Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Sewing for Victory

Home sewing was an important part of the War Effort during WWII, with women being encouraged and beseeched to "make-do and mend," sew their own blackout curtains, and make items of clothing to send in care packages to the boys overseas. The world was turned upside down, but the government managed to find ways of taking advantage of existing work forces and resources to pull the War Effort together. Along with the massive retooling of textile factories to become providers of military uniforms, they also relied heavily on women to voluntarily sew and knit for others, and their propaganda posters worked their magic. Women turned out an astonishing number of items for themselves, their families, the soldiers, war orphans... the list goes on.

Surely this gave women a sense of purpose, and a feeling of pride in being able to make tangible contributions to the comfort and welfare of others. I imagine women felt quite anxious during the war, not knowing what would happen next, if their loved ones in the service would ever come home, what would be rationed next, etc. Busy hands can quiet an unquiet mind.

I can certainly appreciate this. My life has been a wild ride for the last 10 years or so, and there are many parts over which I have no control. I like having a concrete, tangible project with a beginning, a middle, an end, and a final product. I like knowing that what I make will (hopefully) be both beautiful and useful. When I'm in the right headspace, the process can give some order to my chaos, and as I said, chaos has been a considerable part of my life over the last few years.

One problem I have is that I sometimes get impatient with the process, especially when a project stretches me to the edge of my comfort zone. Maybe I have attention deficit disorder, I don't know; if I'm stuck on part of a project, I can easily get distracted by the next idea before I can get unstuck. Then the tough project sits and sits. When I'm not in the right space, I just look at the mess, and then head for the ice cream. I've been so incredibly overwhelmed by the proliferation of ideas that have sprung forth after months of inspiring reading about other people's sewing that I've basically come to a stand-still. When I *am* in the right space, though, I have to take advantage of it, because then I manage to sail through whatever's in front of me.

I've lost track of what patterns I own, what fabric I thought I was going to make up in each pattern, what notions I've got... Oy. It's enough to make my head hurt forever. I need to get organized. I seem to be in an "organizing" kind of mode right now, so I'm going to take advantage of that. I'm going to start documenting the contents of my sewing studio, including any progress made on each project. Instead of feeling like I'm losing a battle with my clutter and with my own mind, I'm going to take each project, one at a time, and Sew My Way to Victory.

And I'm going to take you along with me. To keep me on track (and/or to keep me honest) I'm going to put this beautiful mess up here on my blog. Watch my sidebar for some new features, as I get myself organized and documented. You can follow along while I finish projects that I first mentioned here a LONG time ago! I've got my Rosie the Riveter Action Doll* at the ready, and it's time to dig in.

*Watch for Rosie in upcoming studio pics!


  1. I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


  2. Sounds like you might be a perfectionist!
    I shut down when I can't get things to work out in the sewing/craft area of my life.
    You go girl, I need the inspiration.

  3. Welcome, Lucy!

    Lynea - Yeah, I think that perfectionism thing is in play here. Yikes. Glad I can inspire someone!


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