Thursday, 7 March 2013

Sewing while in hibernation

It's been quiet here for a while, but it's not because I haven't done anything! However, it's been a while since I finished a project (and that project I still haven't had a chance to photograph...). I'm currently working on a late 40s inspired wool dress. This fabric is lovely, lots of drape, light and with a beautiful luster, and I love working with it. So why has it taken so long to finish? Basically, it's been February. Simple as that. Years ago I was always so surprised at how tired I was at the end of winter. Then I started narrowing it down to late January-early March, and have been moaning for a few years about lack of daylight accumulating during winter until February hits and I'm almost a zombie.

Pictures taken on my way to work. Love that it's daylight when I leave the house in the morning!

Then this year something occured to me: during winter nature calms down. The ground rests beneth the snow, the top soil frozen. Ice covers the river. Animals hibernate or move away, those few who are still mobile up here try to use as little energy as possible. Ever gone out into the forest on a really cold winterday and experienced the quiet? It's something that's felt in the marrow rather than seen or heard. I like to think nature takes a break, resting after a glorious fall, gathering strength for a lively spring.

Instead of hunting energy and planning for productivity, maybe one can just rest in the calm of winter? Slow life down a bit, let things take time, not chase anything (sewing finish-lines, fun experiences, blogposts etc) but just be in the moment. Let the mind follow winter's cue and semi-hibernate. Doing fun things brings more energy, but when you don't have the energy to do any fun stuff to begin with, then it's all just draining. Then it's ok to take an evening at home and not do anything more spectacular than the dishes. Or take a whole weekend like that. Just resting in the stillness of winter.

However, now we're a week into March, and as on cue my energy is creeping back, waking up from hibernation. During February I've slowly been making a third version of my late 40s dress, inspired by The Swing Dress, but drafted from my block pattern. Third time might be the charm! I'm trying to give it time, do things in a speed I'm comfortable with and be happy with it. Not so easy when I know I'd be done weeks ago had it been any other time of the year, but I try to keep in mind that it's not summer, it's winter and I'm in hibernation. Any creativity that happens is for fun and relaxation. It'll be spring soon, and then the garments will come flying out of the sewing machine =)

Today is another spectacular late-winter day, plenty of snow on the ground and a strong sun from a clear pale-blue sky. I'll take a walk on my lunch (as always) and revel in the light, dream about future projects and not be stressed about that I won't do them right now. I'll get to them eventually.

Love, Erika


Suzanne said...

I agree. I find it so hard not to get grouchy near the end of winter! I have a friend who says she only fights with her husband in early March. Being mindful of the way winter gets us down can help. It's nearly over! Hang in there.

Anthea said...

Great post! I think it really makes sense!

Love to see your finished projects!

Erika said...

Suzanne; Thank you for the encouragement! I totally understand your friend; I was just thinking the other day about how it affects a relationship! I'm still newly-fallen in love so it's not a problem now, but I think for the future it would be wise to decide to never break up during early March =)

Thank you, Anthea! Glad I could convey the idea and the rambling made sense =) I'm planning on taking pictures of the finished projects during this weekend, so soon there should be something new on the blog!