Sewing as a Virtue?

Selfish seamstress. I’ve seen this phrase before. It’s applied humorously and a bit defensively, indicating the preference to sew things for oneself instead of sewing for others. Apparently once you learn how to sew, you may feel like you ought to use your skills and make things for others. Why? I’m sure there are all kinds of reasons but the main one is probably that people start asking you to. They assume you want to sew for them, which is kind of strange to me but there it is.

Malden Mills sweater fleece, Kwik Sew pattern 3817

Malden Mills sweater fleece, Kwik Sew pattern 3817

I really enjoy sewing, but rarely do I sew for others. I don’t like hemming my own jeans, so I certainly won’t get a thrill from hemming yours. I can make my own window shades, but it’s a chore and I won’t do it for anyone’s home but my own. The sewing that I love most, making clothing, from sewing lacy, pretty things like lingerie and dresses to stitching everyday t-shirts and jeans, well I like to do that just for me, mostly. I know my tastes and style preferences and I can fit myself. I’m easy. I reckon that makes me a selfish seamstress, but I can live with it.

Occasionally I do slip up and make something for somebody else. It’s usually a baby gift, of course, because who doesn’t love sewing something for a baby? So tiny! So cute! Or it’s something for the dearly loved in my life, like my very tall and lanky husband who, poor thing, struggles to find clothes that fit him well. Retailers please take note: he’s just Tall, not Big and Tall.

While I think everyone benefits from wearing well-fitting clothes, he especially looks transformed by them. He looked ah-mazing in his beautiful three piece custom made wedding suit, which I didn’t make as I know the limits of my tailoring skills and I was selfishly busy making my own wedding dress anyway. That gorgeous suit fits him so well and looks so good that I still get a little giddy when he wears it now for other occasions. Maybe it’s why I am happy to sew clothes for him now.

Lengthened and not too boxy for a custom fit

Lengthened and not too boxy for a custom fit

Most days he’s a jeans and t-shirt guy, but he can still be a little picky about his clothing. Go figure. That’s why I’m thrilled that he was thrilled with this cozy sweater fleece pullover I made for him as my last not-so-cold-winter project earlier this year. The Malden Mills sweater fleece fabric is so nice I’m glad I bought enough to make something for myself too, as I could sacrifice the yardage needed for him without regret. The trickiest part about this top was of course the zipper and placket but that was it. The rest was super simple. So simple really and he loves it. He’ll wear it until it is so worn out that I will have to insist that he throws it away. That’s the kind of sewing for others I like to do. Making something I enjoy to make and that the recipient loves to receive. It’s a win-win. And in this case, because it made me happy to make him happy, maybe it was even a little selfish too.