A Maker's Journey - The Project

The Lamentation of Hope

It’s Tuesday, the 30th of November, and I have yet to finish the inventory of my fabric stash. Which I decided had to be done before any actual sewing can happen. Nor have I written anything in the past 30 days. I’m nothing, if not predictable.

Meaning, this project is on the verge of turning into the fruitless lamenting that has become of all my other ideas that have preceeded it. With the slither of a difference that instead of simply vanishing from the scene, I’m now lamenting publicly. One could call that progress.

Although, I have not been entirely idle these past 30 days. Instead, I have – as a dear friend of mine recently described it – been practicing the fine art of procrastination without appearing lazy. In other words, I have been tidying. 

For starters, I swept the decks in the studio of all materials bar the ones I was actually working on. Then I re-aquainted myself with the entire content of my fabric stash. Finding long forgotten garments and even some I could have sworn weren’t there in March. All the while dutifully cataloguing every last scrap, before grouping, sorting and storing the pieces for future use. 

This inventory was done before, of course, but only as a scribbled list that became less and less legible as it went on. Now I have a phone scroll full of unfading pictures. Each as crisp as the one before. Which I intend to print out and stick to the notice board in the studio – hoping that this visual reminder will provide just the right balance of nagging and inspiration to keep me sewing.

And there is much to be sewn. Apart from the two cubby holes that are bursting with rolls of meter fabric, I now have got a basket full of things that require mending, a basket with items that require re-imagining, a basket full of colour-coded scraps and a basket full of half-finished projects that are patiently – for lack of choice – awaiting my revisit.

But it’s not just been the studio that got a sweep. During the hours of folding and photographing I also managed to clear my thoughts on what it is I’m trying to achieve here and how I want to do it. Too much generally, in a too ambitious way, but boiled down reads something like this: 

First and foremost, clear the studio of all current fabrics, by sewing them into items that can be used around the house, gifted or sold. Any scraps not used by October 31, 2022 will be donated or stuffed into a – yet to be purchased – leather ottoman as filling. 

Secondly, regularly publish my writing on this blog. I once dreamed of an eloquent bi-weekly column, but a monthly journal in all it’s unedited rawness is more realistic these days. Feel free to message me about any typos or overly inventive English sentence structures. I shall not be offended at the critique of my artistic expressions, when it means that at least one soul has read them.

Tidying of course is a perpetual task, stuff as well as expectations have a habit of creeping back in. Moreover, even just failing takes time. Which is undoubtedly my most scarce resource, creating this paradoxical reality in which I have to build and maintain tight fences around myself – my time and energy – in order to find some creative freedom.

But as I erect the barricades I shall whisper to the divine inspiration, come inside – dear friend – it’s a clean house in here.

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