jp likes to figure things out. he will take a problem–an old sewing machine–and work on that thing and at that thing so that he can make felt cycling caps or googly-eyed stuffed monster dolls. he does the same stuff with his bikes, with brewing his beer, with concocting the most delicious meals you have tasted.

i am not a putzer or a tinker-er. i enjoy doing the things i know how to do and do well. i write letters, i make cards, i organize and plan. ultimately, i let jp do many things for us (save for the laundry). i bike on tires patched by him, drink and critque his crafted ales, devour and then rave about his good foods. i’ll take care of the bills.

but my disinclination to hobbying about comes from my impatience with difficulty. i pouted at a craft party we attended because i didn’t know how to use a sewing machine and i resort to toasted bread with canned soup when jp isn’t home to cook me meals. i don’t care about figuring it out if it doesn’t come naturally to me–‘it’ being anything. i do not like this about myself.

i do like the idea of knowing how to sew. i don’t want to pay someone a price, any price, for something i can do myself or should be able to do myself: sewing on buttons, hemming pants, making curtains. these things, though i don’t know exactly how to make, are in the DIY realm; they are doable projects.

so for christmas, understanding this need to stretch my patience and my creative skills, jp bought me a sewing 101 class at the needle shop in bucktown. last night was my class and TA-DA!: i made a pillow! and a darn good one at that. you can see otto adores it.

there were two other women in the class with me: janelle, a 30-something hairdresser married with child and beth, a 20-something engaged farm girl turned big city. the class was excellently taught by caitlin, a community-minded, chest-tattooed daughter of a korean seamstress. we stiched. we bitched. we bonded over feminine mishaps and celebrations. ’twas lovely.

curtains are next.


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