February 16, 2021

Vicarious Sewing

My house is in upheaval. My kitchen has been removed pending installation of a new one, and while the project should be completed tomorrow in fact I have barely seen a worker since the original demolition and I have no idea when I’ll see one again.

I have a plan for a sewing project that’s been put on hold: it’s a pattern for a three piece suit that I’ve altered to give a Teddy Boy drape silhouette. Well, actually it’s three separate patterns for waistcoat, jacket, and trousers, but when they’re made out of the same fabric they’ll be OK.

I thought it’d be fun to stream the make. But I decided to start after the kitchen is done, partly to avoid the dust fall-out and partly because there are boxes of food and crockery everywhere and it wouldn’t be easy to set up a sewing station. So this has been postponed, I don’t know for how long.

But in the stress and the uncertainty, I’ve found a fun way to relax is to watch someone else sewing their historically-informed clothing together. I particularly enjoy Bernadette Banner’s channel: more the making projects than the “how Bridgerton got it wrong” takedowns. She’s got training and a wealth of experience in historical costume so seeing her draft patterns, put them together (by hand, largely), see what didn’t work then correct it is highly educational. But it’s also quite calming, to watch someone quietly get on with their sewing when I know I can’t.

Hopefully once I get set up and stream my own adventures you’ll get the same joy—if not the same deeply informed educational content—out of my projects.

© Graham Lee