I'm in two familiar states again - nesting and refining. The nesting was necessary after a three or so week period where I was up late (like 4:45am late) on more than one occasion and other obligations messed with my sleep schedule. Plus, it's the last few weeks of classes, and it can get crazy. So this weekend I mended (which is also part of the refining state) and cooked - a lot. Tonight it's Chicken Tortilla soup from the The Art of Simple Food by Alice Waters. Good "oh-my-the-first-storm-of-the-season-is-coming-but-it-won't-be-nearly-as-epic-as-advertised" soup. Damn, if we were snowed in...how amazing would that be?
The refining state is where I go back to thinking about the way I live, what I need, and why I'm bored with my closet (might not seem philosophically linked to you, but it is - trust me). The refinement stage encompasses different elements at different times but almost always has to do with getting my life to more closely match my values and desires. Don't underestimate the importance of desire. I believe that if your values and desires are complimentary, it can transform your life. I don't know that for sure, but I believe it.
Wow. I sound like some new agey life coach. When do I get my own TV show?
Meanwhile, back on the couch (unintentional psychiatry joke)...I'm knitting the Carnaby skirt, which I'm really excited about. It's a little bit of a risk, knitting a little skirt for myself. I say "little" because it'll fall mid-thigh or so, and that's little for me. But I'm also happy to be making something for my own wardrobe. Little by little I'm putting things I've made into rotation and slowly weeding out the items that no longer work for me. (Okay, if one of my students wrote this paragraph, I'd have put a box around every "little" in it; pointing out the repetition of the word. But I'm off duty.)
I could go on about the things I'm hoping to make soon*, but that's not where my attention is at the moment. It seems that I'm also going through a bit of a "hippie/dress-me-in-jersey/oooh-that-looks-comfy" phase. Frankly, I'm just a little concerned - am I losing my style? Is it morphing? Is this the real me?
I've been experiencing a bit of a sewing urge and mending seemed like the best thing for what little time I have free at the moment.
I don't know how long I've had this J. Peterman nightshirt (yes, that J. Peterman), but I think it's at least ten years. I love it, but it's started to show its age. In fact, the description says it's made of cotton flannel, and there's nothing flannel about it now. While the ladyfriend suggested I just buy another one, I thought I'd repair it instead. Besides, it's made in China, and I'm looking for alternatives to that.
Some time ago I saw a beautifully patched Japanese farmer's coat at the Textile Museum in Toronto. I loved how it was patch upon patch, which spoke not only to the thriftiness of the owner (or owner's spouse) but also to the care and attention they believed the item deserved.
Patched Japanese Farmer's Jacket
Another patched jacket
So I started fixing the nightshirt. Here were the most pressing issues:
A tear in the sleeve
Little holes at the bottom of the front placket
First I ironed the sleeve. I put this in here because in the past I would never have bothered to iron it, but I had picked up Mend It Better by Kristin M. Roach at the library (love, love, love the library), and that's the first thing she suggested.
Then I whip stitched the edges of the tear and cut away the excess threads.
I had bought a stack of fat eighths at the workroom in Toronto awhile ago, ostensibly to make a gift for some kids, but that never happened. So I chose one and made a patch, ironing the raw edges under. I used a whip stitch to sew it in place.
Then I tackled the cuffs. While Ms. Roach didn't have a section on this, I knew that making bias tape and sewing it to the cuffs would probably be the best option for me although I don't know why I thought making bias tape at home (with few real sewing supplies around) would be a breeze. It wasn't bad actually, but next time I'd make it a little wider. For some reason I thought 1/4 inch would be good. Nonetheless, with a little running stitch and patience I got 'em done.