Slow sewing

cutting out pattern on fabricI used to make my own bread. It was fun, until it became a chore. Up to that point, I enjoyed the process. Preparing my work area. Seeing the ingredients turn from bitsy to smooth dough, and then bread. The joy of watching my family enjoy it. Yes, it fed my soul as well as our tummies.

Maybe a victim of my own success, I dropped bread from my shopping list. Now if I didn’t bake, there was no bread. I’d stay up a bit later in the evening, just to squeeze in a loaf for the next day. The fun seeped away and I stopped. Bread shuffled back on to the shopping list.

english paper piecing quilt block jumble

Here’s my theory. When you make something from your heart and with your hands, it has to be done for the joy of it. It is about the journey not just the destination. Otherwise, go and buy it.

english paper piecing quilt block

Today I discovered that this concept has a name. I found it in a magazine I bought myself ready for an appointment today. One of those appointments where they give you a time, but you know that it is just aspirational. So I took a magazine as an indulgent treat and grabbed the inevitable delay as “me time”.

The magazine was “Love Sewing”. Have you read it? Inside there is an article which contained the phrases “slow textiles” and “slow fashion”, which jumped out at me. Apparently a newish concept that encompasses hand crafts such as knitting, embroidery and hand sewing. I suspect it would be best buddies with slow cooking.

love sewing magazine

Now if the world was to take both these concepts to heart, then there might be quite a few rumbling, bare midriffs, but that is not the point.

daisy crochet blanket in progress

I came home and looked at my current projects. I’m knitting a pair of socks, preparing a new Dear Daughter quilt block, crocheting my daisy blanket, deliberating over the backing for another quilt and a couple more dressmaking projects which are almost finished.

socks with cable twist

Some of these projects have been on the go for a while. Why? Various reasons, but I realise that they are all being worked on. Slowly. I choose to pick up the right project for each moment. Not because I want to finish, but because I want to knit/crochet/handstitch/spin/felt at that precise point.

So I’m OK with my projects. Some things I make will be finished in no time because I’m enjoying the ride. Others will take longer. Maybe some will never be finished, but they will all have served a bigger purpose. In a busy life, my handcrafting acts as my time to breathe and enjoy the moment.

It’s about the journey. Now I have a name for it. Slow Textile.

How about you? Do you enjoy taking time or would you prefer to be wearing a skirt 2 hours after you the first cut of the fabric?

4 thoughts on “Slow sewing

  • Sunday 14 February, 2016 at 3:52 pm
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    It depends what I am making. If I have a deadline I so often leave it until the last minute ;). In an ideal world I would take everything at a slow pace but reality is rather different!

    • Friday 19 February, 2016 at 5:56 pm
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      Deadlines are great for focusing minds. I’m not sure why, but most of my making is for pleasure now and less about pressure sewing!

  • Sunday 21 February, 2016 at 5:40 am
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    I totally agree. The project, for me, is about the enjoyment of making it. That is why I mostly bought Christmas presents this year as last year I ruined the run up to Christmas trying to make ALL the things in too little time. The enjoyment of making it also comes second to the recipient’s joy too. I’ve learnt that through making things for my 3 year old that have fallen flat. I regift them but I know then that at least I had fun with them.

    • Sunday 21 February, 2016 at 10:33 pm
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      Umm. Three year olds can be so honest, can’t they? Regifting is such a good idea. I’d like to think that I’ve grown wiser about the pieces I make for my children, but it may be that they have grown more tactful.

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