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So many people I know see their sewing as a necessary evil. It's the frustratingly high price they pay to get the new dress, or the new corset, or the new outfit. But I don't see it that way.

This week I've finished a project that I've been working on, little by little, for three months. Three whole months, and it's just a chemise! But it's so much more than a chemise...

 

 

PS. Follow me on Instagram to see a daily baby step on my latest sewing project.

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gailynne
That's a beautify chemise, and thank you for your insight. I've taken to heart your previous post about carving out time to sew, as I busily churn out a dress for a Regency event coming this Saturday. But, I admit there hasn't been a lot of joy in the sewing. Thanks for pointing out the missing ingredient. Also, I'm listening to Eddie Izzard's autobiography and how he was determined to follow his dreams. As he said, it wasn't just burning down bridges but blow torching them to follow his passion with no retreat. A moment of twin inspirations!
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Nyisha Randall
I am so happy to here you share your experience about sewing slowly. It was as if you were talking about me. It's also takes me a good while to complete a garment or a hat. I too am focused on doing things well. I've experienced so much criticism about this from a family member and a friend and what I was making had nothing at all to do with them. They just don't value slow work..However when I finish they agree that I show a high level of craftsmanship. No one ever told any of the great painters to hurry up. So, the reality is that creating a thing of beauty is a process that takes time. Thank you for sharing. I am encouraged to continue in my own way.
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Carol Hughey
Kathy,
This is beautiful. THANK YOU. I’ve really been contemplating all this recently.
This is exactly how I like to work. I like to work so that I feel that sense of rightness in each stitch; not, “oh that’ll do”, or “good enough”, but, “this is good, now on to the next step”. I call this Sewing for Me. Sewing to my sense of “rightness ”, not someone else’s standards.
I hate deadlines. I’d rather be done when I say it’s done. But this doesn’t work well if I’m going to try to figure an hourly wage!
Things I’ve done in the past, some a very far past, and put out into the world that I didn’t finish with my sense of rightness still nigel at my soul!
I just finished a gown for a theater production. I started with plenty of time, each step right. But then the date loomed and I started feeling the pressure to finish and the need to put more hours in the day than I wanted to. It didn’t spoil it. Everyone loves it. The actress adores it. But I have some nigling feelings...

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cahueful
This is all beautiful. THANK YOU. I have actually been contemplating this a lot lately. This is exactly how I like to sew. So that each line, cut and stitch have a sense of rightness to them. Not, “oh that’s good enough”, “or that’ll do”, but, “this feels right to me”. Not a measure of perfection, but a rightness to it that makes me happy. Thank you for your beautiful chemise and beautiful thoughts!
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zimtmaedchen
Cathy, this speaks to my heart! Most of your video messages do, but this one especially.
I always jokingly tell people that if I don’t sew every day, even just for ten minutes, I get the urge to kill someone. While this is certainly a bit of a hyperbole,
I really need these ten minutes to stay grounded as you say, and if I don’t get them I get VERY cranky after a couple of days as many people will be (un)happy to confirm. Thank you for the inspiration!

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totc_42
Cathy, you probably don't know how many of us you "encouraged" by this post. (BTW, your chemise is JUST GORGEOUS!) Anyway, I have at the moment switched from human-size sewing to doll-size stuff: outfits for my antique 15" French Fashion lady, thanks to Karen Buettigieg, whose amazing work over the years in her show-stopper publication, Gildebrief, simply makes the historical costumer drool, and just let me just say that putting in a sleeve no bigger than your thumb has taken me about the same length of time to finish up as your whole chemise - it's all SO relative, and the huggable part of your essay is the reminder to ENJOY the process, until you get to the RESULT. Thanks!
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Jeanette
Thank you for this, Cathy! And it is where I can say that not only am I slow, so is my sewing machine. I've seen people cruise through a seam with the whir of their machine. My machine has a tortoise-to-hare button and is always set to tortoise. I can hear each stitch and rarely have to redo because of the patience and attention working slowly takes. I enjoy my sewing immensely this way. I can see you enjoy your sewing without rush as well. It is often the journey for me as I have a sadness when a beautiful project is complete.
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