Sewing as a Sacred Act

Sewing as a Sacred Act.

by Polly Lind 2013

Bobbin and cotton

Up in my tower that has views down the valley, with pins, needles, and thread,

 I weave magic in to the fabric that I lay out on my ironing board.

Creating sacred designs, with Gods, Ancestors, Snakes, Toads, and Hares,

And Piwakawaka whispering in my ear, laying my soul bear.

With fabric, sharp shears, iron, bamboo and interfacing,

 I create doorways where spirits, magic and the divine, when invited, come through.

With pins, charms and wool stuffing, I create pillows that induce sacred dreaming,

and witches ladders to keep the not wanted at bay.

With incense, sewing machines, cotton and thread, I dance with the fabric of the divine,

and I will until I am dead

My sewing a sacred act, of offerings and service,

I will my surrender to the whirling of the bobbin, touching the magic,

imbuing the divine,and emboldening the spirit.

Up in my tower with views down the valley, I offer my sewing as a sacred act.

Sewing Sacred Wall Hangings

Recently I have gone back to sewing wall hangings, inspired by Sara Lawless from Forest Grove and her wonderful Sacred Textile Talismans.  It was the triangle shape of the hexes, to keep away evil and bring blessings into your house that caught my eye.

The first sacred wall hanging I made was Druidry inspired.  I call it Earth, Sea and Sky: A Very Druid Wall Hanging, which is now sold to a wonderful Canadian who live in Australia who I meet in Canada. I so love Canadian Pagans and they are all mine, just so you know.

You can find the rest of the Sacred Wall Hangings that I have made on the Urban Witchery page.

Earth, Sea and Sky; A Very Druid Wall Hanging

the Second Desing I call Snake, Toad and Crow; The Hedgewitches Wall Hanging, this one has also sold and found a home here in Wellington. This Wall Hanging was inspired by the wonderful work of Ms Stitchwitch from Stitchwitch Cottage.  I love the fabric artwork from this lady ♥

The third Wall Hanging also sold.  Its called Triple Moon Elemental Wall Hanging and the triple moon is in the Southern Hemisphere setting with the crescent moons facing inwards.

Triple Moon Goddess Wall Hanging is the last one for today and is also looking for a new home.

This time as I make and Design this series of Sacred Wall Hangings I find myself falling into the same trance space I go into when creating and making incense.  It is a place of magical creations, a place of between the worlds, and that place, I am finding, is also a place of service.

If you wish to see the rest of what I have created you can see them here   and those that have not yet sold will be up on my Etsy Store Urban Witchery

The Druid Priestess Robe and Tabard

 
Today i received in my email box pictures of the robe and tabard that i have been making over the last few weeks, which you can see a post about the beginnings of in Robes not Sacks. I have decided to call it the Druid Priestess Robe and Tabard given how wonderful Joanne who is a Druid Priestess, looks in it.  Joanne also became a Grandmother this March Full Moon. 
 
I am always impressedwhen I sew a shiny type fabric as an accent to a non-shiny cotton fabric.  Itlends a richness to the entire outfit and gives it some sort of edge.. or something.. I noticed this years ago when I was making fabric bunnies with frilly dresses, from cream calico, which is a pretty plane fabric, but if i sewed cream satin ribbon on it, it always looked much fancier.  This time I have used a shot sort of silk, that is the turquoise blue of the dress and the royal blue of the tabard, neat ey? Especially as it was stuff I had laying around in my fabric box.. most excellent!!  *beams*
I was also totally stoked at how this Druid Priestess Robe and Tabard cameout.  Both fit well and are not sacklike in the least, which to my mind, is as it should be for ritual wear, especiallyif you are playing with others.  OK so it doesn’t really matter if you are playing with others but, I am a little over ritual robes being little more than sacks with arms or some weird sort of medieval fantasy frock, not that I have anything against medieval clothing but there is a time and place. I am more drawn to modern style robes, with influences from fantasy and medieval sure, but also something that could be warn every day, something that is comfortable to wear, something that you can wear down the street without people starring as often happens when wearing medieval garb. Something that would almost blend in.  I have been thinking about for quite some time.  Anyway back to the Priestess Druid Robe and Tabard *points below*
 The Back of the Tabard with the Goddess and Moon,the way the moon is here in NZ would be a New Moon.  This moon thing is something I was in Canada last year, the moon there was upside down!  It was quite weird but it does mean that the traditional triple moon/goddess symbol –> )o(  for the southern hemisphere  would look like –> (o)  just as a side note.  
 Also the fabric I used for the Goddess and this bag is a New Zealand craft print and shows various types of traditional weaving, which is often used in making Kete a traditional woven bag, so it is appropriate that I used it to make a bag yes? 
 
For the Awen symbol that I sewed onto the tabard,  is appliquéd using a gold print craft fabric that I have used on three other tabards, see pictures below they are the green ones.  the three awens are made from NZ craft print and is a print of the ocean, which suited our Druid Priestess well as she loves blue and I believe the ocean.  The three dots, drops of inspiration are paua shell buttons, a nice touch I believe.  The trick to good appliqué is iron on stiffener, and not the expensive stuff but the cheap stiffer stuff, as it holds the fabric nicely, especially when sewing it on with an ordinary sewing machine 
 
 
 Awen Symbol appliqué that i have made
Another Awen Symbol appliqué that i have made
 
 Here for your viewing pleasure,  is a close up for the back with the Goddess and Moon.  I edged both of these in dark brown cause I thought that black would be a weird combination given the colour of the fabric for the Goddess herself.  it came out rather well. 
All in all, I have to say that i am very proud of how this Druid Priestess Robe and Tabard turned out and I feel very privileged to of being asked to make it for Joanne, who is just as wonderful as the photos show.  
There is a certain magic to sewing like most crafts.  In our family we have always been crafty one way or another, and I could always tell the jumpers that my mother knitted to that of other peoples or commercially knitted jumpers. And now that I think about it the bits that my grandmother knitted as well.  I once had a jumper that was knitted by both my mother and grandmother,  now that was pretty awesome!! I used to tell my friends that it was love, and in away that is true, but there is also a certain kind of magic that goes into knitting and sewing, a certain crafting you could say>  It sets these clothes a part form all the rest.  
 
I hope to that I have managed to imbue this Druid Priestess Robe and Tabard with the same type of intent and energy that both my Mother and Grandmother did when they were making stuff.  Especially as our Druid Priestess will be spending the next three or four months travelling around Europe, and attending the OBOD summer meeting at Glastonbury, where I am told all the other Druids where White!!
 

The Green Spiral Hoody Dress

So the last little while has been about sewing, and while I waited for my client to come around so we could do a fitting, I decided to experiment with embellishments, on a hoody dress that I have been wanting to make for quite some time, and then I decided to share it with the world.  also I am believe that I will be selling this one.  This hoody dress is a size 14 New Zealand sizing.. which can be found here 

First the Fabric, which is cotton Sweatshirt fabric, so it has a very slight stretch, the almost white, but actually sage is what I made the spirals from, and the brown the main hoody.. the peacock green I might be using on the second one of these I am making for another client.

then i cut the pattern out.

followed by cutting and pinning the spirals.  I enjoyed this bit as it was very creative, and i found out that spirals are pretty easy to freehand cut out, and not to difficult to sew on. Before when I made my wall hangings I used a iron on backing to keep the fabric nice and then zigzaged the edges, but this time I wanted the edges of the spirals to fray a little, which it will as the fabric is a knit, rather than woven.. so two things will happen when washing, this hoody dress, the inside will soften and apparently become a little fuzzy, (maybe I am kind dubious about that) and second the sage green spirals will gain a slightly frayed edge, which will look pretty cool.  !!

and then i sewed it all together, and boy did it come out really well.. i am so proud!!
I enjoy this type of crafting, it is both creative and technical at the same time.  It also gives my mind a break from the heck strife of my life of late, and when I am done I have something physical in exchange.  I remember once when I read the books Seventh Son by Orson Scott Card, reading about Makers, whos job it was to keep the unmaker, the destroyer away, and when the Alvin, who was the seventh son felt this unmaker close he would make something.  I am not the seventh son of a seventh son but I am the first daughter of the first daughter of a first daughter, and maybe that is similar, however has I have grown over the last few years, a large part of who I am is that person who creates, crafts and sews, and when I do this I veritably imbue it with magic.
hmm.. *ponders many thoughts*
also if you would like this hoody dress,  please message me, either here or on my email Urbanwitchery (at) gmail
*smiles*

Robes not sacks

So After going to Druid Camp Aotearoa, at the Grove of the Summer Stars, one of the Druids who is travelling to England in June, asked me to make her a Robe and Tabbard, so that she has nice ritual wear for England.  As we were discussion styles and designs, i got to wondering, so many druid robes of have seen are, to put it frankly sacks with arms, not flattering, and if you are a shapely woman, or man then would it not make sense to have a more fitted robe?  but then it is also down to personal preference, just like some people like to have robes for rituals, others don’t.  But then perhaps some people shy away from robes because of their sack like design.  then there are the robes that re reminiscent of medieval gowns, which are not really my thing..  anyway, i figured it would be nice to see what i am currently sewing for this lady as it is in my opinion quite beautiful!!

This is the fabric and pattern that has been choose.  The turquoise at the back is the Dress/robe with the pattern for the Dress robe in the front.  the royal blue and light blue are for the tabard, which will go over the Robe.  on the tabard will be an awen and goddess appliqué the goddess on the back and the awen on the front.  i am also making a small bag from the remainder of the patterned fabric.  the gold and silver as also for the appliqué

the pattern actually took quite some time to lay out as there was not actually enough, but lucky in one of my fabric boxes was some shot silk, well kinda silk which matched both the turquoise and royal blue..

here is a pic of the of the extra fabric in comparison to the turquoise.  its difficult to get in pictures as it changes and shifts in the light.

so now we have gotten to the stage of need for fitting, and their is no arms sewing on it as yet.  Once the dress/robe is finished then i can make start o the tabard..

this satruday there will be a fitting and i will be able to put the arms on, and hem it.. whoot.  the colours remind me of a paua shell, which has the similar colours of turquoise and royal blue

so gentle readers, if you were to have robes made what would they look like and why?