best ideas happen in the bath or on a walk?)

This is also the time to gather arsenal for the next stage of sewing. I’ve spent this week buying buttons and ordering petersham ribbon. There’s a really useful blog post here about the difference between petersham and grosgrain and why you should care.

work in progress

I’m happy that a work in progress brightens up the living space as it patiently waits for me to pick up a needle again. I often wonder what my dog walkers think when they come for Ella. What’s she making this time?!

And it’s good to gaze at handiwork and feel satisfied, before all details become enshrined and hidden in a dress for wearing rather than making. Below, a French seam in silk organza.

french seams in silk organza

Breathing out is as important as breathing in, don’t you find?

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14 Responses to The Long Exhale

  1. sewbusylizzy says:

    Yes! My sewing time is limited and rarely in long stretches… I’m come to value those times when I’m not sewing as I’m planning, solving problems and reconsidering fabric choices. Then when sewing time pops up again, I sew decisively. I know exactly what I’m doing & why. I feel very focused. It’s a good feeling!

  2. Stina P says:

    I agree! My problem is, that when I’ve come up with a good solution and went through it enough times in my head, I’m rather frustrated that I HAVE TO DO IT IN REAL LIFE TO. You know, that it hasn’t happened just because I thought about it.

  3. ooobop! says:

    Yes indeedy! I sew everything in my head, in the shower, when I go to bed, on the tube, in front of the telly even, so that when I’m ready or have got time to sew, it’s a breeze because I’ve ‘done it’ already!

  4. What a lovely post: I’ve been feeling stressed about not having enough time to sew in the week, this is a much nicer way of looking at it! Thank you.

  5. Sheree says:

    Yes, totally agree. I love the time I spend planning and working things out in my head.

  6. susan says:

    So true! I am on holiday this week and away from my sewing machine and am enjoying all the planning, thinking, and researching time!

  7. Muse says:

    I’m on holiday now but will certainly try to remember this when I’m back at work and wishing I’m elsewhere!

  8. Very true, and a great post. However, at the bottom of this post was a link to “Hold My Hand, Please” and that one was meant for me! I’m still learning and it’s such slow going, I find it difficult to start anything for fear of making a shambles of it. The online sewing community is a source of inspiration and encouragement. Your work is so lovely, I can only hope….

  9. Sarah says:

    Oh my that French seam is just yummy! Sometimes I think too much about my sewing, and then my head hurts and I just want to lie down…

  10. cmoon2015 says:

    And we mustn’t forget the pause between the two! I liked this post…

  11. Mags says:

    I start everyday before work with planning as I read blogs. It’s as much fun as the actual sewing. You french seam is a thing of beauty!

  12. Bonnie says:

    Your French seam is a work of art! Just beautiful! I agree with taking a breath, a bath or a break when sewing, it seams to clear things up after long hours at the sewing machine.

  13. My mother said for months before my wedding, she fell asleep planning my wedding dress. It was a work of art. Since then, I’ve adopted her fall asleep to thoughts of sewing. It’s a great way to have happy thoughts, useful thoughts and just relax!

  14. sewsincity says:

    I’ve never thought of it this way but yes I agree!!

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