Sunday, April 15, 2007


I read, in several other blogs, about a SWAP contest that ended recently. The contest was well underway when I learned about it and I'm not at all sure what the rules of the contest were. I surmised the participants had to complete several items, all related to a theme, by a deadline in early April. Everyone seemed to have fun completing their pieces and there was much encouragement floating around in the sewing blogosphere. I enjoyed seeing the pieces in progress and reading about the sewer's decision making processes, challenges and solutions. The camaraderie of the common goal was evident. I almost wished I were taking part in the SWAP. Notice, I said "almost."

A deadline will keep me out of any SWAP or contest. To me, deadlines are a necessary evil. I have no choice but to deal with deadlines at work, but I don't want them in my leisure. My sewing would be a different kind of activity if I gave myself deadlines. It would be too much like work.
I guess I'm a zen-existential-gestalt kind of seamstress. I enjoy the process as much as the finished product. I sew to relax and I like taking my time while I sew. I might stop at anytime during a project and start looking through patterns and BWOFs to plan a future project. I've stopped in the middle of tracing-off to listen to an interesting piece on the radio. I've sat with hand sewing in my lap while a watch a movie. That is not the way to complete a SWAP. I make no demands on myself while I'm in my sewing room. If I'm lucky enough to have a few hours to spend sewing, I don't want any self-imposed pressure to take away my joy.

Of course, I do finish my projects. After all, I expect to have something to wear at the end of the relaxing, blissful process. My deadlines are seasonal; as in "finish the outfit while it is still warm (or cold) enough to wear it." I admit, I've even missed deadlines as broad as that! But, I've spent the time indulging myself and working at my desired pace. To me, that's more important than meeting any deadline.


  1. That is why I seldom sew any Christmas or Easter outfits anymore. I'm always sewing the last seam one hour before I'm supposed to be there, and all of the joy is robbed.

  2. Blissful sewing.Absolutely! I feel the same way about deadlines.Can a person actually do their best work under time restriction? These SWAP and other sewing contests do seem to activate more creativity in participants as well as observers.