I’ve never thought of myself a patient person. I don’t think anyone has. I’m the kind of person who takes her cell phone with her to the bathroom because sitting there for a few minutes without anything to do is torture. I have road rage like WOAH and don’t even think about asking me to go golfing.
But in the past few years, I have noticed myself developing more patience. A lot of this is due to motherhood (although I won’t deny the help from Adderall!). Babies and toddlers are incredibly frustrating little beasts that require attention all the time and need you to take a deep breath, sit back, and go at their slower pace. The more you fight that, the harder it is to deal with them. So I started letting go and calming down. This was a revelation: patience is not an innate quality but a learned ability! Yes, it’s incredibly obvious, but well, that’s just how life goes.
I figure if patience is something one can master, then I better start practicing! So I picked up sewing.
Oh my god. Is there anything in the world more aggravating than sewing? (Probably golf.) Here’s how it went when I first started:
1. I find a tutorial for something I want to make. Yay sewing!
2. I pick out fabric. Ugh, wash and iron first? Whatever, I don’t have time for that. I’m not sure where my ruler is, so I just “guesstimate” the sizes. Then, frustrated with my inability to cut straight lines and make perfect shapes, I say “eh, it’ll work out.”
3. Pin fabric together. Stab finger with pin. Curse.
4. I’m ready to sew! Yay sewing! Then I realize that I don’t have the thread ready. Curse. How do I do that again? Spend five minutes locating sewing machine manual, thread bobbin, start pedal. String gets caught. Curse. Restring bobbin, wind it, thread machine.
5. Should I test it? Nah, I’m sure I did it right. Put fabric under foot and begin sewing. I didn’t thread machine properly, fabric snags. Curse.
6. Rethread machine, begin sewing. Finally, sewing! When I’m done with the side, I pull it off and look at it. Not a straight line, not even close. I consider ripping out the stiches, but don’t. Just want to get damn thing done.
7. I sew up other side. The thing that was supposed to be a square is all janked because the pieces were cut wrong in the beginning. I could unrip it all and start it again, but instead I attempt to fix with scissors. This does not work. The piiece is completely destroyed.
8. I turn off sewing machine, stare at the mangled clump of fabric in hands, and walk away angry. Screw sewing, man.
Not very fun. However, the next time I went back, I spent 10 minutes carefully measuring a piece of paper to make myself a pattern, and then pinned the fabric to that, so I had the correct shapes. Of course, somewhere around step 4 I got angry and rushed it again, but it’s progress.
Over the past few months, I have sewn a few things: a needle roll for a friend, some tarot bags, a pouch, a laptop case. I’ve also turned a thrifted romper into a dress and summerized Atti’s winter clothes. None of these things are very well made, but the point is that I keep doing them and hopefully someday down the line, I will be able to get through the WHOLE process without raging out.Then I can work more on improving my actual skills.
The most important things I have learned from sewing are actually things I should have learned as a Television major: 1) don’t skimp in preproduction and 2) take the time to do the thing right the first time. Again, they are things that are “obvious”, but difficult to do…unless you practice.