could, should, would; but were I to do so

15 Mar

I always liked conditionals a bit better than subjunctives. And I liked Jessye Norman’s comment, regarding a role offered to her when she was a young singer, that the question was not whether she could sing the role but whether she should. That’s my take on garments for winter.

Could I sew a coat? Yes. I was well taught and have the necessary skills. Recent poorly-executed FOs notwithstanding (though I promise you they don’t look as bad as you might think with the possible exception of the skirt and that’s only bad if you look at it close-up), I sew well and generally do it tidily and carefully. I have a machine that would be up to the task and if I were to promise it a brand new needle, not merely one that hasn’t sewn hundreds of hours on fabrics that included crepe paper and velcro, and were I to use decent thread, then I think I’d probably have to say I have the equipment, too. I also have an overlocker, so we could be guaranteed of neat finishing.

Should I sew a coat? Yes. I need one. Winter here is quite cold enough for me to be wanting an overcoat. Those who live in truly cold climes can laugh at me now. I don’t care. I don’t like the cold and my tolerance for it is low. That is, I like it much better when the temperatures are high. My old overcoat is really no longer good for much but keeping me warm when I’m rounding up the sheep on the farm, only I don’t live on a farm any more. My heavy jacket is – well, last time I took it to be dry cleaned I had to sign a release form along the lines of, “This is so old and thin and worn that if it falls to bits during the process it’s not our fault”. I get that. So, yes, I do need a new coat.

New overcoats are hideously expensive. We’re talking hundreds (lots of hundreds) of dollars. I don’t have an income that will stretch that far. But I do have some fabric already in my stash. It wasn’t purchased with a coat in mind but rather a winter outfit of skirt and jacket. It might be a little lighter than a really cold-climate coat, but it would, I think, be okay for what I have to put up with. There’s most of the cost already taken care of.

Would I sew a coat? That’s a much harder question to answer because although I could actually do it and should because of need and cost, I would struggle to find sufficient space for cutting out and large enough chunks of uninterrupted time to achieve anything significant.

Ah, would that I were retired. I would then have uninterrupted time in large chunks and could achieve something. Presently, however, I tend to the view that while I could and should, I probably would not. But it might be time to get a little more serious about trawling some of the charity shops for a good, secondhand overcoat that I might be able to refashion with fewer hours of time at my disposal. I might even find one that fitted without alteration. Who knows?

In the meantime, it would be a good thing to clear my sewing table so I can assess the situation more readily. Just in case I decide that I could do something after all.

And on a related note, Nonno wants some fingerless mitts. But no rush, he says, tomorrow will do. Tomorrow? I can’t knit that fast. I suggested that Dr B should give his to Nonno straightaway and I’ll then make another pair. But does Dr B know where his are? Yeah, sure he does. I don’t either. They’re not mine to worry about. I could probably do a search mission but wouldn’t like to say where I might end up. All the same, if Nonno is to have these mitts, I probably should.

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Posted by on March 15, 2012 in Knitting, Sewing


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