I am making progress in the future sewing room, and the transformation, although slow, is nonetheless exciting. It is true I had gotten a good start last summer, putting up shelves and a cutting table in one of the two rooms upstairs. I started unpacking fabric. I'd like to say I got too busy, and that is partially true, but actually I just got overwhelmed. I couldn't make decisions, so I put everything off until I was ready.
I am ready now. Tables have been set up, but sewing machines are not yet on them. More boxes are getting unapcked. It is wonderful to actually have furniture, to have places to put things as I unpack, and to have the presence of mind to organize everything as well as to discern what is important and what is not. These shelves will mostly contain books: sewing books, knitting books, and books about related things like needlework and fashion. Do not worry; I am not lifting boxes of books. I can, however, open the top box on a stack and proceed, moving books a few at a time to the proper shelf. Although I tire easily with this lifting and moving, I actually like going upstairs to my space again, and I find myself driven to do more than is actually wise. I am learning to pace myself however, to listen to the voice that cries for rest.
Alas, this section is not quite finished. I need to order one more cubitec kit to finish this last unit. I suspected I would need another kit when I placed the initial order. However I still had boxes in the way, and Ialso knew it would be close. Apparently it is very close. I am short three pieces.
In order to make space for the shelves, I had to unpack the boxes of sewing patterns I brought with me from New York. When we moved I knew I had too many patterns, but I had trouble deciding which patterns to keep and which to eliminate. Although I had weeded out patterns before, I stil packed patterns for clothes I made 30 years ago, many of which I now realize I will never make again. As I unpacked, I easily eliminated 25 to 30 percent of the patterns outright. The remaining patterns were sorted by category, which will allow me to sort through them again as I file them.
Even though I live in dresses in the summer, even though I preferred dresses to pants when I was younger, and might again, I was surprised to see that I have more patterns for dresses than anything else. I had so many dress patterns that it felt like I had 500 or more, but of course I do not. There are nowhere near 500 dress patterns in my collection, probably not even 100. But it is obvious that I could make, and probably wear, 500 dresses in my lifetime given the time to do so.
But why the surprise? I loved dresses in my younger decades. I wore skirts and dresses more than pants as a young adult, but gradually stopped. I'm not sure why although I suspect it was due to my own insecurities, and various forms of upheaval in my life over the last 10 to 15 years. I would have said I'm not a girly-girl, but to some extent I am in that I love pretty shoes, and dresses, and jewelry, although I really can't afford the kind of jewelry I love nor do I have the life for it. If I walk into a store however, I find very few dresses I like. Too many are over-designed, or too frilly or too overtly flirtatious. I am definitely not a frou-frou girl, and I when I do cross over to the ruffly-side, I tend to want to mix it with something more tailored and almost masculine in effect.
So apparently dress patterns are good. I have a collection it has taken me years to build, dresses that are definitely my style. And apparently, even when my inner life was in turmoil and I was not dealing well with the emotional stresses of my life, even when I was groping wildly to put my finger on that part of who I am and how I wanted to dress, there was some self-contained innner part who knew exactly what path I wanted to follow. Even as I was frustrated by my inability to find time and the mental peace needed to sew, I bought patterns. I bought patterns for the clothes I wanted to wear even though they weren't the clothes I was actually wearing. I did exactly what we are told not to do, I bought patterns for my fantasy life. But I wasn't buying patterns for evening clothes, or fancy clothes that would never suit my lifestyle and my personality, I was buying clothes for the person I truly was, for the person I had temporarily set aside. I didn't recognize it, as I was too busy keeping myself armed for battle, and my true self spent too much time in full retreat. But she was still there, in her cave, stockpiling inspiration.
Now I am seriously looking forward to sewing again. Some of this sewing will be mundane and analytical, along the lines of which of 5 sleeveless princess-seamed sheath patterns, each by a different company, is the best pattern for me as I am now. This kind of sewing definitely appeals to my analytical side. But there are plenty of creative options as well, and plenty of options for following the inpsiration of the moment.
But first I need to do more unpacking. I need to get a sewing machine set up. I need to find that last box of patterns. How do I know there is a box of patterns missing? I know it because there are dress patterns I know I own that I do not remember seeing as I went through my initial pattern sort. Perhaps I simply missed them, overwhelmed as I was by the overwhelming bounty. Perhaps there really is another box somewhere. I know I saw those patterns in this house. I will find them. Perhaps I should start by sorting through those dress patterns again more thoroughly.