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!")

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