I sometimes feel that “sewing” isn’t quite descriptive enough to describe my hobby. I know lots of people who sew – people who hem pants and make curtains and will occasionally buy a pattern and make a garment. While I do those things, too, I get the most satisfaction out of sewing when I am sewing to solve a problem.
One of the biggest reasons I began sewing was so that I could make exactly what I wanted to wear (my mom isn’t much of a shopper and as a kid I wasn’t brave enough to tell her I didn’t want to wear the same jeans and baggy grey t-shirts she did). Later, I continued to sew so that I make garments fit exactly as I wanted.
Lately, I find myself sewing so that I can create perfect pieces – the exact style I want in the exact fabric I like which fits perfectly and boasts practical features that make them infinitely wearable. Since learning the rudiments of pattern alteration, I find I get the most pleasure in adapting patterns to be exactly what I want them to be (whereas, when I was younger, I sort of guessed and made a lot of big mistakes). There is something meditative in the mathematical precision required to move seams and the thrill of using several very specialized tools and rulers.
Most recently, I find myself confronted with very specific clothing problems to solve – going on a snowshoe winter camping trip while 6 months pregnant poses very specific outerwear challenges. Moving forward, I’m going to have a whole new slew of issues to sew around: post-baby body, baby wearing and nursing. I’m already thinking of creative ways to deal with those issues.
Mostly, I love that I can add pockets to any skirt or dress, add a zipper to a pullover, add a peter pan collar, adapt my current wardrobe for maternity, and recreate expensive designer garments I love.