Sewing and I have a very long and complicated past. I still remember the first time I became enchanted by its wonders. I couldn't have been more than 7 or 8, and I was standing in the local Grange hall, watching as the 4-H troupe prepared for their open house. There was a very tiny sewing group, made up of exactly one girl in fact, and the group leader was none other than my very own grandmother. Throughout the year she had created a beautiful line of dresses, and as I learned that those lovely garments came from none other than her own hands, I rapidly grew obsessed with the idea of someday making my own gorgeous wardrobe.
That moment was just the start of my tumultuous sewing journey. I joined 4-H as soon as I can, specifically with the goal of learning how to sew (and admittedly, it was an awesome excuse to convince my parents to let me adopt a bunny).
I learned immediately that I was terrible at it.
Tangled threads. Pokey needles. Unpressed seams. A frazzled mess of bunched up fabric and crooked hems. It was terrible. I stuck it out for a couple years before I threw in the towel. Everything I created had been a disaster.
But I didn't give up entirely. A few years later I discovered sewing was offered as an elective at my school, and once more I was rapidly taken in by the swoon-worthy idea of finally mastering this tantalizing art. I decided to give it another go. Fortunately for me the teacher was amazingly patient (despite dealing with 30 dramatic teenage girls at a time) and highly skilled, and despite my horrible lack of talent, I was able to, at the very least, come home with a very nice potholder at the end of the year.
After I graduated I was determined to continue my sewing pursuits. I bought my own sewing machine and lugged a 100lb box brimming with fabric and notions 6 hours away with me as I moved for college. I had projects, ideas, and a renewed zest. I was definitely going to make it work this time.
Nowadays that box is sitting maybe 10 lbs lighter in the back of my sister's closet. Once again, my best efforts had left me with nothing but lopsided aprons and a hopeless wondering of where I went so wrong.
Not it's been awhile. But as usual, the desire to sew has never fully abandoned me. Every time I struggle to find something beautiful in my size, only to find it's limited to those with a 26 inch waist, I feel that sting. Searching store after store, both physical and online to be left with the sheer frustration at the lack of simple peter pan collars, midi skirts and blouses thicker than tissue paper has left me in a haze of envy of those who never gave up.
So here I am. Once again staring into the abyss of fabric and thread and needles and trying not to back down. I feel determined. I know patience is my downfall. Coupled with my burning desire to finally own beautiful clothes that truly fit correctly, I hope the passion won't diminish quite so easily. The fact that I continue to come back to it, despite the sheer irritation it causes me gives me a glimmer of hope that maybe this is something I really am meant to do.
Crossing my fingers, and going forward with caution.