Friday, October 30, 2009

Method Sewing

On the weekend I went to see John Irving at the Harbourfront Reading Series. My friend Nicole, she of the sewing fame, kindly invited me to go and it was an awesome event. Intriguingly, Mr. Irving opted to spend most of his allotted reading time to a discussion - well, monologue really - of his "creative process". This was both fascinating and irrelevant (as far as I was concerned). I mean, seriously, his process isn't mine and, even if it were, I don't have his brain to back it up. Nonetheless, it's intriguing to learn about the strange creative paths of others.

So I bring you: Kristin's Creative Process re: New Pursuits. Trust me, it's really interesting.
  1. I identify the interest i.e. sewing. (This stage can be nebulous and inactive for years, btw.)
  2. Something coheres to catalyse activity (In this case having a friend who's been sewing for a year was encouraging. But, being treated by Scott to a sewing machine(!!!) galvanized my move from theory to practice.)
  3. I read every book I can get my hands on.
  4. I read everything on the internet I can get my hands on.
  5. I watch every video on the internet I can get my hands on.
  6. I talk to friends who know what they're doing.
  7. I talk to strangers who might know what they're doing.
  8. I buy magazines on the topic.
  9. I look into the history of as many facets of my new pursuit as possible i.e. the mechanics of the sewing machine (in this case), the history of textile production etc.
  10. I take courses at reputable studios (M and I are signed up for Sewing Basics in mid-November).
  11. I get set up in the best way I know how - get all the accessories I'll need, find clean workspace with best light etc. - and work with the best materials I can justify purchasing.
  12. I make Scott learn half as much as I'm learning so that when I get stuck he can help me. (He has much more patience than I do.)
And then, truly, I immerse myself so fully in the new activity that I think about it constantly. I dream about it. I can't shut up about it.

That's when the word "enthusiasm" starts to look like "insanity".

But let me say this about that: I'm not half-assed. When I give something a go I take it on to do it with as much skill and experience as I can bring to it. And, if I do it well, I know it's because I've worked my butt off. And tormented a few people.

This post is dedicated to them.


  1. I would like to become that dedicated to something one day! Though your process is familiar to me anytime I get interested in something new- raw food, pilates, running, Latin etc - I research it to the hilt!

  2. Don't take this the wrong way, but does it last? I get this way on occasion, but it doesn't always stick. If I find out I am crap at whatever it is, I just give it up! You?

  3. I'm another person who has to read as much as possible on any new activity!

  4. I LOVED this post!! It is so you- so perfect- SO funny. I can't wait to see your first creation!

  5. Good luck dear, and I can't wait to see your creations.

    Have a nice weekend


  6. Sewing is a cinch or is that a stitch - you'll master it. My view is if you can follow a recipe then you can sew, just different ingredients and putting together!

  7. I'm another who has to read everything and find out as much as possible when I jump in. Then comes the practice part but you are motivated and have signed up for a class.

    If you can cook, or even more importantly bake, you can sew. If you know how you like things to fit you can make things that fit, and as I said, if you have garments that do fit you can always measure them and compare them to what you are making.

    Desire and motivation are the best teachers.

  8. Could I pay you to motivate me? ;-)

  9. You're on fire!

    Just in case you don't know about this blog, check her out. Erin is funny and very smart.

  10. RML: Don't you find it brings you closer to cracking the code :-)

    Sal: As I tweeted, not generally. But I'm not holding myself to anything. :-)

    Wendy: It really makes me feel more connected.

    Allison: Thank you. (Note: Allison is my sister so she should know...)

    Monkey: I wish you could have been there too.

    Thanks Seeker.

    Mardel and Kate: I think it's so interesting that you've both said a similar thing: if you can bake you can sew. That's fascinating - and true, I hope!

    M: I do agree that motivation is the best teacher. For my daughter, it's the only teacher!

    Miss C: Thanks!

    Stacey: Of course :-) I def have a price! - Perhaps a latte.

    E: Thanks so much. I LOVE this blog. Didn't know about it until you told me.