There are many things I appreciate about the online sewing community but the top most reason they rock is because there’s no snobbery. My other ‘worlds’ have been horses and amateur drama, both zones that seem to attract the worst of the worse in terms of one-up-manship and Keeping Up With The Jones’. There are some perfectly good eggs too but the overlying attitude is one of rigid adherence to hierarchy and self-promotion.
However, I never get this vibe from sewists. Which is why I feel perfectly happy to share with you some of my ‘sewing sins’, many of which I know are not unique to me!
1. I’m not very careful with cutting out
Mainly because I find it sooooo boring! That and the fact that I’m usually watching TV whilst crouched on the floor with pins and needles (not literally most of the time…) in my legs and long strands of my hair inadvertently caught up in the pinned fabric.
2. I don’t trace my patterns
Unless it’s Burda Magazine, in which case there’s no choice not to. To be honest, I’d rather save the time now by cutting directly into the pattern and possibly have to spend money in the future buying the pattern again to make a bigger size (though I rarely make patterns twice).
3. I often start a project before I have gathered all the necessary materials
Making a dress without having sourced any lining fabric? Check. Putting a project on hold whilst I try to find a zip in the right colour? Check. Running out of thread in the right colour so just switching to black or white (whichever’s the closest ‘match’)? Check.
4. I don’t like making anything twice
Including sleeves. Or cuffs. Or pockets. In fact, anything within the pattern that comes in pairs! And this includes linings. Obviously, I know I have to but they are usually completed at entirely different times and possibly even cut out at separate times too! This also extends to patterns – the only one I’ve made twice is the Kate Jersey Dress; everything else has been a one-stop.
5. I practically never toile
Except for the Wedding Guest Dress and a shirt I’m currently making, I don’t really bother making a toile. It all comes back to No. 4!
6. If I don’t have to take out basting stitches I won’t; I’ll just sew over the top of them!
If they’re not going to be seen then why waste energy removing them?!
7. I ‘forget’ to follow instructions
Until I screw something up. Then it’s like a mystery game trying to work out what step I’m at and where I went wrong! Sometimes not following the instructions comes down to being impatient, sometimes it’s genuinely ’cause I get so absorbed in sewing I just plough ahead and sometimes it’s because of No. 3. I’m also a very visual learner so the picture on the pattern sleeve often tells me more than the written step-by-step guide.
8. I often buy fabric online without having a clue what it will feel like
Or truly what colour it will be. I could get samples (I only do for expensive fabrics) but it takes so much longer and I’m impatient!
9. Based on No. 1, it’s likely no surprise that I rarely copy pattern markings on to my fabric
And if I do, it’s a rough representation of the original rather than an accurate study.
Okay, now feel free to spill your bad sewing habits! No judgements here!! 😁