Sewing is a wonderful hobby. I inherited a love of sewing from mother. Mom is a by the book seamstress and consistently turned out respectable and well-fitting garments. I am a “wing it” seamstress with mixed results. When I was 10 years old I tried a project from Seventeen magazine. It was a summer outfit with a hooded pullover and shorts made completely from Handi Wipes. I biked to the store and used all my pocket-money on yellow and blue disposable towels, came home and stitched up the outfit. Unfortunately, the thread was stronger than the fabric and the ensemble didn’t survive the first wash.
When I moved to Norway I brought my sewing machine from the US and attached it to a transformer. The transformer made the machine hop and chew the fabric which seriously decreased my joy of sewing. It was also harder to find fabric and patterns than it was in Minneapolis. There was a 200 square ft Singer shop in town which was a bit of a downer compared to the Hancock fabrics warehouse I would wander around when I had the creative urge.
But now almost 20 years later the situation is very different in Haugesund and Norway. We can order good quality fabric from “Stoff og Stil” and we have a fun concept store “Sy med oss” in Haugesund for machines and sewing classes with Monday night sewing circles. It’s great!
So, last year for my birthday I had a wish list with 3 sewing things: A sewing machine, a cover- lock machine and a dress-form. I got the sewing machine last year but without the cover-lock I couldn’t really complete any of the projects I wanted, so I just collected fabric and patterns getting ready for the day when everything would fall into place.
I didn’t even unpack the machine. It just sat in the box waiting. Waiting for an adventure, an idea, or some inspiration. After a while I started referring to my avoidance as sewing anxiety, others tried to comfort me that this resistance was more like writers block. I just needed something to jump-start my creative juices.
Last winter I washed all the fabric I had squirreled, remeasured it and matched it to the patterns I have. Twenty-one sewing projects waiting patiently. This summer, after much research and debate with myself, I finally decided which cover-lock and dress form to buy. So all the pieces were finally in place, but something was still missing.
The sewing anxiety finally dissipated after finding a cute pattern from My Tiny Star on Etsy. The inspiration struck me like a lightning bolt. I could hardly wait to get to Groningen so I could visit the adorable Cordi Atelier quilt shop. What a wonderful place! They had everything I needed and even offer courses for newbie quilters.
So now I am sewing owls … if you are on my Christmas list make room for an owl in your house in one form or another. The owls are just for warming up. I have those 21 projects waiting and wondering when it’s their turn.
This article from the New Yorker about procrastination also helped a bit