Tuesday, 5 August 2014

The Pleasure of Making Things

I don't make new clothes very often any more. Basically because I can't keep up with the demands of fashion for two style-conscious young men who are quite anxious when it comes to being seen in uncool stuff. And also - I know how much my time costs, so it's usually not cost-effective to spend four or five hours, or much more, to make something that I could buy if I worked hard for two or three hours. But I do love sewing, and there are some things I can run away with. Those are the things that rarely get seen by others - like pants or shorts for wearing at home, and also pajamas. Making them fills me with immense pride in my own craftiness and allows me to learn new things. The lingering summer heat has provided me with a perfect opportunity to brush up on those pant sewing skills that are badly underdeveloped and unused. (Did I tell you I can only make pants with elastic waist and bed-clothes, and such? I'm no good with more complicated designs like stretchy fabrics, T-shirts or - God forbid - a dress!)

I've made more camouflage fabric shorts over the years than I care to count. There are at least three reasons for that.
1) The fabric is dead easy to sew - it has lines on the wrong side that make measuring, drawing and cutting incredibly convenient.
2) It's a rather safe bet that the boys are going to wear them. The novelty has worn off over the last four or five years, I must admit, and I wouldn't buy camouflage any more now, but I got this fabric last year and just didn't get around to sewing. You can never know if the boys would actually wear the blue or green, or black, or grey that I would imagine the boys would like when buying the fabric, and I know from experience that taking them (or the husband, for that matter) to the fabric store with me not only bores the living daylight out of them, but also completely ruins the magical joy that I experience in such venues.
3) Camouflage fabric disguises dirt! What's not to love?

I've noticed the shorts I've made a couple (three? four? hopefully not five!) years ago have "shrunk" on the boys to the extent they almost need to lie down to pull them on. A sure sign of growing! And an even more sure sign of a need for new shorts!

Sewing is like gardening - you can only learn by doing, and by now I have a pretty clear idea of what works and what doesn't. Like, now I know The Boys need deep pockets in the front - they have wallets, and money, and phones now! I hadn't done sewn in pockets before, but it really proved to be very easy. I'll keep making them. I also know I need a wider elastic, but I don't see a visit to a fabric store any time soon, so I'll have to do with a rather narrow one for the waist.

It's a real treat to take time away from work, especially on such hot days as these, to make something new. To hide in the bedroom with closed curtains to block out the light, to have some gardening programs providing heavenly and inspiring background noise, and to cut, and sew, and iron (yes, even iron in 37 degrees Celsius), and to come out for brief moments to measure someone's waist or to ask someone to try on the almost finished garment, and then - yes, to present it to a boy who's happy not just because he really needs new shorts, but also because he knows how much pleasure his mom has in her own private blissful sanctuary behind the closed doors of the bedroom - sewing away.

(I couldn't choose one picture, because - just look at the dog!)

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