When Your Muse Wanders Off…Indefinitely


To be fair, I probably should have written this a while back. But I’ve been confused and haven’t known what to say so I’ve been putting it off. I’m sure you’ve noticed I haven’t been posting much lately – for a couple of months, in fact. Well, there’s a reason and I’ve been struggling with it.

What does one do when one writes a blog about reproducing historical fashions and one’s sewing muse abruptly just ups and leaves?

That’s what’s happened to me. At first I thought it was just all the kerfuffle from deciding to move and then getting the whole thing organized so all the pieces came together in the right order. Then there was the move itself and a month of pure chaos – half living in one town and half living in another. That was followed by the exhaustion of unpacking (still not finished, by the way) and further sorting. And so passed December, January, February and a good chunk of March.

(original source unknown)

(source unknown)

Now it’s two months later and in that time I’ve not even been able to make myself sew. Which is so very weird because I have loved sewing since I was a kid, just as I’ve been interested historical fashions since even before I started sewing. Then suddenly – poof! What the heck? I have a marvelous sewing space, a small mountain of a stash, a tall filing cabinet full of patterns…and not a single thing moves me.

I got to the point of considering whether I should let this blog go altogether – admit that my urge to sew was gone for good, pull myself together and move on.

But I just couldn’t do it, and for two reasons: 1) because I could not believe that my sewing muse has departed for good and 2) there is a lot of historical sewing I haven’t yet explored and I’m still interested in learning about it.

So, after months and months of pretty much agonizing over what to do, I’ve finally made a few decisions which I hope will entice my muse to return.

First off, I’m dropping out of the Historical Sew Monthly – at least for the time being. I’ll keep the badge and link active on my home page because I think it’s a great idea and support the HSM wholeheartedly. I just don’t want that additional bit of pressure from a deadline right now. Having said that, the Challenge for May (Holes) is finished and I’ll be sharing that with you as soon as it’s been blocked.

I am really drawn to hand sewing at the moment, so perhaps focusing on a couple of small projects to get the wind back in my sewing sails. A friend of mine has A Big Life Event coming up soon and I’d like to make something for her, so perhaps a little something of a historical nature would fit the bill. So my second decision is to work on smaller projects so I can get to the finish line – hoping that garnering a series of successes will help bolster my enthusiasm.

And, with the HSM retired, I can pick what I want to make for myself and do it at my own pace. My third decision: be a little more selfish in choosing what garments to make and start with something casual that won’t be on display…anywhere. I’m interested in having something to wear around the house other than sweats. And I’m interested in the idea of wrappers. And it so happens I have two Laughing Moon patterns for wrappers and the fabric to make them. So maybe, just maybe, I’ll try that – something just for me to be worn just for myself and my pleasure.

Lastly, my fourth decision is that historical sewing needn’t be confined to garments and accessories only. I’m still hand sewing my 1840’s reproduction quilt using historically accurate reproduction fabrics I’ve collected over the years. I used to think that English paper piecing was the definition of mind-melting, repetitive boredom. But now I find it relaxing, almost meditative. And I believe that making home goods counts, so it’s staying in the mix and you’ll be able to watch it grow over time. Here’s the pattern, as made by someone else (I don’t know who) and posted online:

"Grace's Quilt", based on an extant 1840's quilt

“Grace’s Quilt”, based on an extant 1840’s quilt

So that’s where I am. A little of this, a bit of that and, hopefully, great success in luring my muse back home.