Seven things I [hate | love] about sewing

by Erin on January 21, 2006

Seven Things I Hate About Sewing

  1. When I have exactly, and I mean exactly, one half-yard less fabric than I need to make the dress I want to make.
  2. Bad pattern instruction writing, so incomprehensible that it would make more sense if it read: "At this point, close your eyes and wish hard for the dress to be completed by the brownies. (Note: you will need a bowl of milk.)"
  3. Spending five hours on something (including visualization/hoping time) and having it turn out to be a very large and brightly colored dishrag.
  4. Knowing I have a [bodkin|bias-tape maker|pair of pinking shears|package of turquoise seam binding|etc.] somewhere, but not being able to find it when I need it.
  5. Making something that looks unexceptionable to the untrained eye but knowing that the stripes aren't matched exactly or that there's a bobble at the top of the zipper placket or that there's a ripple in the hem. *I* know. (Thankfully, I've mostly overcome the urge to Tell People About Garment's Blindingly Obvious Flaw when complimented on something.)
  6. Hemming.
  7. Mending. (Mending isn't sewing. You might as well ask a automotive engineer to fix your alternator. They probably can — they just don't WANT TO.)

Seven Things I Love About Sewing

  1. The meditative state that starts after the pattern is laid out and pinned, a state that lasts from cutting out pieces, through sewing and assembly, and often all the way until hemming. I solve a lot of problems unrelated to sewing when I have my hands on the machine and pins in my mouth.
  2. Running mentally through the possible matchups of available fabric and patterns left to be sewn means I am never at a loss for good daydreaming material when waiting in lines.
  3. Saying "This? Oh, I made it."
  4. Never, ever, ever, wearing the same dress as someone else at the party.
  5. Never being held hostage to a particular season's silhouette or color palette … or prices. Last time I spent $300 for a dress, I got married in it.
  6. Fabric stores, both online and brick-and-mortar. (Speaking of which, anyone have a good source for cheapish broderie anglaise? I'm thinking more eyelet for summer …)
  7. Clipping the last stitch and trying on the finished dress for the first time, doing that mental cackle and Hannibal-like muttering of "I love it when a plan comes together." (Somebody tell me I'm not the only one who has internalized that particular bad 80s catchphrase, please! I know I'm the only one who wants to say "so where's the man and the canal?" whenever someone says "That sounds like a plan!")

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

verbalcroquis January 22, 2006 at 3:45 am

You are *so* dead-on, I could have written this post myself.(I forget how I bounced upon your blog, but I’ve been an avid reader for a while. I especially love “The secret lives of Dresses” posts.)

Reply

Anonymous January 22, 2006 at 4:41 am

One of those super secret guilty pleasures – “A-Team” I was in love with the crazy guy. OMG!!!I too am an avid follower now – loving those ‘secret lives’.

Reply

IA January 22, 2006 at 10:27 am

Ugh–mending! And altering! I have to be really careful to fix any stuff I’m not satisfied with in a sewing project before tucking in those loose threads. Because sister, the moment I’ve completed the last step in the pattern instructions, anything further becomes mending, and I hates that. A finished project can sit for years before I’ll get around to fixing that one little nitpicky thing that keeps me from wearing it.Psychotic.Also, why is it that I have two sewing machines yet can’t bring myself to hem a pair of RTW pants?

Reply

JuliaR January 22, 2006 at 1:41 pm

So true! On the hate list: Been there, got the t-shirt on #3. And totally agree on #7. I think alterations arent sewing either.On the love list: I dont count sheep; I go through my fabric boxes in my mind, turning over each piece and wondering what to make of it. When stressed about something else, this helps immeasurably in falling asleep.As for internalizing phrases, I am stuffed full of them, from movies, tv, commercials, you name it. I watched the A-Team lots but I dont tend to use that phrase much. But I do like Holy cow my friend! Im so glad youre not dead! (a movie, not tv).

Reply

zimmersarmy January 22, 2006 at 8:16 pm

The Lists are PERFECT! But in my High Fidelity world of lists, HATES would include buttonholes. Don’t like making them and they are at the tail end when I am either bumping up against that deadline (3 a.m. Christmas Eve) or I just want to finish so I can get to wearing! So my list would “Go to 11!” And Spinal Tap is my movie that inspires inside voices. Although there are quite a few voices that speak to me from Silence of the Lambs, as well. None of which are printable. Keep them dresses coming! You are to my evening what coffee is to my morning!-za

Reply

maria January 23, 2006 at 6:27 am

I love your blog, and I can only dream about your ability to sew. But I’ve now bought fabric and is going to give it a shot…I don’t know how it will all turn out, but at least I will give it a shot.All thanks to this blog :-)

Reply

Sara January 23, 2006 at 8:05 pm

Dresses? No problem. Working on a springy number in pink cotton with big red flower petals embroidered on it. Hemming pants? Ummm, no. My wonderful Korean dry cleaning lady does that for me, and she even knows my name.

Reply

Dawn Paul January 25, 2006 at 7:40 pm

I am the cleaning lady at this house and I actually did hem a pair of pants for hubby today . . .and a pair of PJ pants for myself. . .which I also made today. Sewing is therapy. Dawn aka Yosemitedawn

Reply

Anonymous February 14, 2006 at 9:33 am

On the love list–number 3!!!And even better, saying, “Oh, I made husband’s, too.”

Reply

Anonymous September 9, 2007 at 5:08 pm

Keep up the great work. It very impressive. Enjoyed the visit!

Reply

Anonymous November 26, 2007 at 7:52 pm

i hate sewing! i had to make a vest one time and i about killed myself. it was hell!!

Reply

Anonymous March 4, 2008 at 2:26 pm

d

Reply

Anonymous March 4, 2008 at 2:29 pm

I dont know how i ound this site… but i love it- very witty. I work in a fabric shop in England which is full of every fabric i can think of. I read you were looking for cheap embroidery anglaise… we have it. Its just a shame you dont live close to the shop.

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: