The Story isn’t Finished: A Hoody and Me

The Dude is very passionate about sports, and particularly American football. I find this odd, since he has never been to America. Or maybe I find the game odd as they take 3 hours to play like a 90 minute game?

Anyway. Before we met he bought himself a Texas hoodie because he liked the colour and college sports. He told me the colour is “burned orange”. I rolled my eyes and called it “weird poo colour”. (It’s a rust colour, but I have a weird thing about orange. Not a fan.)

And then I fell pregnant. Which was fine. Except I was at university and the whole place felt cold and my one big jumper I had was kinda scratchy. So The Dude loaned me his Texas hoodie.

…. and he kinda never got it back.

After ten years of me wearing it, plus the time before of him wearing it, things got a little frayed. Okay, the cuff was falling off and the cuffs were one of the best bits. It got to the point I couldn’t really wear it out and about (and you know it must be bad if I’m saying that!) There was nothing for it but mending.

Did I mention that I have had issues with the whole sewing thing?

I got around this particular hurdle by calling this project an investigation of the idea of visible mending. (The idea of visible mending is that you don’t try to hide where you have made a repair but rather make the repair into a bit of a feature of the item through contrasting thread, additional stitching and so on.)

I come from a long line of extremely talented and creative seamstresses and general crafting proficients. I like the idea of being able to sew but the actual sewing thing is problematic somehow. (There’s a possibility I equate sewing with sewing machines – noisy things with high speed needles. Not good for people with sensitive ears and occasional glitches in their co-ordination.)

I did one cuff and bit of sleeve first and then moved onto the logo. Looking at it now it looks like my tutor did the logo and my 13 year old self did the cuff. But never mind.

Things I have learned:

– hand sewing can actually be a calming and meditative experience. I wouldn’t go as far as taking up embroidery but I’m definitely adding it to my list of self care activities.

– I can actually sew. It can look neat and precise and even.

– and sometimes my sewing looks like something my dog has chewed. But with extra colour.

– And both of these can happen within five minutes of each other. And both are 100% me. And both are absolutely acceptable. Both have a place. (The secret is of course not to be dog toy me when organised me is required and vice versa!)

The hoody isn’t done yet. I don’t think it’s story will ever be done. But it’s a story of love, of overcoming, learning and not being defined by the things you can’t do.