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Sewing and Slow Living

A hand and fabric at a sewing machine

I have trouble finding pants that fit me.

This sounds like the bane of every woman in America, but for me, it's because of the inseam.

I'm tall with petite measurements so finding pants long enough is a neverending chore. The waist will fit, but the length looks like I'm treading flood waters.

And choosing the "tall" option doesn't work either. I'm not tall enough for that. 

I'm right in the middle; I don't fit in. Sort of how I feel about all areas of my life, but that's for another post...

I came across a pair of pants that fit great last week. Linen pants: perfect for summer. The waist and hips fit great, but the inseam was a good inch too short. Like normal.

This time, instead of suffering in silence, I decided to take matters into my own hands.

At home with the trousers, I took out my sewing machine with the intent to fix my problem. I know. A sewing machine? Yes, me, who isn't a sewer was going to fix my hems.

I bought this basic beauty about 20 years ago and use it maybe once every five years. But by golly, I wasn't going to let my inexperience hinder me. I was tired of pants not fitting.

After rereading the instruction manual, it all came back to me: how to thread the needle, refill the bobbin, all the things a seamstress would know in Sewing 101. I took out the hem and re-hemmed them with a now more perfect inseam.

It only took about ten minutes (most of that was spent figuring out the sewing machine again) but let me tell you... I've never felt more proud of myself.

Sewing is slow living at its finest. Sewing, reusing clothing that I could've given away because it didn't fit, reworking fabric, taking my time ... it all encompasses the slow-living concept. 

The simple hemming of my pants made me feel like I could conquer the world.

I'm not a real seamstress. I can mend holes in wool sweaters and sew on new buttons. I can occasionally hem my trousers (as I just found out). But a sewer, I am not. 

My mother and mother-in-law know how to sew. They're the gifted ones who can make clothing out of a single piece of lifeless fabric into something that fits and looks incredible.

I also have many friends in the vintage clothing world - friends much younger than me -who know how to sew and sew well. So, the talent may have waned over the years, but it's still very much alive.

Is sewing in my future? Probably not. Though I would love for it to be.

But do I feel just a little bit more tied to my ancestors of yore, when buying cheap clothing on Amazon was not only "not a thing" but an unfathomable concept?

Yes. I feel 1000% percent better about myself. I'm living the slow living way, which goes along with me selling vintage clothing, and living a simple, minimalistic lifestyle.

I'm not a future designer, but I now feel capable of being able to hem pants to fit me better.

There's no perceptible value in that feeling. It's the priceless result of me learning how to work with my brain and hands and not let the monster of short inseams scare me forever.

Self-sufficiency does wonders for the soul. 

And apparently, hemming pants was all I needed to feel like I could take on the world. 

Highly recommend.