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Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day & Sewing Spaces

Happy Mother’s Day to all of you who nurture others. To me, that’s what mothering is all about – nurturing. Just about all aspects of good mothering seem to fall under nurturing if you work on it long enough, ie: disciplining = nurturing, enforcing curfew/homework/chores = nurturing, teaching child to drive = nurturing. Even ignoring them can be seen as nurturing as it “encourages” the child to develop the ability to self-entertain. (See, you can twist anything around if you try hard enough.)

Nurturing and the kitchen are a natural linkage. For me, so was nurturing and the sewing room. The fact that my little darlings did not always appreciate this form of mothering is the subject of another post. (Anyone else hear things like, “I want Ocean Pacific/Gap/Espirit shorts, not mom-made ones!”? Of course you did. It was their way of nurturing you – inspiring you improve your skills so the garments in question didn’t look mom-made.)

In spite of their former reluctance towards custom-made/mom-made things, all three of my daughters sew and have good basic machines in their homes. Sometimes when I visit them, I get a chance to noodle around on their machines, which is fun. What’s not so fun is their sewing rooms, or rather, the lack of them.

Portable sewing on the dining table
Two of them sew at their dining table, the other has a nook in the hallway right by the front door. The pressing area goes wherever there is space and an electrical plug. All the arrangements require setting up and taking down (and in the case of my oldest daughter, baby-proofing the area afterwards).

I remember sewing like this back in the day, but I’d forgotten how time consuming and enthusiasm dampening it could be. It takes huge drive to dig out everything, set it up, and put it all away every time you want to create. And the organization! It’s so easy to misplace parts, like pressing hams and tracing paper. Sewing has so many bits and pieces besides a machine and an iron.

Let me assure you that I am not criticising their sewing areas. They have limited space and don’t have the room. That they are willing to sew at all I consider a marvel.

It’s made me realize how truly blessed I am to have a dedicated creative area with a door I can close when things get messy. I can leave projects half-finished, and ignore the scraps on the floor. If I didn’t have this luxury of space, well, I don’t know how much I would sew.

To those who sew in “portable” sewing spaces, I tip my hat to you. You rock!

                      - Lady T

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