Monday, December 03, 2007

Literary Sewing

When the writing gets discouraging (I can't think about these characters anymore!) or work gets hectic (Why am I the only one working on this project?!?!?), I have to clear my head. I sew. I started sewing several years ago and then I stopped when my dad died. I pulled out the trusty sewing machine not too long ago when friends said that I looked stressed out. Sewing calmed me down.

I began to sew out of necessity. Often pants are kinda long for these legs of mine. Having someone hem them for me was a fortune ($8 for one leg, one seamstress told me. As if I'm only going to hem one pant leg.). I'd want to buy bedding or curtains and couldn't believe how much that sh*t costs. I'm no genius, but aren't duvet covers and pillowcases nothing more than two sheets sewn together? Aren't curtains nothing more than long pieces of cloth attached to a rod? I could do that, I thought.

I went to Target and invested a hunrid dollars in a Singer and off I went. It was one of the best investments I'd ever made. I made curtains and bedsheets and hemmed clothes. I tell all my friends to learn how to sew. It'll empower you! I didn't take classes, I just read the instructions that went with the machine.

Lately, I'd been dealing with my writing frustrations by cutting up clothes and putting them back together again. I'm a big thrift store rat. I bought these dollar blazers. I bought a footbal jersey, an old t-shirt with a boxing motif, and a red sweat jacket with a hood. Each a dollar. I cut off the number 13 from the jersey and attached it to one blazer. I cut up the boxing t-shirt and ripped off the hoodie from the sweat jacket and sewed them onto another coat. Two new blazers that no one else has, all for $5. I had the coats dry cleaned--the dry cleaning cost more than the materials!

Afterward, I felt more refreshed. I returned to writing or to my job. I reveled in the fact that I took out my frustration on a cheap endeavor that allows me to be creative AND better my wardrobe.

10 comments:

Peter Varvel said...

Applause!

You've turned your frustration into creative energy, and you'll have even more distinctive and unique looks--not always easy to do in L.A., especially with the right 'balance' and panache.

I'm no expert, but it seems very healthy that you've been able to take up sewing, again, since your dad's been gone.

Rich said...

That's it! I'm sending all of my mending off to you. Do you take special orders? You know, this could become a lucrative side business.

Jun said...

perhaps audition for project runway?

Cheryl said...

Seriously, I need some curtains and I have yet to see if Ikea will come through for me (and the last set I made myself looked like the work of a blind arthritic). What do you charge?

Jason Phoon said...

perhaps it's the clarity brought by focusing on just one task at hand that gives you this peace of mind?

I find that I have to do something like that too, whenever I'm out of ideas or something. That's where my guitar comes in :)

Angelo said...

ey noel, very martha stewart-esque? :)

thelastnoel said...

Hey, thanks for the support. I don't think my sewing is professional enough to charge...yet.

Don Cummings said...

This is brilliant activity. Truly.
Sometimes, I do papier-mache. I make completely useless things that I give away. It is so important for writers to do things that are just manual, visual, and not at all dealing with words. Frees the spirit.

circuitmouse said...

How about bookbags? They'll be treasured keepsakes, and more than likely end up in a museum someday!

Sundry said...

Very cool, Noel.