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How sewing is like religion

... not only because their practitioners end up wearing some weird looking garments.

When you're starting a new hobby like sewing it's so exhilarating. You can make ANYTHING. A wonderful world of possibilities opens up to you. Just grab a bit of cloth, cut out some shapes, whip em through a machine and viola! You've made a hat! You've never worn such a rewarding hat in all your life! It's incredible! You're really sewing! Now all you need to do is keep at it for a few years, and in no time at all you'll sit back and look at a closet filled with your own handiwork and think to yourself:

"That hat looks like crap."

Because what on earth was I thinking, cutting AGAINST the grain? Now the stupid hat doesn't stretch horizontally and it's all bunchy on top when I wear it. Once when I was in high school I was making a pair of pants as a girl-scout project, and in a fit of industriousness I thought I would pre-cut all my pieces before bringing them to my girl scout leader. You know, to save time in our sewing session. She spent the whole time shaking her head saying, "I can't BELIEVE you cut your fabric without talking to me first!"

And I was all, I'm not supposed to cut fabric without a chaperone? Sewing is unbelievably lame.

Now I look back on that experience and I am of two minds. On one hand I say, wow, that really turned me off sewing for a while. I wish I could have been given free range to be more creative and learn my own lessons progressively. On the other hand, what was I thinking cutting all my pieces out willy nilly? If I brought my current self those pieces now, I would be all, "I can't BELIEVE you cut your fabric without talking to me first!"

Religion is like that too. As helpful as it may be to your overall life happiness to, I dunno, read the bible or tithe or respect your husband, if someone tells you that in a you-must-do-this sort of way I'm all, "This religion stuff is lame."

It's only after years of having your life go poorly that you turn to your younger doppelganger and scream "For the love of God, PLEASE don't have PREMARITAL SEX!"

I find myself sometimes acting as a sewing killjoy these days, looking at my friends getting all excited about sewing and yelling "PREWASH YOUR FABRIC! PAY ATTENTION TO THE GRAIN! FOR THE LOVE OF GOD DON'T CUT THAT INTO QUILT PIECES IF YOU DON'T OWN A SEWING MACHINE!"

As if whole continents hadn't hand quilted just fine for hundreds of years without the aid of machines.

If I think handmade hats are ugly it's probably sin in me that tells me so, and I should certainly stop judging the quilts at church for being finished without bias tape. As for religion, there seems to be no good way to mind-meld our dogma onto other people, as helpful to them as that might be.


You're not referring to anyone in particular with the quilt pieces, right? =)

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