Thursday, July 17, 2008

On my desk

I was out and about yesterday but early before departure my desk contained an apron which I made for my 4 year old friend Georgia whose favorite colours are red and pink. Little B and I were having lunch there yesterday and the apron was a gift for Georgia whose birthday has recently past.

As I did not have a model to make the pattern for on hand, I had a go at being a bit more scientific about my design and sizing this time using the measurements from a popular children's clothing store website.

For Georgia's sister Mac, aged 2, I made another dotty and pink reversible apron.

I felt very apprehensive about giving the gifts to the girls. My first handmade gift. They were by no means perfect. My straight lines were not so straight in places.

The girls' mum, a lovely lady I met and became friends with through work, previously expressed a great deal of surprise when I told her I had been filling my spare time with teaching myself to sew (amongst other non work related things). To be fair, she has only ever seen me in action in my cut and thrust fast moving adversarial job and only observed me enjoying outdoor pursuits outside of work.

Of course I needn't have worried. Both girls loved their gifts and happily for me the aprons fitted very well with a bit of room for growth. I forgot my camera so did not get a photo of the girls running around playing kitchen and putting their (many!) babies to sleep in their new attire!

My friend was still very suprised about it all. These are so great. I can't believe YOU made these. She said it over and over again. It was hard to decipher what she really meant by these statements.

So I left with mixed feelings. Elated that I had given my first sewn hand made gift and that the recipients were happy with them.

But also philosophical about it all. Why do I sew? Am I enjoying it? Does it matter that it is so different from what I previously filled my time with?

So far I am enjoying it. It is a slow process learning anything new. It's been a while since I have really tried something new and at times I have been discouraged by the bumps along the road.

Does it come naturally to me? My feeling at this stage is no, it doesn't. It does feel like work at the moment. Some days I force myself to get started. Probably because the projects I am working on are gifty projects. I am not sure whether it will become easier once my skill base becomes more solid and I become quicker and defter at it all.

I am still learning Barry's quirks too. Each project so far has made me face something about the machine I have been afraid of - changing a broken needle, having to undo and clean out a jammed shuttle race, changing feet, winding a bobbin. All things which were overwhelming when I first opened the manual.

Will I continue? Yes. I suspect the key is that I have been putting alot of pressure on myself about producing a perfect item each time, first time. Something which I have to stop.

Is it as a hobby what I hoped it would be? Yes and no. Yes because it is satisfying making something which is useful practical and fun. It;s been great learning this new skill and opening up to the world of handmade.

No because I hoped that taking up a hobby like this one would help fill the void which remains following my finishing up paid employment. Nearly 14 months have passed since I commenced maternity leave and every day I have missed my job and almost everything about working terribly. Despite my really loving being at home with little B and watching him grow my feelings of missing work have worsened in the last couple of months as our routine has become more settled (and I have become rather housebound due to Little B still needing 2 2 hour sleeps a day).

Yesterday had me realise that I have been misguided in my high expectations a new hobby would make my feelings go away. Nothing that I have come across to date has given me the thrill and buzz that my paid job gave me on a daily basis. The social interaction I experienced was ongoing and whilst at times very confronting, very satisfying.

I miss that. Alot. Almost overwhelmingly so at the moment. And I suppose that is ok!


Hoppo Bumpo said...

Your aprons are beautiful.

This staying-at-home can be a hard gig, can't it? The feelings of loving being with your child/ren and those of really missing work are conflicting. I can empathise - I've been home for exactly 40 months now (but who's counting?!). I don't really know what the answer is .... but needless to say I've been doing lots of sewing too :)

BigCat said...

Wow. I really enjoyed your post. It's a massive change that you are confronted with and I love the way you are exploring it.

Perhaps you'd like to come along to the next Thornbury Sewing Bonanza when I get organised and hang out with some crafty, bloggy friends. You can e-mail me at cathkirwan(at)optusnet(dot)com(dot)au if you're interested.

Marita said...

I know what you mean, I went through this at about six months after my babe was born. I did rush back to the workplace and it is something that I've regretted from time to time. Sounds like such a cliche, but the time goes amazingly fast and I wished I'd used it a little more to tickle little toes. I think you've done amazingly well on the sewing front.