Sunday, November 7, 2010

Slow Sewing

The current issue of Handwoven Magazine is dedicated to Slow Cloth. The projects are designed to allow the weaver to savor the weaving as much, if not more, than the finished product. It encourages taking the time to enjoy the process, the journey that is weaving...

 I am not going to be a fan of Slow Cloth any time soon. While I understand the principle and desire to weave this way, I am still too new at it and well... I want it warped, woven and OFF so I can start all over again!

That said... I will be putting some dish towels on next, as soon as I decide on what pattern to use. I'd like something like the handtowels I just made, where a long warp and a variety of treadlings yields multiple patterns.

This whole idea of slow cloth got me thinking, though. How does this apply to my sewing? I am very much a "slow sewer". And not because I can't stitch quickly. I can. I did it for years when the children were little and grew out of pants quicker than I could make them. I did it before vacations when they needed jackets or matching outfits for Disneyland. I did it when I was smocking for picture day, embroidering for a Christmas gift on Christmas Eve.

Now it takes me forever to complete something and again, it is not because I am slow. I love the process. I love straightening the grain. I love tracing the pattern pieces . I love finishing seams, sewing by hand, grading and clipping and understitching, topstitching and hemming. I haven't had the time until lately to start something that I could savor all of the way through the process and I think that is why I haven't sewn much lately. I don't WANT to be rushed.

Now that my work life has calmed down to a doable pace (50 hr weeks hallelujah), the desire to slow down and enjoy a project is front and center.

Today I set up the laptop on the cutting table and watched the Claire Schaeffer Tailoring DVD while tracing off the SW Verona pattern pieces. Alterations are complete (length was the only thing of concern to me ~ the jacket was too short and the coat was too long) and I even got the lining cut out.

I took me over 2 hours to do this because I would frequently stop and gaze out the window, play with the dog or sort through a pile of things waiting to be stowed away in my new cabinet. I think this is the equivalent of Slow Cloth.

And one day, when I'm done rushing through a set of towels or placemats just to rush to the next project, I think I will be able to appreciate the slow joy of cloth as well.


P.S. The cabinet is this:

Organizing Essentials Creative Cut Center

 It's not all that sturdy, but for $119 @ Joann Fabric, it does what I want. I have all my rulers on top, all my scissors, cutting and marking gear in the top drawer. I have makeshift trays in the slots for other storage. Projects in work are in the two shallower drawers and the bottom drawer is empty. Empty....

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