I cleaned my sewing room on the weekend. It has been kind of a shambles for a long time, and I finally got up the motivation to clean it. Honestly, I should have done it sooner. It makes everything so much neater, easier and more relaxing. But as I was tidying, I found myself with two pins in my mouth. I had no use for them, but I had picked them up from the table and they went straight between my lips for…safekeeping? When I actually put them back in the pincushion, it occurred to me that I have all these sewing habits that probably seem really strange to people who don’t sew. So here are a few, to maybe (probably not) help you better understand the habits of a sewing addict.
- Obviously, the pins. Now, I will pin something together and as I sew, I will remove them from the fabric. Without fail, the first one I take out will always, always go straight in my mouth. The rest find a happy home stabbed back into the pincushion, but for some reason, I always end up with that first one between my lips. I don’t really know why, but it’s just a habit I’ve always had.
- My idea of a leisurely Saturday is going to the local craft/sewing shop and spending time perusing the fabric selection. Whether I have a project or not, I always love to go and have a look. I touch and smell the fabric and more often than not, impulsively buy it because I am weak willed when it comes to pretty things. Which brings me to my next point.
- Some people go to the supermarket for one thing and come out with ten; that’s me in a fabric shop. Even if I go for a shop with no real purpose in mind, there are few times that I leave without a bag full of things I wasn’t initially going to buy. Fabric and elastic and ribbon and thread, pins and buttons and interfacing and dye…the list really is endless.
- Sewing in my underwear. This is usually for convenience, honestly. Plus, I hate wearing pants and it’s not like I live with anyone. But if I’m making something for myself, I need to be able to try it on and make sure all my measurements are correct, and see whether I need to tweak or tuck something. It’s just easier to do it in my underwear because then I’m not taking things off and putting them back on and taking them off again a billion times in a sewing session.
- Calling myself a ‘sewist’. Technically, sewist isn’t a real word. It’s not in the dictionary, and the little red line keeps coming up under it every time I type it, reminding me of that fact. But the correct term is sewer, and don’t try and tell me that when you read that then, your thoughts didn’t immediately jump to toilets and manky pipes filled with bodily waste. Hence, I get to use a made up word when referring to myself in regards to my sewing skills.
- Being oddly affectionate towards my sewing machine and overlocker. I know they have no feelings, or brains and that talking to them makes me seem like a madwoman. But they work hard, and without them, I would be sitting there sewing by hand so I think they deserve affectionate pats and words of encouragement/thanks. Don’t judge me. The machines are my friends.
- Scouring Pinterest for ideas, writing them all down and then making none of them. Pinterest is like my drug of choice. I can’t get enough of it, constantly looking up new things to make and create. Some of them I have tried my hand at, others are still firmly stuck in the ‘will get around to…eventually’ pile. But there is a world of creativity out there, and it’s always good to find motivation and inspiration for the days when my own brain comes up with nothing.
- Check people out, not because they’re good looking, but because I want to try and determine if I can replicate what they’re wearing. This is a habit I only got into over the last year, as my sewing skills improved. More than once, I have been caught out staring intensely at people like some kind of creepy weirdo, when all I’m doing is mentally working out how difficult it would be to make their outfits. Mental note; be more subtle.
- Hoard fabric. I am not a hoarder, except when it comes to sewing materials. I have so much scrap fabric floating around my sewing room, on the off chance that I might need it for something. When I cleaned the other day, I finally had to reconcile with the fact that those off cuts and remnants I had been saving are useless, and taking up precious space I could be using to store proper lengths of fabric. Even though it pained me a little, I threw them out…though give me another few weeks and I’m sure I will have built the collection back up.
- Forgetting to eat because I’m too engrossed in my current project. This is a bad habit, I’ll admit. Often times I get so in the zone that before I know it, I’ve been sewing for four hours straight, and my stomach is making bizarre noises that could be easily mistaken for Star Wars special effects. Good for productivity, bad for energy levels and, y’know, survival.
Some of these habits may seem strange, but it is these things that make being a sewist (there it is again) so much fun. And with that in mind, I am going to go and…get on Pinterest and search for cool things to do with scraps of fabric! Sew long, friends! (eh? Eh? Hilarious)