|Image via etsy|
Indeed, sewing always involves some sort of math. It can be simple, like adding 2" to a skirt to make it knee length. Or it can be pretty involved, like figuring out the radius of a 3/4 circle skirt.
I've always had a bad relationship with math. And I was sort of the black sheep in my family: my mother was an accountant. My father was an engineer, and my brother followed in his footsteps. I was the stereotypically artsy one; I loved theater and music and arts and crafts. One of my most vivid memories of learning math is pretty depressing. We moved around a bit when I was growing up, and when I entered second grade in a new school I was really behind in math. My new classmates were already subtracting a 3 digit number from another three digit number. (Like 543 minus 256, for instance.) My first night of school, my accountant mom stayed up late with me, trying to help me understand the homework. She really had her work cut out for her. I remember getting teary, looking at the numbers and thinking: these numbers mean absolutely nothing to me. Seriously, my brain would just sort of shut down when I tried to make sense of the 6 digits stacked in rows of 3 on top of each other.
My math career continued along this dismal trajectory. In high school, a D in algebra was the blight on my otherwise A-average report card. Geometry, however, was a bright spot. I easily earned an A, and it made perfect sense to me. What did it all mean?
There's a pretty simple term for this affliction: right-brained. It's been figured out at this point that there are two types of people in this world, those who are predominately right-brained and those who are left-brained. The right brain controls creative functions, while the left brain is analytical. Geometry tends to be easier for right-brained people since it involves visual learning and 3D thinking.
The cool thing about sewing is that it attracts both the right-brained and the left-brained. There's pretty much something for everyone! The engineering and mathematics of sewing will attract left-brained types, while right-brainers enjoy the intuitive and creative parts of the craft. But I would argue that a bigger plus of the hobby is that we get to flex our non-dominant brain. When else would I voluntarily do algebra, for goodness sake? Just like doing crosswords or other puzzles can keep us young and sharp, I would imagine that getting out of our comfort zone intellectually can do us a world of good.
I'm curious if sewing folks are really generally 50/50 left or right brained. What's your experience?