Thursday, August 7, 2008

The War in My Sewing Area

I have been sewing since I was around 5 and I am turning 41 next month.... I have done a lot of sewing along the way... My mom started me out... with little scraps and string and yarn... Then I made simple items like aprons.

Then I learned a very high end professional sewing manor from a woman in our neighborhood. She was our not only my neighbor, but my 4-H leader and she was very strict. By the age of 10 or 11 I could put in a long zipper, make my own bias tape, sew buttonholes and create a pleasant outfit. She was extremely fussy about trimming strings, as well as, keeping the area very clean.

When I was 14, I went to work with a woman who created cheer leading outfits. I learned how to create retail outfits from measurements and how to block pieces. While I learned a lot of tricks of the trade, I also learned a lot of bad habits when I was sewing there. Speed was very important and we were told to throw our strings to the ground. If a mistake was made it was set aside for another time of the day. I was not to stop overall production to fix an item. It would slow us down to much.

Later when I was in high school and later I worked in theatre as a costume maker and I learned so much about design. How to use fabric to its greatest advantage.... You will hear me say along the way how important the hang of the fabric is in order to make a lovely item. I also learned there is nothing I can't sew.

I have sewn a great deal over the years and I have created many patterns or altered patterns severally.

Here we are up to now my current sewing style... and there are times when I am sewing that I feel I have a little sewing devil on one shoulder, hurrying me along, encouraging me to through scraps of material, paper and bits of string to the ground... After all it can be cleaned up later. My little devil tries to convince me to take shortcuts on more important issues as not ironing as I sew or not fixing a tiny mistake because no one will notice...

On the other shoulder I have sewing angel. Telling me to keep my pins in the cushion. To iron absolutely every time. To be religious about cutting every little string... My sewing angel tells me to put my scissors away and to keep my rotary cutter out of the hands of children... She tells me to measure and then measure again to keep the frustrations of mistakes at a minimal...

There are times when I feel bad about the trail of string and scraps that I have thrown to the ground... I also feel guilty when I get impatient and throw away a small scrap rather then recycle it.

I guess you can say.... I am sew good and sew bad... Are You?


MJ said...

"Sew" funny and insightful! Thanks for sharing your journey, I think it's fascinating to sit back from time to time and think about how we got to where we are today.

I was shown the basics of sewing fairly young, but would get so frustrated with my mom's forever-breaking-down machine that I simply hand-sewed everything that needed mending. Then (because I was hand sewing) I never really tackled any actual new garment making, so all of my experience thus far has been in mending and simple alterations.

Now that I've "made friends" with my machine, it's a whole new world and I'm loving (almost) every minute of it!

Elle's Niche said...

SEW TRUE!!! I too have been sewing since a very early age - so early, I can't remember not ever sewing. I am a rightie that learned from a lefty. A lefty that has no sense of direction or what is right and what is left. LOL I love her dearly (my mother) and I know all too well the 'creative devil' that says - "just let it go, be creative - you can clean up later!" And, eventually I always here the 'cleaning fairy' say "I told you not to let it go completely!"

I guess sooner than later (I'm 40) I will realize that if I do a little on the way - it won't squash the momentum and will make it easier to be more constant, right? Have we gotten there yet? LOL

dana said...

great post. I love hearing your sewing history. I'm impressed with all the training you've had. I think I sew good and bad at times also. I HATE to iron stuff. I also hate to pre-wash fabrics (b/c I'm antsy and just want to get started but I learned that lesson the hard way). And I haaaate having to fix mistakes but I know that if it's worth doing, it's worth doing well. So there I sit with my seam-ripper while precious minutes of children's naptime ticks away.

Laura said...

What very cool experiences you have had. I am jeaslous. I grew up with lovely ladies who would sew beautiful quilts all by hand. I did not appreciate it all until now. Regrets!!!!

I try to sew things now but have decided that I need to focus on free formed items because I will never be able to cut or sew a straight line!

henny said...

Wow, what a great post of SEWING. I love to read all your journey and experiences. I think you also have good talent in sew, because I had couple of experience in sew lessons (started in high school, maybe it was too late) but had never been better until now! No matter how hard I tried, always fail in everything I sew :(
That's why I always so admired to people like you..