How to Diagnose and Treat the Sewing Rut Virus

My sewing machine has been snoozing since I returned from Buffalo.  Snoozing hard, like Sleeping Beauty (or rather, Sleeping Messy).  It’s been centuries, or so it seems, since it spun out such pretties as these:

I need to shake it awake, but there’s a further problem: I have been infected by the sewing rut virus.  The evil, dreaded sewing rut virus.

The symptoms of this curious disease include:

  • utter sewing laziness
  • paralyzing indecision about fabric and pattern combinations
  • ineffective sewing pattern search binges that result in no purchases
  • general belief that everything you sew will be fit for the landfill (0r old ladies)
  • high levels of impatience
  • strong aversion to actually cutting through a piece of fabric

Sadly, there’s no SewingWebMD, so I had to look a bit further afield (read: sewing blogs) for a pathology of this rather nasty disease.  After a bit of reading, I discovered that this bug can be contracted in several ways:

  • too much generous sewing for others:  check–I went on a sewing binge for my mother and sisters before my last visit home
  • ill-advised sewing binges for self: check–I went berserkers trying to finish about four different things before I went home, and  therefore enjoyed sewing none of them
  • having a fabric stash:  check–I have about six fabrics that I just can’t commit to making into anything because a better idea may come along, like, ten years from now
  • undertaking too many refashioning projects:  check–cutting up a dress and turning it into a skirt will give you a quick high, but it’s always followed by guilt when you realize you did a half-assed job
  • not having to dress up for work:  double check–I spent the last year and a half sewing outfits for the office, which are collecting dust now that I can work in my pajamas (which I never, ever do; I’m a fashionista and I’d rather eat rocks)
  • a drastic change in size of the sewer:  double check–I barely know what size I am in ready to wear; the thought of having to do math and figure out my size in patterns makes me break out in hives
  • being a ridiculous cheapskate:  check–like I need to tell you how cheap I am yet again

However, the treatment is nowhere near as unpleasant as the disease itself.  Should you find  you have contracted a case of Sewing Rut, you’ll need to take a dose of the following antidotes:

  • take mental inventory of what you actually end up wearing given the new work and size circumstances (for me, it’s shorts with blouses, skirts with tank tops, and sundresses)
  • get thee to the mall and try some clothes on for sewing research purposes (this helps you figure out what styles fit and look best on you now; it also makes you realize that you can make things that you like 100 time better than what’s in stores)
  • realize that you will never find THE ultimate perfect use for any piece of fabric and therefore should just do something with it already
  • stop with the pointless online pattern trawling:  if you start to look, you better buy something, and if not, knock it off and back away from the computer
  • read up on your favorite fashion and sewing blogs–if you see a tiered skirt and want to make it, just make it and stop obsessing
  • remind yourself that sewing is supposed to be fun, not a chore, and remind yourself that this is precisely why you sew for yourself and yourself only–heaven knows it would royally stink to have a sewing rut over someone else’s stuff

I’m now off to swaddle this virus in fabric, Mad Men, and rum–if my grandma’s rum drink cured colds, it can certainly cure this bug.