In the fabric store, I run my fingers over the selections. The bolts of fabric sitting upright on the shelf are scrutinized only by my fingertips. The texture of each bolt becomes the sole reason I will decide to pull it from the wall. The softness of a particular fabric grabs my attention. I unroll a little from the bolt. I let the fabric drape over my forearm. This piece is quite soft. It is almost fuzzy in a way. I like it so much I hold the piece up to my cheek and turn my head to snuggle the buttery knit. The decision has been made.
I am at the cutting counter. I press the call button and hear a scratchy message over the loud speaker. Salutations are made between myself and the worker, smiles are exchanged. I pull the bolt from my cart and hand it to her. I can see her eyes flash when her hands wrap around my chosen fabric. She smiles a large smile and I see that she understands why I am purchasing this one in particular. She rolls out the fabric with a loud thump, thump, thump. She measures and pulls more fabric, thump. Then even more, thump, thump. The next sound is the scissors slicing through the fabric. The scissors are quick. They sound fierce. They create a perfect line. She folds the fabric back up into a square. I notice that she takes the opportunity to smooth the fabric each time she folds. Her hands soaking up the luxury before going back to work.
At the house, I am scolded for buying yet another piece of fabric. I place it on the craft table. The cat comes over and sniffs his new perch. He uses his paws to massage the softness of the fabric. In this moment, I realize that humans the sense of touch with animals. At least someone doesn’t seem to mind my purchase.
A day passes, then two. I decide to make pajama pants. Who can be mad at a new pair of soft pajamas? Perhaps the cat because he will lose his bed? First, I cut down the size of the fabric to a more manageable yardage. I take out the pattern and hear the crinkle of the tissue like paper. I unfold the fabric on the craft table. I begin to pin the thin paper onto the fabric. This proves to be a more difficult task. The buttery texture of the fabric, what drew me to it in the first place, is causing the pattern to move as I try to place my straight pins. I sigh in frustration as the cat meows his discontent.
After a frustrating time preparing, I begin my favorite task: cutting the fabric. The sound of the fabric scissors snipping the pieces is not one of destruction, but creation. The sound of metal on the smooth surface of the crafting table sounds like ice skates on a frozen pond. In the same way an ice skater creates beauty for the eyes, I will create beauty for the skin. Unlike the frozen pond, I will cut through and destroy my fabric. For only after complete destruction, can the fabric be sewn together to create new clothing.
The next sound is not graceful. It is not pretty. It is the sound of the sewing machine itself. The sound of rebuilding the fabric I destroyed. The only thing offering hope is the feeling of the fabric on my fingertips as I glide it though the machine. As I finish the first side, a sigh of longing escapes my lips. Then the sound of hope: the quick snap of the scissors cutting the thread. Then the loud hammering of the needle poking holes into my soft fabric.
After several hours of work, I hold up a pair of pajama pants. I look at the waist. It’s not perfect, but few things in life are. I fold up the pajama pants and place them on the bed, not my side of course. I smile. My creation is done. I begin to leave the bedroom, and I decide to look back. On the folded pants the cat is sitting and purring. At least, I won’t have to be the one to tell him those pants aren’t cat-sized.