Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Apron Zen

I used to love sewing. There were several sides to it: solving a puzzle, imagining the result before it happened, completion. It's been a long time since I bought a pattern and made anything. First of all, have you priced patterns lately? Totally ridiculous to pay $15.95 for an apron pattern. But, when they're on sale for 99 cents? I couldn't resist.

Sewing is such a process. Choose a pattern, choose a fabric, cut the thin paper pieces apart, follow directions for laying out, pin, move the cat from the fabric, cut, plan. I had forgotten how important following directions was. I have a tendency to jump ahead and figure things out my own way. This was different. I found myself pouring over the instructions. You wouldn't think an apron would be all that difficult, but this one is not just your ordinary apron. Totally worth it.

I got lost in the process of sew a seam, press it; I became reacquainted with the hum of the machine and the awareness of a bobbin about to empty; I consciously made myself watch the needle and the distance from the edge, trying to go slow and control the stitch. And when it was finished, I wrapped it up and mailed it -- unfortunately without taking a picture. And it was so cute.

The final step of sewing is just as meditative to me. I always fold and iron my pattern pieces, putting them back in the envelope just so. There's something about that I like. That paper is so thin.

When I see aprons in the stores for $36, I will say to myself (or sometimes out loud), "I could make that." And this time I did. And I have short-lived fantasies of making them to sell. Then I add up my hours and decide it's probably not worth it. Half the fun of sewing is giving it away.


Jennifer said...

Please don't tell me you "pinned" the pattern to the fabric. I thought you were supposed to use kitchen knives to hold the thin paper in place. Thats what MY mother did...and she would spell expletives like "H.E.double L" so our virgin ears wouldn't hear swearing in our Christian house.

Glad to hear you got out the sewing machine again. To you it is meditation, to me? i need medication. Just never got the hang of it. oh "H.E.double L"

Maybe Sarah will take a picture and post it on her blog. I'd love to see it.

Juleah said...

That is wonderful! I have an apron I bought for Ava and have been dying to duplicate it myself. I have never been able to stick with a pattern, I just eyeball it and do my own thing which sometimes doesn't work out. I have thought about making things as a side business also, like an etsy shop but who am I kidding. I have no time for such things in my life. Maybe when the kids are in school??? I hope Sarah will post a pic also, I would LOVE to see it.

Teresa said...

I used to sew all the time for myself, my sisters, Christmas gifts, etc., having learned at the side of my favorite grandmother, who was the expert. For me, it was mostly for the sake of saving money, but eventually there was no cost savings with the time involved. But....eager as I was to help with Carrie's wedding, I volunteered to make the grandgirls' flower-girl dresses. Your description of the process is exactly how I felt. There's just something about the delicateness of the thin paper pattern that makes you slow down and be mindful from the beginning. Even though this has been one of my "chores" for the wedding, no one realizes how much I have enjoyed doing this for the girls that live too far away to do this on a regular basis, and that probably helps me to reconnect with my own grandmother. I did it because I simply enjoyed doing it!

Sarah in Disturbia said...

Oh my! I am all a flutter with anticipation! How special do I feel??!! I can't wait to receive my package and I will absolutely take a picture and post it!! I was planning on baking strawberry cupcakes this week. Perhaps I'll wait until I receive my apron so I can take a picture of both!