In being confronted with the contingencies of the real world, “the world beyond our head”, f.ex. in concentrating on crafting we can gain back some autonomy in the modern world of omnipresent distraction… that’s the thesis of Matthew B. Crawford in his thoughtful and inspiring new work.
One of Crawfords examples is the concentrated, coordinated work of a professional chef. An example that absolutely makes sense to me. I’ve always felt that working with my hands, making things – concrete, touchable things – myself has a meditational, attentional effect during the process, and lead to a deep feel of reward in the result. Not only when cooking, but as well when sewing…
A few weeks ago – after decluttering my wardrobe 😉 – I finally did what I had on my wish list for quite a while: I bought two japanese style sewing books, “Nähen im japanischen Stil” (“Simple Modern Sewing”) by Shufu To Seikatsu Sha and “Happy Homemade Sew Chic” by Yoshiko Tsukiori. I wanted to sew some clothing for me again. I started to choose fabric, trace patterns, and finally sew.
I began with some trousers, comfy, wide trousers with an elastic waistband. The concept of Shufu To Seikatsu Sha’s book is to give you basic patterns with options for variation. So, the trousers pattern comes in a long, a three quarter culottes and a “petticoat” version. I am very happy with my long and my culottes version for which a chose a charcoal and a blue chambray fabric. Besides some minor adjustements to my size – one of the great things about sewing your own clothes – I also added inserted side pockets. I just feel strange in trousers without pockets. For this addition I followed (with some trial and error) this and this pictured tutorial.
The pattern and instructions in the book were comprehendable, although they’re not very detailled. It soon became clear that some knowledge of sewing garnment is assumed (“Sew and neaten seams.”). We’ll see what the next more complicated projects will end in.
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