When I began writing this piece, I was sitting on my parents’ back porch in a pair of linen track shorts with a loose elastic waist, a seam in the crotch that blessedly didn’t tug, and some finishing details that might have made a more accomplished seamster positively recoil in horror.
As for me, I was pleased as punch. I made myself a pair of shorts from less than a yard of linen my mom had leftover after making curtains and they weren’t perfect but they were shorts and despite their messy stitches, I loved them.
Thing is, once I get my head set on making something, it’s as though I’ve entered a trance. I’m not seeking perfection, I’m seeking the finished product. I’ve never been a person to enjoy rock jumping, but project jumping is a thrill that I can get behind.
SHORTS OR BUST, BABY!
NO SLEEP ‘TIL SHORTS.
Despite my occasional efforts to channel a different person’s brain—one that might have a bit more chill when it comes to finishing things—I tend to dive into projects like these so quickly and with such ferocity that I frighten the people around me.
CAN’T HELP YOU NOW, KIDDO, GOTTA KEEP SEWING!
DINNER? BEDTIME? THERE ARE SHORTS ON THE LINE!
DID YOU JUST DARE TO ENTER THIS SANCTUARY OF EXTREME CONCENTRATION AND MEDIOCRE SKILLS? OFF WITH YOUR HEAD!
In the making of these shorts, contrary to all advice and conventional sewing wisdom, I did not pull out an iron. I neglected to pin anything. The stitching was wobbly. I ripped out nearly as many stitches as I put in and in more than one place, tore right through the bias tape with my seam ripper. When I couldn’t figure out how to find the zigzag stitch on my mom’s machine I definitely did not bother to look up the instructions in the manual sitting directly in front of me. The adrenaline was pumping and there would be shorts to show for it!
And there were. Just look at them! The details weren’t perfect, but they looked (and felt!) as intended.
I am now writing in my underwear.
If you’d like to read the full-length version of this piece and join the conversation on Substack, please consider becoming a paying subscriber to my TEA NOTES newsletter.
If a paid subscription isn’t in the cards for you right now, please consider sharing my newsletter with a friend! Three referrals gets you one-month free! (Twenty-five gets you a whole year!)