It’s fair to say my lockdown sewing plans are very far from coming into fruition. Out of an ambitious list of 12 things, I’ve made…two. Still, it’s not all bad news – it looks like the pandemic will be carrying on for the foreseeable, which means plenty more time for Covid couture. Hurrah! Yes, I’m being sarcastic. Obviously, I’d quite like the pandemic to be over now please (if only so I can wear what I’ve made outside, where other people are. Rather than in my own home, where my cat is).
One thing our current situation has proven once and for all, however, is that available sewing time does not always correlate with sewing output. At the beginning of The Unprecedented Times, newly living that #WFHlife, I was excited to swap after-work commuting for evenings in the sewing room. What I actually swapped it for were evenings in front of some gentle comfort TV (think rom-coms, Emily in Paris and SATC. Basically, anything without the risk of even mild peril) with a glass of gin.
A lot has been said about the mental health benefits of crafting, and I don’t disagree. I’ve never been able to get into mindfulness, but sewing is certainly a form of it. It’s always amazed me that it’s possible to be focussing on pressing a hem or sewing a dart while simultaneously mentally processing whatever has gone on that week – or, indeed, not thinking about anything much at all apart from the task at hand.
But, real talk – sewing can also be stressful and tiring. When it goes wrong, you’ve wasted time, money and fabric. And when the world is changing in new, stressful ways by the minute, do I really want to devote energy to a hobby that could potentially add to my anxiety? As much as I love sewing, lately the answer isn’t often yes. I guess what I’m saying is: if your sew-jo has vanished quicker than your social life this year, you’re not alone.
What about those times when I do somehow rustle up the mental energy to get my sew on, though? Well, much like I’ve watched comfort telly to get me through this dystopian nightmare, I’ve found that comfort sewing is the way to go. I don’t just mean comfy garments, but simple, comfort-zone projects. I’ve always been a fan of a stress-free sew, and that’s the case now more than ever.
And what could be more stress-free than a Stevie? No fastenings, a patch pocket, cute cuffs, a tie fastening – it’s got all the details, and none of the drama. I’ve made two this year. It’s not the sewing output I’d hoped for, but I’m taking it as a win nonetheless. I mean, there’s a pandemic on, for crying out loud. We can save sewing the fancy ballgowns for 2021, right?
Pattern: Stevie by Tilly and the Buttons.
Pattern alterations: I shortened the length, as per usual. I also raised the back neckline for version two (in the leopard print), as it feels like the weight of bow pulls it down slightly when wearing my first Stevie.
Sewing soundtrack: Thundercat. I have optimistically booked tickets to see him live next year. Come on, vaccine!