I had a favorite shirt that I got at the thrift store, and it was a favorite because it was comfy to wear, but it had one annoying thing about it- there were flaps of fabric around the opening that would come out all the time. They were supposed to be on the backside of the shirt, but they would constantly come to the front because they weren’t attached on one side (if that makes sense.) I had that shirt in my mending pile for a long time. (My mending pile often gets forgotten about and only every so often do I pull something out of the pile and actually fix it. It’s just one of those things that gets put on the back burner.)
One day I noticed the shirt in the pile and decided it had sat there long enough and I wanted to do something about the flaps of fabric so I could wear it again. I didn’t want to use my sewing machine, I wanted to sew by hand and make the stitching decorative and fun. Bracken had a needle and thread and was working on a sewing project next to me while I took out my embroidery thread and got busy making little stitches on my shirt. I wasn’t worried about making the stitches even or perfect in any way, I wanted the look to be whimsical and artistic. Once I did one row to keep the fabric in place, I decided to do another row to make a border all around the outside. Once that was done, I decided to do more rows to fill in the middle.
I remember that afternoon of stitching with fondness because it was a period of time when we had been so busy and scheduled, and for Bracken and I to have that afternoon of unstructured time was such a welcome thing on that particular day. We had such a peaceful stretch of time sewing side by side and I thought to myself that we should do that more often because it relaxed us both so much. I was delighted when I finished my shirt that day and now I wear it all the time. I liked the shirt before because it was comfortable to wear, but now I love it. The stitches add so much character and because of them I love the shirt so much more.
I showed my friend my handiwork because I knew she would appreciate it (not everyone will share in your enthusiasm over such a simple thing), and we talked about going through our clothing and finding clothes that could use some fun stitches, and having a stitching party together. I love when the clothing I wear is not only comfortable, but looks and feels like me. I was amazed that something as simple as those little stitches could transform the shirt and give it such a unique and artistic touch. I have an urge to go a bit stitch crazy on my clothes right now! (And I think it’s time to finally pick up a book on embroidery at the library.) I wanted to share this here in case it inspired any of you. Who knows? There might be something in your wardrobe that’s calling out for some whimsical stitches…