Saturday, February 1, 2020

Sew Much to Do

On Christmas day, I opened a gift from my children, a black denim jacket. Yes, it was something on my wishlist, but I was still pleasantly surprised to open the gift! I had been plotting and planning for some time to patch up another denim jacket. I have a long history of patched up denim jackets, going back to my high school days when the order of the day was Motorhead, Ozzy, Anthrax, Black Sabbath, and Venom patches. My last denim jacket was my nerd jacket, with patches of a killer robot, Cthulhu, Marvin the Martian, and a crew patch of the Nostromo.

This time, I wanted to indulge in my love of esoteric imagery and symbolism. I've got all the patches I want (so far) and with my abandonment of social media for a month, I have time. I'll try to keep up-to-date on this as I go.

I started by pinning the patches to the jacket. I'm saving that photo for later down the line, when I'm done, but suffice it to say that it looks really punk, with safety pins all over the place. Something you'd see at a Cramps show, but not. Because none of the patches are about bands. Most are simply esoteric imagery that I've taken a liking to, except for two exceptions: One from the film The Wicker Man (which is, arguably, esoteric in and of itself - cultic, at least), and one of Frank the Bunny from Donnie Darko (ditto earlier comment about TWM).

Now, I am no tailor. And I am not a man of much patience. So, this exercise is a bit of a sacrifice (pun intended) for me. I'm fine with (most) people, but when it comes to inanimate objects, we have a love-hate relationship, meaning we love to hate each other. But I committed and no one is going to do this for me (and I wouldn't want them to, anyway), so I started.

Let me say from the get-go that anyone who doesn't appreciate the term "threading the needle" has never attempted to thread a needle. After about a dozen tries under an intensity of light that alien abductors would be jealous of, I was finally able to get that darned thread into that little metal void. I doubled up a string of thread about as long as my wingspan, tied off, and set to work.

Here it is: Stitch #1, in progress. This is the Ouroboros surrounding an all-seeing eye, symbols of alpha and omega and the sun and moon, a patch I bought (along with all the others) on Etsy. It looks like I snatched up the last of this particular design. Good timing! Coincidence or confluence? You decide.

I stopped for a moment to put on some music I had recently been turned on to that I thought would be great for sewing, but my phone started updating and my wife couldn't do the financial stuff she needed to on the computer (thanks, Republicans, for allowing capitalists to ruin internet access for the rest of us). So, I turned my phone off and worked in silence. Well, okay, not silence. This song was playing through my head the entire time, one continuous mental loop. Maybe I have a long-buried memory of my Mom sewing while Abba was on the radio, I don't know. It made a good sound-track . . . in my head.

Note in the photo above that I had only pinned this patch at the top. I continually tried to flatten it as I went. I was hitting a pretty good groove (how can you not, with that ear-worm of a song?) until I noticed that the patch was not where I wanted it to be. It had slid toward the front of the sleeve, totally off center, because of the way I had been sewing it. I thought I was about a quarter of the way there.

Dang it.

Well, I took a seam-ripper to it to undo over half of what I had done to that point, then I pinned that sucker down with safety pins.

Grr!!! This is a clear demonstration of the love-hate relationship with inanimate objects that I mentioned earlier. My brain is much better than my hands. If I could only get the two to work together . . .

With this inquisitional pinning-down of the patch, I started again. This time (yes, Abba was still playing in my head), I was able to make a bit more progress.

Looks like I'm about a third of the way to getting this one on there.

Despite this mutual antagonism between man and material, I found my first session both frustrating and rewarding. There were moments that were, frankly, meditative. I lost track of time for a while (a feeling I seek in my life, truth be told) and realized that when I ended this session, it had been about two hours. It felt much shorter, and was, on the whole, much more enjoyable than I might have expected, going into it. I'm guessing that I won't get the esoteric denim completed by the end of the month, but . . . maybe. My intent is to have it done by Garycon so I can wear it there and start the Satanic Panic all over again - like the Ouroboros itself, One Eternal Round.

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