Zen Sewing

Well, that was my idea for approaching a fair number of pleats. Fourteen to be exact. That’s less than the 28 pleats which the other view featured. Knowing that I would never get the pleats pressed into their original shape after the first wearing, I felt I had to stitch the pleats in place (that means four seams per pleat or 56 to be exact, but who’s counting). Which is why the idea of zen sewing occurred to me. Just start stitching and be in the moment. Each pleat is just another pleat, breathe.

I got through the stitching and made friends with my 1/4″ foot which had the added advantage of being a straight stitch foot. That meant that when I did my few back stitches at the end, the fabric didn’t jam down in to the feed dogs. Previously, I thought I just had to live with that irritation. (I just have to remember not to try zigzagging with that foot.)

One other new technique I tried was using the knee lifter that came with my machine. (Is that what going on vacation does to you-make you want to try new things-disturb your status quo?) You will only understand the humor here if you know that I have an old Singer with a knee lever that pushes against the foot feet clamped inside the machine cabinet. This means that on the Singer, when I press my leg against the lever, the machine stitches, but when I do the same motion on my Babylock, the presser foot raises. Needless to say, late into the night as I stitched my 56 pleat seams there were times when my machine was so confused-oh, that’s right, only a person can be confused-the machine was just doing as it was told. Many times I waited for the feed dogs to move fabric but the only thing that happened was that the presser foot lifted. I tried different techniques-deliberately taking my foot off the presser foot, actually trying to think while I sewed (what a concept), but ultimately I ended up using my left foot to make the machine go and my right leg to lift the presser foot. I’m confused, my legs are confused but I feel like I’ve learned a lot AND I love how the skirt turned out.

I went outside and sat in the sun, clipping (black!!!) threads off my new garment. A perfectly zen ending.

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