A few years ago, I realized that my favorite nightgown was too big.

sewing machineI started looking for a new one, but didn’t see anything similar. (By the way, why do clothes designers seem to only make clothes for very thin young women or very large older women? But that’s another post.)

I considered making my nightgown smaller. Didn’t look that hard—just take in the seams at the sides. I even pinned it to see if it would work. Looked possible.

But sewing it meant getting my sewing machine out, and it was kind of buried behind a bunch of other stuff. Another day.

Time passed. I’d think of it every so often. Even got the nightgown out and wore it a few times, but it was just too loose. Finally found another nightgown in a similar material; not as good, but passable.

I also had a pair of black pants I’d bought three months ago. They were a little long, and needed to have the bottom inch or so cut off and a hem done. Even though I only had two pair of winter everyday pants, they sat waiting while I wore the same pair of jeans every day.

Finally, during Christmas holidays, I moved some things around so that I could access my sewing machine more easily.

And, finally, I decided to see if I couldn’t get some of the sewing done.

The black pants took me all of fifteen minutes. I already had pins where I needed to cut. Snip, snip. Turn over a small seam, pin, sew, try on, turn over one more time and pin again, sew, done. Three months wait for fifteen minutes of work.

The nightgown, which had been waiting two years, took twenty minutes. It looks and feels great.

And all I can do is shake my head and wonder why I am so ready to put things off. I’m sure I spent more time and expended more energy thinking about those pants and that nightgown, and wishing I had them to wear, than it took to fix them!

Excuse me. I have to go and look for some other things I’ve been putting off. What do you bet it will take far less time and energy for me to get them done than it will to keep putting them off?

January 23, 2007

About the author 

N. J. Lindquist

N. J. Lindquist is the award-winning author of books, articles, short stories, and blog posts. She also edits and publishes the "Hot Apple Cider" anthologies. A former high school teacher, N. J. co-founded The Word Guild and teaches workshops for writers as well as speaking on various topics including creativity and leadership.

  • Oh Nancy, I so relate! I too, have a sewing machine with things atop, and a little hoard of “pending mending” in a pile on the floor and a skirt in the closet that only needs a quick whirrr of the machine!

    You have inspired me to “just do it.”

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