I have a scar on my knuckle.
I got it when I was nine, in the Design Center of my middle school, during needlework.
I leaned into the supplies cupboard and cut my hand on a screw.
It was quite a deep cut, but no matter. I bandaged it and went straight back to work.
Because I loved needlework. I was prolific at this age. It was a passion.
I made aprons and dresses and jackets and bags. A friend’s mother mentored me with a good sewing machine.
I loved poring through pattern books and imagining what each piece would look like.
I adored the thrill of choosing the fabric.
I would get all anxious as I pinned the paper pattern to my material and got really scared when I made the first cut.
Would I mess up? Scrap the fabric? I never did. Too careful.
I loved the technical aspects of sewing – threading, the logical process, the problem solving, the nap, the hemming, the different stitches, the math.
I loved how I could undo my work and redo it.
I loved the accuracy of it, the measuring, the working it all out.
I reveled in the astonishment of others that I made my own clothes.
I would spend hours and hours each day during the summer on my projects, regretful when it was time to sleep and looking forward to when I could jump back on my machine to make more progress.
I grew aware that I spent more time at my friend’s house than my own and was worried that I would outstay my welcome.
But my enthusiasm outweighed my concern.
And my hosts didn’t seem to mind.
Time passed without notice. Meals and bedtimes too.
Every new project was a new start, a new beginning. Full of promise and expectation.
And good work required concentration and focus. Everything else blocked out.
And now, I don’t sew.
I don’t even have a machine.
The only project I have done was make some curtains for nesting. With a borrowed machine I was too pregnant to lift.
Patching is what I do now.
But I like even that.
It is different now I am older. I look forward to the rhythmic, the repetitive, the opportunity to think while doing something not taxing and useful.
A welcome break from frenetic activities.
When I was younger, with fewer commitments, I enjoyed a good book. Now, my brain requires rest that even a book feels too taxing.
And so I get out my patching pile that is significantly larger since the boys got bigger and the addition of cats to our household.
And I meditate. While sewing. Ahhh, bliss.
Do you love to sew? What did you love to do as a child that you now don’t do? What do you do to just be still? Let me know in the comments!
If you liked this article, please do me a favor and share on Facebook or Twitter. There are buttons at the top and bottom of this article.