Why I Sew

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A few weeks ago there was some DRAMA. A mean person posted other people’s pictures implying that the work was crappy and that they should be ashamed. Stuff like crocked sewing lines, wonky button holes, that kinda of thing. Not only was the post down right mean but the comments were vicious. It was a group of mean hearted ladies that think that perfection is the only thing that’s valuable when sewing. They seemed like that old school of thinking that teaches by focusing on all the errors and shortcomings.
But with all of the hullabaloo it got a bunch of us sewing bloggers thinking, Why do we sew? And more than that, why do those of us with blogs share our sewing projects and tutorials? Were those meanies right even if they could have said it in a nicer way? Is perfection really the only goal?
Marissa from Rae Gun Ramblings blog and Rae Gun shop
We all sew for so many different reasons and with so many different backgrounds and we thought it would be fun to share our own stories. Whether we are perfectionists, graduates of design school, self taught, wing it types, or what have you we all have our reasons and they are all legitimate.
If you have followed me much you know that I sew A LOT. I have a business sewing. I sew for my family, friends, etc. But I am by no means a perfectionist. I definitely do not fall into the perfectionist camp. And for me that works because most of what I sew is simple. Don’t get me wrong it’s complicated to someone who can’t sew at all but it’s not like I’m tailoring suits here. And the one time I did a suit-ish jacket well it was very much a hack and attack job.
I learned to sew in after school classes in a Jo-Anns Fabric store. My sewing teacher was also my swimming teacher and she was awesome. I was in elementary school. I started with a simple drawstring bag and then a shirt for my neighbors baby (which was WAY too big) and slowly worked my way up. The fanciest thing I made was a velvet jacket. It was quite gawdy, purple velvet and gold buttons. My tween self thought it was awesome. She taught proper techniques but at the same time let us goof around and wing things. Sewing was fun.
It wasn’t until I got married and signed myself up for a community ed sewing class that I really got back into sewing. My teacher there was awesome. She has degrees in sewing and knows all kinds of techniques and proper stuff but she was never a stickler. She’d say stuff like “do you want to know the proper way or the fast way” and “you wouldn’t see it (the mistake) on a galloping horse” and one of my favorites, “it’s not a mistake it’s a design feature”. She made sewing fun and accessible. She’d usually explain the proper way so I knew it and then go on to show me the quick and dirty method since I always wanted the fast version.
why i sews
I am definitely a quick and dirty sew-er. I am not a master finisher. Do not ask to see the inside of my garments they are a mess, but you know what they hold together and they look fine (or at least good enough for me)… most of the time. Some times things turn out a little wonky, like when I sewed the sides (instead of the inseams) together for baby pants I made for my niece but at least I tried and now I know better. This is one of the times I actually pulled out the cursed seam ripper.
I hope that those of you who are just discovering the sewing world won’t be scared off by mean people who try to make you feel shameful for posting pictures or sharing techniques when the final product isn’t perfect. I think we should all where our creations with pride. Because the thing is, even for those like me who will always be of the quick and dirty tradition, the more we sew the better our skills will become. The more we try things out and share with each other the more we’ll all improve. If you pride yourself in finishing work I applaud you and I’m excited for you. I on the other hand have been known to cut off sleeves because I hate the seam ripper. That’s just not me and I know I’m not alone. When I share tutorials I share the way I do things because I know there are others like me that would just stop sewing and creating if the only option was to have it be a contest in perfection.
We thought it would be fun to share some our pictures of our beginning projects if you have any you can link up here!

Let’s connect! You can also find me hanging out here.

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Comments

  1. I took that same Joann’s sewing class! I probably even have that drawstring bag if I looked hard enough…with Tazmanian devil on it of course. I’m not a perfectionist sewer either- I do it for fun for myself and others. Good for you for standing up to those mean commenters! They obviously have nothing better to do…

  2. Threenoses says:

    I love your explanation of why we sew. No I don’t do complicated things like tailoring or suits either. I sew to let my creative side roam free. And if it doesn’t turn out well. So be it. I try not to care. Maybe when I retire I’ll take some classes but for now… It just makes me happy

  3. Me too! I’ve been showing my imperfect work more. I didn’t used to show off my imperfections..but now I show them with pride. I love when beginner sewists say they didn’t even notice a problem. Learning and growing should never stop. Good post!

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