Stitching Adventures

More stitching adventures …

This past week I added an external pocket to an old, already-hacked sweater in a most eccentric yet functional way. It struck me that throughout the ages, different fashions of clothing have come to be defined socially as “normal” and stylish. But, viewed through an objective eye, some of the most wildly popular fashions over the years would look no less weird than my bizarre little cellphone pocket that I stitched onto this sweater in eccentric hangy-downy fashion.

You know what? THE VERY MOMENT i finished stitching the pocket on and donned the sweater, I immediately found the cellphone pocket incredibly convenient and helpful. Like, Where have you BEEN all my life?! I always take that as a good sign.

Before, I was keeping my phone in the zippered hip-pouch I wear. But it took time & energy to fish it out of the tight confines of the zippered pouch when needed, and jam it back in there (around my credit-card case and my pen and my mini notebook and my reusable spoon and my cloth napkin and other stuff that lives in the hip pouch) when not needed.

Taking the phone out of my new external pocket, and putting in back in, takes almost zero time and energy.

(To see the photos I refer to below, check out the corresponding post on my DEEP GREEN page on Facebook.)

First photo shows aqua-colored pocket (cut out of a worn-out pair of shorts) stitched onto the magenta sweater. Second & third photos show my trusty grey hoodie layered over that because it was a chilly morning.

Also visible in the photo my green zippered hip-pouch, with lightweight to-go coffee cup attached by a ring. I also always have a mask attached to my hip-pouch.

Besides the pocket, I also stitched on a button closure (cut out of the same aqua pair of shorts) as a closure, because the zipper corroded and became unusable. (Our coastal climate can be rough on certain metal zippers.)

Subsequent photos show details of my earlier “hacks” to the magenta sweater. It had been a plain pullover sweater; I cut it down the front and installed a (short) zipper, plus a no-purpose-except-decorative tag in the back. (I was working in a leather repair shop at the time and had access to an industrial sewing machine.)

There was an article someone shared, about keeping clothes around and repairing them rather than throwing them away. The writer mentioned that if you keep something in your cloth storage or craft stash or whatever for awhile, sometimes you forget about it — and when you rediscover it, it’s like finding a new item in a shop; like shopping in your own home! (all words my re-phrasing based on imperfect recollection; not the writer’s own).

When I was living in Tokyo during the 1990s, I met some lovely Norwegian folks also living and working there, who told me that in their country, a lot of everyday people sewed clothing of their own design. I thought that was the coolest thing ever.

Around the age of 12, I wanted to be a fashion designer “when I grew up.” I realized later that I’m happy to design fashions even just for myself!

Thank you to my friends/colleagues in Transformative Adventures who have recently sparked discussions about clothing, either by posting their own experiences or by sharing wonderful articles or both!

Getting busy with needle and thread for the first time in a while has helped me unglue my brain which had been stuck in a mode of only being focused on scalped lawns, badly pruned trees, and other things around me that I see as wrongs that I need to address. When I get into a more centered and creative mode, I am better at finding leverage points for addressing the problems around me. Sewing is one thing that helps me do that.

Plus, I just enjoy life more. And even with all the problems in the world, life deserves to be enjoyed.

What about you — do you design things for yourself? Clothes, tools, furniture, work processes, ……? I would love to hear about it and also about anything that helps you get unstuck and into a more creative flow.