This post is mostly devoted to my skirt, since the board I broke to earn my white-and-a-half belt was full of splinters and Aaron judiciously threw the halves away. However, I do want to mention that during our lesson with the Grossmeister, he specifically chided us for our insufficient aggression: “We are fighting here, not sewing!” I proudly do both.
Sewing illuminates personal insights
This skirt has darts! Can you see them? The little vertical lines coming off the waistband (pretty sophisticated skirt to include a waistband, hey?). The construction of the darts got a bit awkward and personal as my teacher Linda had to explain that my tush is disproportionately large in comparison to my waist and height, and thus the darts needed a major adjustment away from the pattern specs. You learn all sorts of things about yourself from sewing.
Not too fine a point
And also, notice the zipper and hooks and eyes.
“Linda,” I asked, “don’t clothes usually hide the clasps under the overlap so you can’t see them?”
“Yes,” replied she. “But you didn’t get the overlap to look pretty, so we have to hide that instead.”
I am happy to show off my hooks-and-eyes, and also happy to have a forthright sewing teacher.
The metaphysics of sewing
The bottom hem challenged me. I couldn’t understand how it could possibly come out straight until Linda showed me that the fabric will follow whatever initial fold you make in it. So when I folded it up three centimeters (we work in metric over here), that distance pulled itself all the way around.
“So, the fabric wants to work with me!” I observed to Linda, with some relief.
“Susan,” Linda turned stern. “The fabric doesn’t want anything. You are the only being with consciousness involved here. You are the only one who wants anything.”
“Right. So the sewing machine can’t be uncooperative either then?”
My pants project is already adding to my lessons. As I cut the fabric on Wednesday, I stopped short in utter confusion. “Lauren,” I queried my classmate, “Why am cutting this pattern on folded cloth? The pattern has a front-of-leg and a back-of-leg piece, so why do I need two of each?” We stared at each other, brain gears grinding. “Oh dear,” I murmured as the situation finally dawned on me. “Pants have two legs.”