" I can do anything through Him who gives me strength"
- Phillipians 4:13 (NIV)
So I am at the tail end of what feels like I gave birth to a 10lb. baby. (I know what it feels like to birth big babies. my son was 8lbs. 12oz ouch!). I'm talking about my first coat project. Being a penny pincher and a budding seweprentreur, I decided that this year I was making my children's much needed fall coats. You know for those chilly fall days when the air is robust and crisp but not quite cold enough for the thick winter down coats.
So I went through my existing stash and right away figured out what I was going to use for the little guy but was a little stumped on my daughters coat. Determined not to spend unnecessarily I decided to meditate on it. Sure enough in the dark of night in between getting my sons 2am bottle and drifting back to sleep, The fabric came to me along with the perfect pattern. Easy! So I thought. Everything after that was a whole lot of breathing, pushing and panting.
It all started when I decided to put in a lining along with an interlining for extra warmth on a pattern that didn't come with a lining. No sweat! I thought. I looked online along with some of my sewing books and magazines for some ideas on how to line a coat. I settled on the "bagging method" which sounded like it was going to be a breeze but turned into a late night boxing match. Frustrated Mama vs. The Coat. and mama was getting a beat down and ready to throw in the towl.
Instead I called a time out and went to bed.
From there it was the whole pockets nightmare. I hate sewing pockets, especially patch pockets. whether they are for function or embellishment, the chore of prepping them and trying to get them to look the same is not an easy task for me. None the less being the concerned and loving mother that I am, I didn't want my daughter to have cold hands. So I decided to add them.
From there it was a series of impromptu mistakes and/or embellishment ideas that turned this project from a one week coat project into an almost 3 week "its complicated" relationship.
All is not lost however. For what seemed like an eternity turned into a pretty cute coat if I do say so myself. The beauty for me though was in all of the lessons that I learned along the way. This coat not only helped be build my sewing skills but taught me some personal lessons as well.
I have always been someone who has cared too much about what others thought of me. I always felt like I had to fit a certain mold in order to have value. That's how I approached sewing. I would buy a pattern and felt like I had to follow it to perfection (which for most novice sewers isn't easy to achieve). Only to be unhappy with the finished product or feeling inadequate because it didn't look the way it did on the envelope or like something that I saw another home sewer make. I would hang my creation at the back of my closet because I was afraid someone was going to tell me that it looked like a homemade dress or top (which I don't know why I was trippin' because that's exactly what it was).
This project forced me to toss most of the instructions aside, take control of the creative process, and accept myself and my sewing for who I am.
The truth is that no one thing is the same. Not even patterns although massed produced are the exact same. I always felt when I was growing up that if I just kept quiet enough or didn't make too many waves I wouldn't bring too much attention to myself. That meant a lot of conformity and not so much self-acceptance. I have spent a lot of years trying to look like I got it all together.
Like the coat I took a lot of trouble to look pretty cute on the outside but if you looked a little bit deeper you would see that structurally I needed a little help. That's me and whole lot of other people out there who are constantly trying to fit the mold and are leading miserable lives. I have chosen to believe that Christ came so that we may have life more abundantly. To me that means that even though me and the coat have some structural imperfections I get to have a taste of the good life and accept that we are all a work in progress.
And that to me.....Well....Is alright!
Stay tuned for my next post where I will include a tutorial for how I made the flower applique that I attached to the coat.