[In the fall, Jonathan Vatner, Hue staff writer, took an introductory menswear sewing class. He has been blogging about his experiences on Hue, Too.]
My final shirt was due December 15. And, given that my practice shirt had seams in the shape of cowpaths, plus a nasty tear in one shoulder where the seam ripper got greedy, it seemed important that I do a new one.
After having been to the fabric and trimmings stores a dozen times and sewn at least ten collars, I finally started getting used to the process. And I found that, when I stop griping inwardly for a moment, sewing is actually kind of relaxing.
The trick is, you have to take your time. You have to be really careful. You have to do everything exactly. Sewing a shirt is not forgiving, and it takes at least 10 hours (or in my case, about 20). If you keep wishing it were over, you’re missing the point, because you can buy a nice shirt in about ten minutes for less than you spend on the fabric and notions.
And if you do each step with precision, as all worthwhile things must be done, the shirt you end up with is more than a shirt; it’s evidence of honest labor.
And still, one rogue splash of coffee and it’s only evidence of carelessness.