Sewcially Awkward

Sewcially Awkward

Last year I tried to read Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace. I made it just far enough in to learn that Tolstoy's feminine ideal, the smoke show of the party scene, was described as round with big arms, a bit of a mustache, and just a little bit pregnant. She never attended a party without her sewing "work bag." In fact, every woman at every party showed up with a giant bag of sewing supplies and just sat there, in the middle of it all, sewing and socializing. I want to party like it's 1805.

I think there was even one scene where the woman showed up without her giant work bag and the others started whispering about her and saying stuff like, "What's that hot pregnant weirdo doing here without her work bag? Doesn't she know this is a party?"

I don't know who to blame for the work bag going out of style but, what a loss! Idle hands are just so socially problematic. Do you put them on your hips? Hang them straight down at your sides? Crossed arms are definitely bad. 

So, I've been experimenting with sewcial sewing. I've been slowly testing it out around town. I tried sewing at a volleyball game a few months back. Everyone was generally polite about it but it didn't cause anyone to inch closer for a chat. I sewed during a long wait at the doctor's office. I wasn't asked to leave but it felt inappropriate. Recently, my daughter and I did some hand sewing at a Battle Bots Tournament. Battle Bots take forever to set up so there's way more downtime than actual battling. I thought it was great! But I couldn't help feeling that we were being anti-social. In fact, I think it would have been way less weird if we had both just been staring at a phone, like everyone else. Still, I'm not ready to give up. 

I want to bring the sewing "work bag" back to parties, waiting rooms, DMV's and any place where it's okay to stare at your phone instead of talking to the person next to you. My kids and I have started working on a hand sewing project together. It's a quilt, made entirely of hand-pieced 1.5" hexagons in the English Paper Piecing style. It's totally portable, beautiful, and addictive. If you are trying to break out of the habit of the endless scroll, English Paper Piecing is where it's at. Sew-on-the-Go! Our entire work bag is about half the size of my purse and it can go anywhere. If you need a friend to be weird with you at a party, give me a call and I'll bring the work bag. 

I left my work as a psychotherapist in 2019 to begin laying the foundations for Sew My Goodness. I live and sew in Austin, Texas with my husband, three kids, a hamster (he doesn't sew), and a few dozen sewing machines. I come from a long line of seamstresses, embroiderers, quilters, darners, hemmers, scrap savers, upcyclers, artists, improvisors, and connection makers. For me, sewing is utilitarian, it is art, it is healing, and it is connection. In addition to private sewing camps and classes, Sew My Goodness offers "Sewcial" Clubs, camps, and enrichment classes throughout Round Rock ISD. 

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