sewing & feelings

i didn’t do much today except for sewing projects. i started sewing ericka’s skirt, finally, & i feel very relieved to have it underway. i did everything that requires topstitching, because i use topstitching thread & a special needle for those parts, & switching back & forth between threads & needles is a huge pain in the ass. i wanted to have that all finished today so i can do the easy skirt construction parts tomorrow/later in the week. it’s funny to think that the first time i made a skirt, the construction took like seven hours. now i probably have an hour of work ahead of me before it’s done. maybe two if i make some dumb mistake installing the zipper or something.

i’m much faster at hand-sewing too. when i sewed the binding on to ramona’s quilt back in july or whatever, it took FOREVER. like four days of doing nothing but sewing. & it still looked kind of sloppy. but the binding on the baby quilt i finished the other day went really fast. it still took hours…but only over the course of like a day & a half. & the stitching is so tidy, it’s almost invisible. the fact that i used a striped fabric with quarter-inch stripes didn’t hurt. i just used the striped as a guide for spacing the stitches.

i also drafted a new baby bonnet pattern. the original pattern was okay, but it rode up a gapped a little bit in the back. & that caused it to fall down in the front. jared asked me if i had considered cutting eyeholes in the brim, mushmouth-style. so i re-cut a pattern with a wider middle & a narrower back. i stitched it up in black & mix tape print fabrics & i think it works better.


this is ramona modeling it. it’s a bit small on her so i am going to have to pass it along to a smaller baby. but now i can just make the pattern bigger or smaller for whatever baby i’m sewing for & hopefully have a decent fit.

putting away laundry the other day, i noticed that my newsprint skirt has a little rip in it. & the fabric around the rip is really frayed, which makes it harder to mend. it’s on a seam that i accidentally sewed with a quarter-inch seam allowance instead of the usual half-inch i use for apparel. so. i’ll try not to make that mistake twice. i can fix it, but i’m bummed that i have to. i mean, i made that skirt less than a month ago.

i think i mentioned that i’ve been kind of bummed out lately, in part about something i really wanted to discuss with jared but was uncomfortble bringing up? maybe i wrote about that in a post i didn’t actually post. well, that was a thing that was happening. jared has many good qualities one might seek in a boyfriend, but Being Good at Feelings is not one of them. in fact, i literally can’t think of anyone i know who is WORSE at heavy feelings talks. i can’t think of anyone i have EVER known who is worse at it. this was actually a major selling point in his favor when we first started dating. i was really sick of being in process-heavy Let’s Talk About It relationships. the fact that jared can just kind of skate past a difficult topic & never bring it up, EVER, was super-appealing. especially given all the fairly valid reasons other people had for thinking we shouldn’t date…i don’t really want to get into details, but…let me figure out how to put it.

okay, i went to high school in pretty small towns in ohio. everyone in those towns was someone’s sibling, someone’s cousin, someone’s ex. & there were all these rules about who could date who. “oh, you can’t date him, he’s my best friend.” “you can’t date her, she’s my ex.” or even more complicated, like, “you can’t date that guy, that’s my ex’s second cousin.” it was just too much drama & so i pretty much never dated anyone (openly). when i moved away, i was stoked to have a larger pond in which to fish, as it were.

but somehow, even though jared & i didn’t meet each other until 2005 & didn’t start dating until 2007, we totally have this small town dating history thing happening. when we first got together, one of my friends who knew the whole story said, “do not do this. you are literally the last two people on earth who should be dating each other. there is no way this is not gonna be drama.”

but he wasn’t banking on jared’s remarkable ability to just ignore whatever is uncomfortable. so i followed his lead & ignored it too & it’s pretty much worked out great.

but maybe like once a year, i start having Feels about some topic or another, & of course when that kind of crap happens, a person wants to lean on their partner, but jared is super-good at ignoring EVERYTHING that is uncomfortable. & then i feel all Alone, & then i have Feels about that…it’s a Vicious Feels Cycle. so that was happening & i felt super-bummed about it. finally i got over myself & talked to him about it. the whole conversation only lasted like three minutes, because even when we Talk, it’s as cursory as humanly possible. which i’m not 100% stoked about it, but you know. if i wanted a dude who was really into discussing his feelings, i wouldn’t be dating jared. & i have dated dudes who were really into discussing their feelings, so i can say from a place of experience that it gets really old, really fast. maybe there’s a happy medium of being able to talk about Feelings Within Reason While Maintaining a Sense of Humor & Perspective, but in the absence of that, i prefer the Blow By & Ignore approach. usually.

yeah, so i feel much better! ready to move on & enjoy the fall. do some sewing, read some “new yorker”s, make some pumpkin custard, wear some knee socks. it should be pretty cool.

Published by Ciara

Ciara Xyerra wrote zines for the better part of two decades. She has a brilliant & adorable preschooler named Ramona & sews as much as she possibly can. She lives in Lawrence, Kansas with her boyfriend. She enjoys catching up on "The New Yorker", meatball subs, keeping it cranky, intersectional post-third wave feminism, dinosaurs, & monsters. If you have nothing nice to say, she recommends that you come sit here by her, so you can say not-nice things together.

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