Every form of addiction is bad, no matter whether the narcotic be alcohol, morphine or idealism.
Carl Jung (1875 – 1961)
Ok, so here’s the deal. I inherited this horrible addictive tendency from my mother. Everything in my life is my Mother’s fault, right? Right.
I love fabric. I love to own the stuff. I will go into fabric stores and become hypnotized by the very smell of unsullied bolts of fabric and I will feel this need to purchase some in vast quantities with the idea that I might some day turn it into a garment. Or I will purchase a small amount with the idea that someday I will make a fabulous quilt.
The problem with this is that I’m really not a very good seamstress. My Mother was/probably still is a fantastic seamstress. She made all of my clothes when I was a child all the way until I was in Junior High and begged for at least a few store bought things. She made all of her own clothes and all of my brothers shirts and trousers and all of my Father’s shirts as well. I can still see the perfect flat felting she would do on our flannel pajamas to keep the material from unraveling and the french seams she did on some dotted swiss material she made up into a dress for me. I canNOT for the life of me sew straight seams like that.
But alas, I did not inherit her talent nor her patience, Plus she is left handed and everything she taught me to do she taught me to do the way she learned to do it which was the way a right handed person would teach a left handed person. It’s awkward. And I rarely get past the idea of I feel like sewing that beautiful piece of fabric into that great pattern of a dress because first of all I have to cut that beautiful unsullied fabric into pieces that will eventually become a garment. There is something that just gives me a pain in the chest when I think about doing that.
Plus that whole process of makes such an unholy mess that somehow spreads it’s way throughout the apartment as I make minute obssesive compulsive adjustments to the pattern in order to get the perfect fit for my undersized bosom, oversized ribcage, Gramma Gavin’s Popeye upper arms and mismatched butt. This obsessive compulsiveness was also inherited from my mother and fostered by my home-ec teacher, Mrs Gardner. I can’t just cut something our, I have to fiddle with the damn pattern and tracing paper and measuring tape and scotch tape. It’s a big pain. Damn them.
Damn their home economics souls that told me that one day I would save hundreds of dollars by making my own wardrobe if only I would learn to sew as well as they could. Damn my mother for teaching me how to do everything left-handed and damn Mrs Gardner for insisting that I unlearn everything my Mother ever taught me because in her book (as the fucking college trained expert) everything my mother taught me was wrong, Wrong, WRONG! Damn me for being a smart ass teenager who went home and reported to my neurotic possibly psychotic mother that she was an idiot and didn’t know a damn thing about sewing according to the college expert. My mother could probably sew circles around that college expert.
BTW, they both lied. As soon as I drooped out of high school and bought a sewing machine, the stores all started importing cheap clothes from Taiwan and the Phillipines and the price of fabric and patterns shot up through the roof. The price of mass marketed clothing dropped to pennies on the dollar compared to what it cost to make them yourself. So much for all that home ec angst.
But still, once you’ve learned how to sew and you’ve caught the fabric bug, you’re never really cured. You become a seamstress for pleasure. I”m passable. I can do simple patterns that don’t require perfection and linings. Darts-I don’t do darts. I’m pretty good at sleeves but I hate buttonholes so I avoid those. I like to use snaps. But of course this is all in theory, dear reader. Read on.
It could have been worse, I could have inherited my mother’s stupid shoe and matching handbag fetish that takes up two whole closets and then some. She could give Imelda Marcos a run for her money. And if I had inherited that particular need to own, with my wide feet at the toes albeit narrow heels, high instep, and tricky ankles, leading to a need to purchase shoes that cost at least $60 to $75 a pop, I’d be in big trouble.
But I digress as usual. I saw some lovely pastel tie dye fabric with butterfly block print when I was at the fabric store buying notions for making hats. I make kick ass hats because I have a hat fetish. Now I’m on a strict fabric diet that says no more new fabric coming in to the house until I move some of the stash out but I HAVE to have THAT fabric because I also have a butterfly obesession . Really I do. I have to have it. So I decided I have to do something drastic and get rid of some fabric.
I dragged out my stash to see what I could sew up or donate to a good cause. My daughter’s birthday is coming up and I’ve been meaning to make her a nightgown. Plus I have some lightweight denim and camoflage that would look cool together and I really need to get that darn Xmas tree skirt done this year so I’m just going to do it now. And I surely could get rid of some of it by putting it on the free table. Couldn’t I? NO, I COULD NOT!! Not even the failed patchwork Christmas stockings my daughter and I tried to make one year. I’ll find a use for those littel rectangles of Christmas pattern fabric yet, you wait and see!
I made up my mind that I would make up two projects and sttarted cutting out the xmas tree skirt backing for my daughter and realized that it was the mess that I hate the most and it dawned on me that I should just live with the mess for as long as it took to cut the whole stash box into the projects I wanted to sew up and then I’d be much more likely to sew when I got the itch. So all week I have been cutting out patterns as I watch television in the evenings. It’s been rather pleasurable actually. I know the mess will be gone soon and since I’m accomplishing something that’s going to give me a lot of pleasure in the future the stinking mess isn’t irritating me nearly as much as it usually does.
I still need Fabics Anonymous though because now I need more fabric to finish up the projects I’ve got cut out. HELP!