I get a lot of questions about how to sew. How can you make a skirt, a dress, a blouse? Where can you learn, is there a book, a class, what sewing machine do you need, etc.
I answer these questions cheerfully and in excruciating detail, of course, but sometimes I think that people are asking the wrong question. Before you ask HOW to do anything, you should always ask WHY.
My answer to "why", I realized, is not JUST because I'm a raging control freak who needs to be personally responsible for everything I put on my body, either in terms of creation or collation, but also because I love the way it feels to sew.
That's right. Sewing feels good. It feels good in the same sensual, atavistic way that holding a just-bathed baby feels good, and it feels good in the same disembodied, intellectual way that writing a computer program feels good.
There's the way the fabric feels before you wash it, and the way it feels after, and the way it feels when you're smoothing it with your hands, and the way it feels when you're smoothing it with a hot iron. There's the aha! moment when you have finally placed all the pattern pieces on the yardage, with nothing left out and everything on grain and square as it should be. There's the satisfying feel of of the sharp scissors biting through the warp and weft threads, the feel of those threads as they snap between the blades. There's the feel of slipping the pins through the layers, and the feel of taking them out.
There's the feel of the muscle tension in your hands as you guide the material through the machine, and the vibration of the machine, and the deep humming sound, like a cave full of bees, and the slightly burnt smell of machine oil and fabric dust. There's the release as the last stitch ends, and the sudden heaviness as the fabric is no longer supported on the table. There's the iron-feel again, as you press the seams flat. There's the way the fabric changes drape as it turns from flat yardage into a shaped garment.
There's the feel of the seam ripper stumbling through undoing what you've just done — sometimes that can be a very satisfying, spiteful feeling, an "I'll show YOU who's boss! feeling — and the feeling when the half-made dress goes on over your head the first time, when you're in front of the mirror, deciding if you have made all the right choices of fabric and pattern and construction that make fabric and pattern and construction into an actual DRESS.
There's the feeling, even, of putting everything away, the patterns in their boxes and the scissors on their hooks, and the two-step of turning off and unplugging the iron (belt and suspenders, belt and suspenders), clicking off the light above the machine and the light on the machine, feeling the potential energy of all the yards of fabric and patterns yet unfolded as they wait their turns.
That's how sewing feels.
(This pattern is B36 and only $5 at More of Macojero's Sewing Patterns!)