It can be wonderfully motivating to see the world of sewing through the eyes of someone just starting to learn. Twice this week I have had the pleasure of fabric shopping with younger women who are just beginning to sew. Neither are children, they are young professionals who are looking to create things for their homes or their children. One is drawn to sewing as the cheapest way to cover the windows in her new home. The other has two darling little girls and a ton of creative energy to channel. And maybe a couple of Halloween costumes to concoct. Neither of them are into quilting. (Not yet at least. Give them time!)
So I found myself in a fabric store, discussing the washing instructions on bolts, what type of scissors to buy, and how sewing with knits differs from sewing with woven fabric. Looking at patterns for skirts and dresses that might be found on the set of Mad Men or Sex in the City was a new experience. Then again, maybe not! While the empire waist dresses of my college years are fading away, the shirtwaist dresses of my youth seems to be coming back in style. The classic chemise or simple sheath is extremely popular once again. But today’s fabrics are fresh, and the girls wearing them are spunky and sophisticated beyond anyone that I knew at their age.
I will report that both are well on their way to being fabricaholics! Everywhere they turned, they found exciting new possibilities. The wheels were turning, “After I make this, I can make that, and that…” I see PIGs and UFOs in their futures! They want to master many things; we have dates for cutting patterns and sewing in zippers.
Sewers are definitely optimists. As quilters, we are driven by that sense of possibility. Fabrics, patterns, playing with colors, the possibilities inspire us to create. We tackle new projects and seek to learn new techniques constantly. Some of us are more motivated by getting to the finished item than by savoring the process. But we are looking forward, anticipating this project, the next, and ten beyond that.
Sure we get stuck sometimes. The next time that you are facing a UFO you do not want to finish, try taking a new sewer shopping. It will surely spark that flame of creativity, and bring new energy to your work.
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