I am a bit obsessive-compulsive regarding the organizational aspects of my life: I always follow the same morning routine before work; the jars in my fridge always face forward so you can see their labels; my daybook has lists day by day of things I need to finish, which I check off. As a teacher, organization is a must. I also believe that if I demonstrate finely-tuned organization skills, students might take note and follow suit. I am constantly planning activities and new projects for my students in my head, making quick little notes here and there (in my daybook obviously), typing and retyping worksheets that go into their subject-designated folders on my computer, eventually being emailed to myself so I always have a backup copy. Although class ends at 2:45pm, my mind never stops thinking about school. Someday I imagine having all my worksheets and lessons planned weeks in advance, so I won’t always have to be creating the night before. But for now, I am usually at the Vancouver Public Library in the children’s section, checking out bags full of books to take home and study.
When I was in university, I had a weekly habit of making an article of clothing most likely to be worn out Friday night. While sitting in class, I would design my outfit in my head, making quick little notes in my agenda, and then take the #4 or #14 bus downtown to the fabric store to purchase what I needed. It would be a race against the clock as I tried to finish my creation before that weekend’s big party, desperate to show up wearing something new and different every time. Not all creations were a success. There were many times when I would cut pieces too small, and when trying the dress or shirt or whatever on I would rip the material. There were times when my sewing machine would simply quit on me, strained from strenuous use, just an old thing my friend’s mom had bought at a garage sale and lent me. I’m sure I drove my roommates crazy staying up all hours working away at my projects. But, I was so dedicated to my craft, really believed in what I was making and wore my pieces with pride. Since I have graduated university, now almost three years ago, I’ve barely touched my sewing machine. I always have friends ask me whether I’ve made something of late, and sadly my answer is no. I do not know whether I just got too busy, or whether I gave up on the idea. My sewing machine sits collecting dust in my closet, piles of fabric sit untouched.
Yet, as my brain is usually working overload creating science labs and art projects for my students, it has never really stopped producing fashion ideas either. I have sketched my designs everywhere, and I find them tacked to my corkboard or hidden with receipts, some in my daybook and some stashed in various purses. There are designs scattered all over my apartment, and every time I find one some force from within tugs at my creative bit of brain sayings “sew! Sew! Sew!” And so, after almost three years, I am finally making clothes again. Warily, I know I cannot produce something every week like I used to, (as worksheets come first), but I am hoping to create a new piece almost regularly. Last Friday night I spent in Whistler will three of my best girl friends. What to wear for a night out in the village? A new shirt of course, courtesy of myself.