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Deranged doilies
Friday, April 16, 2010

I've been doing more sewing than I've ever done in my life, or maybe since I was 9 or 10 and was obssessed by sewing bits of lace or material onto my clothes. I haven't progressed much skill-wise, but I am really loving it. I made a load of book covers for Christams presents, just with nice pieces of material saved over years, decades even. And now I am experimenting with doilies - another thing I have collected - that lace thing, the intricacy, the HOLES - and sewing them on to random garments like this one. Even wearing them. And now, with the help of lovely Amy, I am attempting a skirt out of a piece of material I bought in a charity shop in Saltburn. Have also been to the Quilt exhibition at the V and A - it's on until July and well worth a visit. Some amazing work there - which doesn't make me think, why bother? you're crap! - which I often get when I read / hear brilliant writing, in terms of my own work. Strange - I just get inspired and ecstatic at the sight of it.

I'm really interested in this. I think it's about expectation and how we judge ourselves, which undoubtedly begins with how we are judged by others. Also the thing about sewing - my generation downgraded it as traditional women's work, stuff we didn't want to do anymore(even though I still got my gran, queen of the treadle, to alter the strange baggy men's trousers I picked up at jumble sales for my chic feminist look). We put it with housework and childcare and we wanted to do other things. Tough to discover in my latter years that earth mother might have been a better option. Ha just kidding! But younger women maybe more able to recognise the creativity in women's work, and not worry if they enjoy doing it.

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