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Sewing with Style Message Board › DIY disillusions

DIY disillusions

Claire J.
Austin, TX
Post #: 1
I'm always fascinated by people, especially grownups, I meet who have never touched a sewing machine before but have just decided they want to make their own clothes, and possibly do this professionally. See, my sewing instruction began at age 6 - thanks mom - and then the real trial by fire came when I discovered costuming, thrift stores and the drama club in high school. Its impossible for me to see with the beginners mind - I know all too well what I'm getting myself into.

But given how divorced most of us first world fashion consumers are from all of the skills and expertise that goes into how clothes are made, most sewing newbies seem shocked and amazed by the effort that goes into even simple things. (a pillow? you mean we're not going to make amazing dresses in the first class? how hard can it be....) Many of them abandon it quickly, but then a few get hooked and run with it.

How about you? Did you have any idea what you were getting into? Was it easier or harder than you thought? Traumatizing or empowering? What were your expectations going in, and what are they now?
A former member
Post #: 2,307
When I actually SEW it is tremendously empowering! I am just overwhelmed. I have thousands of patterns (10 years worth of Burda World of Fashion is mostly to blame) and now I actually have to make the decision as to where to start!

My expectations going in were that I was going to sew everything for myself. Hahahahahahaha, then I woke up! Now I want to supplement my wardrobe with well-fitting, unique, flattering pieces that work with my other garments. I still get over ambitious, but I'm thinking that if I finish a garment a month I'll be cooking with gas.

For some reason I just have a really difficult time cutting into the fabric. I also struggle with my desire for an awesome garment with my desire for instant gratification. You're right, even the simplest projects can have a surprising amount of steps.
Shauna S.
Tucson, AZ
Post #: 3
Backlogged patterns and fabric I believe are the culprits for why people stop sewing. The pressure from all of those books and patterns and all of the money and time spent fabric shopping just make your head spin when you go and try to start something. Where to start? Which fabric? For which pattern? Can I do the pattern? Buy a book to help with the pattern! Get overwhelmed by the info in the book. .. Put everything away and watch TV.

Its a phenomena I didn't know was happening untill I started to teach. Over and over I kept hearing stories of fabric stashes and pattern stashes that just blow my mind. Then I looked at my own stash and vowed to myself that I would just start cutting into that expensive fabric and try out those daunting looking patterns. I'm doing OK.

Fit and sewing are two totally seperate animals. Sewing is relaxing. Getting things to fit properly can send me places I don't want to go. Fit is a miracle when it happens well. That is why I choose easy fit dresses for the Sewing with Patterns classes. They just depend on the fabric and the person wearing them. There are tons of really great patterns that don't require a doctorates degree to get them to fit correctly. If you look at the pattern books from the '70's, they were all about easy fit, easy sew, cute style lines. Choosing the right pattern and the right fabric is the difference between enjoying your sew and freaking out over the endeavor.

Anyhow, I think it's a great plan. One big ticket item a month is 12 great items a year. Cut into the fabric and keep on sewing!
Malissa L.
Haysville, KS
Post #: 1
I'm like Claire, I've always been sewing so it's had to grasp what learning as an adult is like, or even a home with out a sewing machine. Shauna makes a good point about stashes, I'm to the point I just want my stach to go away so I can have a sewing room. I think it's going to be easier to get rid of everything, start with a blank slate, and buy and consume as I go. I notice I don't get excited in the fabric store anymore. In the last few months I have been getting what I need to finish the task at hand and leaving. I use to not be able to go without spending 40-60, the last 5-7 have all been under $10, and I'm not going as often. As far as store bought patterns go I don't think quality has gotten any worse over the years, what changes is the consumers skill set and time allotment. I'm not saying that patterns are great, because they're not.
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