Catthew wanted to help with photos today.
A tote bag I made from Japanese canvas.
The first garment I made 14 years ago when I decided to try to sew my own clothes.
I had Home Economics class in middle school, and we sewed a garment or two. I hated it. When I took Home Ec. again as a senior in high school, I refused to participate in the sewing portion of the class. I realize this was bad behavior, but I hated sewing so much I couldn’t accept the idea of sitting in a sad, hot room fumbling over a cursed sewing machine when all I wanted was to be left alone, had I not endured enough of being forced to do annoying things in this godforsaken, cinder block-lined pit? Why was my time being wasted so?
I was very much over high school.
My teacher allowed me to skip the sewing project. I did an embroidery project instead, which I also hated and never finished.
I surprised myself years later when I considered sewing something. I still feel surprised whenever I sit down at the machine. I mean, I still hate it, I do, but for both practical and ideological reasons I sew.
I used to cry when I sewed. Every time. Now at least I don’t cry, and I hardly ever yell.
Sometimes I wonder if my sweet Home Ec. teacher would be surprised at me, too. Bless her, she was so kind. Kinder than she needed to be.
Anyway, this tunic thing started out as a dress which was, in fact, a sack. I made it of bleached muslin, a totally inappropriate fabric for the pattern. It was weird. I dyed it in tea. Less weird but boring, so I put a bird on it. Eventually I decided I didn’t like it as a dress and cut it off to be a top. It’s okay? I guess? I like the bird.
The pattern for the bird came from Embroidery, by Katrin Cargill. This is a great book with beautiful patterns in it. I’ve used a few of them and they turned out nicely. I like that the ideas are taken from antique textiles.