I don’t really like to think of my sewing as being either selfish or not. In the strictest sense, of course, I usually sew clothes for myself, so that is ‘selfish’, but I rage against the more negative connotation of selfish sewing! All hobbies are inherently selfish, aren’t they? Do we think of gardeners being selfish, tending to their flowers all day? Or runners, going for their jogs? If anything, us sewists are spending our leisure time making something useful! Not to mention the benefits that come to my friends and family of me being happier, calmer and less stressed out if I’ve had a chance to sit down and do some creating!
Similarly, sewing something for someone else is not necessarily unselfish – because I get just as much pleasure from the project as I would making something for myself. And I wonder sometimes – am I making this thing truly for the benefit of the other person, or because I enjoy the making of it myself?
I guess, for me, the most ‘unselfish’ form of sewing would be the dreary mending of hems and fixing of holes that all my non-sewing friends think I can quickly do for them. Which would not make much of a TMS post!
Anyway, I’ll get down from my pulpit now – I could spend hours mulling over this – what do you think? Are all hobbies selfish? Do we sewists beat ourselves up too much, making things we love for ourselves?
This month I made two small things for two people that I love. A bit of a first for me at Christmas-time – normally I overestimate the time I have and the number of gifts I can make, and then end up making nothing! This year I kept my gift-making realistic – and, what do you know, I actually finished both gifts!
The first is a darling little dress-up set for my two-year old – a brushed cotton crown and a blue tutu.
The pattern (if you needed one) was from the Mollie Makes Mama (issue 2) magazine. They used only three layers of tulle in their tutu but I found it easier just to fold the tulle lengthwise into four and cut along the layers to divide them after sewing the elastic casing. My tip: always buy more tulle than you think you need! This tutu took up 2 m of tulle, for my daughter’s less than 50 cm waist! Everyone in my sewing class wanted one when I’d finished…don’t we all have magical princess fairy memories?
The crown was also very straightforward – I just roughly made my own pattern however, rather than copying out theirs (it was easy enough). I embroidered little starry diamonds on the front using a silvery embroidery thread. The crown ties up with ribbon at the back so no need to worry too much about measurements. I used some scrap pieces of brushed cotton fabric – plain light blue for the front, and a starry blue for the lining. It is lovely and soft!
My daughter currently loves all things ‘ballet’, although trying to get a photo of her posing appropriately was a challenge on Christmas morning! Here she is, saying ‘cheese’!
My second gift this month was a set of cushions for my friend’s new lounge room – she has painted the room dark grey, with highlights of blond wood in the mirrors and furniture – it is stunningly Scandi! To inject some warmth, she had found this double-faced denim – deep blue/black on one side, a mustardy-yellow on the other. I made these square cushions using a strip of the contrasting colour on each side – it really brings out the colour and adds such a bright element to her lounge room.
I normally shy away from home furnishings (perhaps that’s me being selfish!), as I always worry about the straightness of my cuts and the accuracy of my right angles! Now that I have a large, A0 cutting mat and a brilliant rotary cutter (the trick: always put a new blade in for each new project!), I no longer need to worry – it is so easy to ensure straight edges and proper squares!
I inserted invisible zips down the full length of one of the sides of each cushion – I used a much longer zip than I needed, and just cut off the extra length when I was squaring up my cushions. They are truly invisible and will make cleaning the cushions very easy.
So, I’m not sure these two projects qualify as unselfish sewing, as I really enjoyed making them both and now feel so much more confident using my rotary cutter and mat, so have built my skills up as well.
I might have caught the home redecorating bug myself for 2019.
Happy new year everyone!
x Veuve Stitches