Okay people, it is happening. Yes, you and I are “officially” on our 3rd sewing date. Since it has been awhile since I dog-paddled in the dating pool, I thought I would ask Google for a little help. I asked “What is the significance of the third date.” She sent me to people that had a lot to say.
First, I read the website, Askmen. This was good because I am a girl and have usually been on the receiving end of dating, not the pursuing side (or at least I tried to make look like that). Askmen said, ““The stakes are higher on the third date because it’s the gateway to a relationship,”………..“Date 1 is about seeing if there’s chemistry and mutual attraction. On the second date, you get a sense for how comfortable the two of you are together. And on date 3, you decide if you’re a good fit long-term. Think of the first few dates like a series of job interviews: By the third, you’ll know if you want the ‘job’ of being in this potential relationship.” (then Askmen tried to sign me up for a dating site.) Sorry, I am already seeing someone from Sewingjourney.”
Pandagossips (a close friend to Google) told me “The third date is not like any other date. It is a stage in which the course of a relationship is determined. It is a sign that things are going on well for you and your partner. It’s not yet time to name your relationship, but you are practically a couple. The general rule is that the first date is usually a test of likeability; the second date is a confirmation of compatibility and romance; while the third date is the deal maker”. That’s it guys, we are practically a couple.
No extra pressure, but today we decide if we are “relationship material”. Am I worth you continuing to read my hilarious and insightful posts and are you worth me continuing to sew and write for. Let’s get this date started and find out.
Time to Slow Things Down and Get to Know One Another. It hasn’t been a secret, I have totally been doing my full-out best to Razzle-Dazzle you these past weeks. It’s been fun but a wee bit intense. If we are going to move to “long term” I think we need to slow down a bit. Today we will look at smaller, easier works, and see how our sewing can, or does, make an impact on others.
“…….And I mean it!!!!!!”
When I was raising my sons their most dreaded moments were when I put my hands on my hips, stomped my foot and announced in a half-crazed voice, “…….And I mean it!!!” I would land on a topic that I thought was vitally important to their development and camp out there, gesticulating and exhorting, until they waved a white flag and said, “Okay Mom.” You my dear friends are about experience that moment. Remember last week when I went on a rant about how important it was to play full out and dive on in to the deep end? All week that concept has stuck with me and I realized I am not ready to lay it down yet. I will try (hard!) not to be annoying but I have more to say………
I think, people with a creative bent are particularly prone to a voice of doubt. And we can end up playing small to try to appease or “shush up” that voice. I call the voice of doubt “the Mean Voice” (also “the Mean Liar Voice” when I am worked up). I have heard it called “the internal-critic” but I don’t think it deserves that much credit. Google told me that a definition of “critic” (according to the Oxford Dictionary) is “a person who judges the merits of literary, artistic, or musical works, especially one who does so professionally.” (like an Art Critic). The Mean Voice does not do this. It may start with a thin veil of truth, like “Oh, that seam is crooked”. But after that tiny nugget of truth it has nothing worth-while or helpful to say. Instead, it jumps straight to accusation and condemnation. Do you remember in the last post when I talked about having a mental melt-down over a picture of the sweater dress? It was totally the Mean Voice. It started with “Oh, that picture didn’t turn out like I was expecting…..” and ended with “I’ll never blog again!!!” Uhg, it was not fun and not pretty. My dear friends, we DON’T Have Time for that. We have things to make and ideas to talk about!!! Time is short and the clock is ticking!
So this is what we are going to do. You and I both. When the Mean Voice tries to butt-in on our Sewingjourney we are going to Just pay it no never-mind. Anything that doesn’t think we are wonderful is NOT invited to our party and DOESN’T get a vote on what we say or do. Sound good? Good. “….And I Mean It!” :-).
What about the Sewing??…………
Oh yes, that is why we are here isn’t it? Let’s talk about some sewing. I have three “Easy Does-It” projects to share with you. All of them were created at the request of a friend.
When I first started sewing I knew I did not want to sew for other people. It was too much pressure and if-I-am-honest, too much work. I didn’t want to worry about how even my hems were and I didn’t want to get bogged down in things that were either boring or that I didn’t have the skills to do. My stock response to requests was, “I won’t do it for you, but I will teach you how.” I still recommend this to people who are starting out. Sewing can be hard!!! And it is okay to give yourself room to learn and practice without pressure or an audience.
However, as my skills and speed improved I became more generous. I found that I liked doing little projects for my friends. I also liked making pieces as gifts and sometimes even selling them. There is nothing like hearing an exclamation of pleasure over something made by our own hands!! However, it is okay to be discerning. It is no fun to sweat over the machine and have your baby-creations man-handled of someone who doesn’t understand or appreciate your effort. What you make matters. It is okay to act like it.
Projects for Friends. This week I did projects for friends. They were easy, much appreciated and they brought me a lot of joy. First I will tell you about two projects I did for Lisa. I lengthened a sweater and I played around with her gardening sweatshirt. Here is how it happened; My friend Lisa said, “I wonder if you could do something for me. I have a sweater that I love but it has gotten too short. Could you make it longer? Maybe add some lace?”
Could I???? Absolutely!! I love adding trims to clothing and lace is my all-time favorite! If I had to place trims in rank order of favorites it would be: lace, followed by pom-poms, faux fur, rick-rack, ribbon and then fringe. Don’t get me wrong. I mean no disrespect to fringe. Fringe is fantastic.
This is the lace I used. Since adding lace is the easiest thing ever (medium zig-zag with a matching thread) let’s skip over the un-needed directions and talk about buying lace. If you buy lace from one of the big box stores it is EX-PENSE-IVE. Even with a 50% coupon it can eat up your fabric budget and make you sad. So I have made hunting for inexpensive lace a new hobby. If you keep your eyes open you can capture white or beige lace pretty easily. I have stalked it in the notions sections of thrift-stores, at garage sales and discovered it camouflaged as trim on pillow cases, sheets and little kid clothes. Black lace is a more elusive prey. Although I have stumbled on occasional packs attached to frilly little-girl dress from Goodwill it tends to hibernate for long periods of time and I can’t count on it being there when I need it. My most successful forays have been in the hunting grounds of the “on-line”. For example, I found the lace for Lisa’s sweater from Amazon at a price that was about one-third of the price I usually see, and the quality was just as good.
Of course, where you buy lace (or anything else, for that matter) is totally up to you. You are the boss of your own sewing. If you do decide to try hunting online spend a little time getting to know the lay of the land before you “pull the trigger” (hah-hah! “hunting!” “pull the trigger!!”……….I crack myself up.) Check out more than one seller and read the reviews. I bought just a little to start and more later on. That worked for me.
The Sweatshirt details. With the gardening sweatshirt, Lisa said “Do whatever you want. Maybe you could put some hearts on it.” Ladies and gentlemen that was like raising a green flag at NASCAR!!!. Here is what I did. First, I thought about what I wanted to accomplish and why I wanted to accomplish it. When I was the principal at my high school we read work by Simon Sinek called, “The Power of Why?” (He is also featured in TED Talks)
In the work Simon suggests that the most helpful thing we can identify in learning and in life is our “Why”. Why are we doing what we are doing? Why do we want teen-agers to learn Shakespeare…..or Calculus? Why do we sew? With Lisa’s sweatshirt I knew my “why” was I wanted to make something that affirmed how much she loves to garden. Lisa is crazy about gardening and she is good at it. I wanted the shirt to be more than cutsey-ootsey. So I thought, spent time staring at the shirt and then turned to Google. (Yesterday I overheard this conversation between two friends; “How do you know Google is a woman?”…….”Because she is smart!”) I asked Google about quotes about gardening and she gave me a beautiful one from Audrey Hepburn, “To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.” I was hooked and this became the theme of the sweatshirt. I also knew I wanted the shirt to be practical and for it not to be an issue if it got dirty.
To decorate the shirt I went to my scrap baskets. I found two sets of left-overs that worked. One was a quilted cotton with different flower motifs on each side (don’t tell me I should have chose that one). The other was a denim with embroidered flowers. Lisa is definitely a blue-jeans girl so I went with the denim.
After deciding on what scraps to use, I only had to slap stuff on and make it stick. I went with my own advice from the last post and used double sided interfacing (Wonder Under) on the large square. That kept it straight and in place when I added the ribbon trim around the denim. After the square was in place I found some fabric I could write on (I used a Sharpie) and wrote out and attached the quote. Of course I used a zigzag to attach everything. What else would I do? I cut out hearts and threw in a little velvet to bring out the color of the embroidered flowers. In the front I spaced the hearts pretty far apart so Lisa would be able to wipe her hands on the sweatshirt and not worry about a little mud or dirt. Voila! (as the dogs would say, now that they are learning French). It was done! I think it turned out SUPER-CUTE and I can’t wait to see it on her. Lisa was going to model these pieces for us today, but it will have to wait because she fell, hurt her knee, and (as we go to print) she is not mobile. Poor Lisa! Get better sweetie!!
Becky’s Pockets. The last project was for my friend Becky and (again) was so easy I almost didn’t include it. However, easy little projects are what I did this week. So what else am I going to tell you about? (How I sewed a couture wedding gown with only one needle and spool of thread? I think not!) Besides, even though sewing is sometimes hard, it’s not always hard. Sometimes it is a breeze. Like Becky’s pockets.
Here is the story of Becky’s pockets. She told me, “I have a shirt that is warm and wonderful but I really need pockets. Can you help me?”……Of Course!!!! Easy Peasy! What I like best about Becky’s pockets are her fabric choice. Becky had some old, old upholstery ready for me to use. In fact, Becky took care of everything but the stitch, stitch, stitching. She knew the size she wanted (large enough to hold a cell phone). She knew where she wanted them placed. All I had to do was zigzag those puppies into place. By the way, in this project there was a Perfectly Good Reason for using the zigzag stitch. First, Becky wanted raw edges on the pockets so there was no lining or turning under. However, the fabric was really old and ravel-ly and I didn’t want it to ravel-out on her and for the pockets to fall apart. (I have a thing about making stuff that will last) So I used a zigzag to help hold the edges in place over time. I don’t use the zigzag EVERY time I sew. Just a lot of the time.
Doing “SEW” good to feel “SEW” good. The great thing about doing little projects like this, being generous and helpful with our sewing skills can make us feel REALLY GOOD. Such a deal. You do good/you feel good. What a wonderful way for us to spend our third date.
Okay my dear friends, our time is up. Did you have a good time? I sure did. In case you are wondering, I think you ABSOLUTELY are relationship material. Next week I can’t wait to tell you about Guatemala (my friend Ann said, “Kristi I read your blogs and don’t see any mention of Guatemala. When are you going to talk about Guatemala????…..Next week, Ann). Also, we will spend a little time being dutiful and go for a car ride. Can’t wait to see you. Before I sign off I have a couple of quotes to share……
First: “Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us” Marianne Williamson in “A Return To Love”
Second: “No one after lighting a lamp puts it in a cellar or under a basket, but on a stand, so that those who enter may see the light.” The Book of Luke
Third: “Burn Baby, Burn!…. .Every flame breaks another chain. So, Burn Baby, Burn!” song by Bill Frederick
One last thing. As I re-read this post I decided it’s time to tell you that I am a woman of faith. It kind of leaks out all over the place and knowing this information might be helpful. HOWEVER, it is super important to me that we don’t use this knowledge to draw lines that could somehow separate us. Being divided or in boxes doesn’t suit me and is not how I want to write, sew or relate to you, my dear ones. However, it’s also good for you to know who I REALLY am. And faith is part of me. Have a great week and I will talk to you soon.