I’m a high school student who loves to write, sew, and (most of all) create.
High school life feels like a vacuum that sucks up every ounce of free time you have and all your energy with it. It’s way too easy to get caught up in the rush of tests and projects and stress and just … fade away into nothing. That was me first semester of Freshman year. I mean, people told me “high school is nothing like middle school” but I didn’t listen because, really, how different could it be? School is school, right?
Heh … heh … heh.
So when homework stopped being one hour a night of brainless, plug-and-chug, fact-vomit worksheets, I imploded. I had no idea how to juggle school, friends, and all my hobbies. So I dropped the hobby ball and focused on my grades and my friends and, of course, my sanity. My free time became internet time. Okay, Pinterest time.
And the writing I’d been doing since fifth grade and the sewing I’d been doing since I was five and everything else I loved to do just disappeared. I told myself, you don’t have time to sew. You need to recharge on the internet, not write. You’re too brain-dead to do anything, just watch TV. And, let me tell you, that is a vicious cycle.
But then, in October, a weird thing happened. One of my friends got a part in my school’s production of Twelfth Night. I’d always toyed with the idea of doing costumes for a play in high school but I’m not in drama and didn’t really know anyone in drama and I’m NOT the kind of person who goes waltzing up to the scary-ass drama teachers and says “hey, I’m Sam. I sew. How can I help you?” That’s just not me.
But now I had a connection to the drama department. An actual play, no less, with an actual director and, of course, an actual need for costumes. So my friends bullied me into talking to the director (again with that not really being my thing).
Now, their need for costumes was … huge. They were renting pieces from local costume shops and scraping the bottom of every one of the director’s friends’ barrels, but they still didn’t have enough. And they didn’t have anyone to organize them except the (freaking awesome) set people–and they didn’t know the first thing about fitting costumes. So when I told the director that I wasn’t just some random person who thought “costumes” sounded sexy, that I could actually sew, she was super excited.
Through the next three months, I organized, assigned, and fit all the costumes for the fifteen-person cast. It was stressful, time-consuming, exhausting, conflict-creating, and absolutely my favorite part of first semester. I made six pieces from scratch for the show. Two dresses and one shirt I had made in years past also appeared in the show, one with a huge ruffle added to the bottom because the lead had nine inches on seventh-grade me (and about eight on ninth-grade me). I think I put in around thirty hours of sewing into the play and another twenty into rehearsals and fittings.
I should have hated it. The amount of stress those stupid twins’ costumes gave me nearly killed me. And yet, I loved it. Everyone in the cast is amazing, and the director is a great woman who I respect an insane amount. And when it was all over, I realized that I really wanted to do it again.
I realized something else: even with all the stress from school (and the stress from the play), I put in thirty hours of sewing. I made six pieces in three months–except it was more like two weekends because of how my schedule worked out. I got out of my shell a bit, got to know the awesome people in the drama department, and made invaluable connections with the director.
With something to focus on, I did what I never thought I could do: I put time back into my hobbies.
So that’s why I’m writing this blog–I need a reason to sew and to write. It’s really as simple as that. I want this to be a place that’s about everything but school. I’ll post about small sewing projects, huge ones, what I’m writing, my progress in hapkido (the martial arts class I take with a friend), and anything else I can think of.