Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Sewing Thoughts

So, I am taking a calmer approach to the job search and not letting fellow job-searchers' anxiety about the process mess with my mood. I am looking at this time as an opportunity to be productive in other ways, like yard grooming, re-learning French, getting a few more excellent novels read and yes, sewing more stuff. Knitting seems to have taken a backseat in this creative activity process, mostly because I currently live in Saunaville and wool just doesn't appeal right now. I'm the resident barefoot pedal pusher at the sewing machine here and am challenging my skills. I decided to make some zipper-top bags out of the larger scraps left over from the sixty or seventy drawstring bags I have been making lately.

I have only successfully completed 2 bags, mostly because the blog link I used had a reversal in the pattern pieces giving me a zipper that opened from the inside! It took me a couple tries... crankily ripping out seams to realize this, but now I have the pattern memorized. While these first bags aren't perfect, they are cute and I am thinking that my next versions will be Christmas gifts. All family members reading this, FORGET that tidbit!

I have been delving deep into the plastic tub of fabric I have hauled around the country when I moved and I'm finally starting to reduce the amount of remnants I own. All these little bags will be lined with coordinated gingham checks, because I have a ton of this fabric leftover from my one and only quilting adventure. I pieced 25 gingham quilt squares (over years) by hand, then invited the neighborhood ladies and friends to hand quilt the top. A fun learning experience for all, and the quilt I'd been working on for 20 years got finished. Shortly thereafter, the estate sale quilt frame was donated to a local church and I officially got over my desire for any more hand-made quilts. My respect for the skills and patience of our crafty foremothers and the Amish knows no bounds, seriously.

Anyway, back to these cute little bags... After making these two, I also have a significant amount of admiration for all the low paid seamstresses of the world cranking these items out at what must be pennies per day. I have bought some travel bags at TJ Maxx out of fancier fabric for as little as $4.00! For the amount of geometry and itsy bitsy seams, the effort should warrant $20.00 to each seamstress per bag. See about International sweatshops & poverty here

Perhaps, as I get more confident, I will be able to move more quickly, but right now I definitely don't have the assembly line flow that I have with the drawstring bags. As a hobby seamstress, I had the luxury to get up and go out to the garden or grab a snack when I got frustrated; I'd never make it in a sweatshop. I have been thinking a lot about jobs, and job choices, as well as lack of choice this last month. As stressful as I think my situation is, I definitely have a 1st world perspective and privilege when it comes to work. Even having worked both "white collar" management and "blue collar" laborer jobs, I was still protected by laws, unions and the power of my ability to choose whether to work at a job or quit to get a better job. Most of the world's workers are not so fortunate... It was a terrific lesson challenging myself to make this bag, I need to keep looking at the world with open, empathetic eyes to really see.

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