When I first started sewing I was all about how many of 'X' I could make in the shortest time. Screw the button holes. Who cares if they are not straight. So what if the left sleeve is a bit tight compared to the right sleeve? People give me tons of compliments on my clothes. That's all that matters. Yeah, I had an ego about it.
I didn't pay attention to gathers, especially on the bodice front of blouses and dresses. Why? Because I didn't know. 'Basting' was not in my vocabulary. I was too good for that prep stuff. That's what I thought of it as, prep work.
Zippers without a zipper foot? Whatever. I was a vanguard. I could make it work without the proper tools of the trade. Why? I was *that* good.
My hem isn't straight? I meant it not to be. Well, okay, that's a bit of a stretch.
I must admit, with all the compliments I was getting from my early clothes (way, way before the blog) I had a big head. Yeah, I was making my own stuff, but when I went home for my mother's funeral, and I was looking through some of her past projects, I realized I needed a slap in the face.
My arrogance of thinking of any craft as merely a project instead of a trade embarrassed me. I mean the detail, the attention to fit and drape and grain lines! The alterations, oh the alterations! Grading patterns, the art of it all.
I came back home and looked through my own sewn wardrobe and realized I was so sub par. I started to look more and more at clothes in the stores and realized, 'hey, I can do that trick'. Oh man, hand sewing.
Okay, right now, for all you new sewers out there, if you want to get good looking garments in half the time (meaning 3 months instead of six months of sewing), get over the ego of not hand sewing. There is nothing, and I do mean nothing, that replaces hand sewing on garments. Tacking a flap back, a whip stitched hem, buttons. It all matters. Construction, like architecture, relies on the fine hidden details of a garment/building, not simply the pretty facade.
I was looking at my newly sewn wardrobe and realized so much of it was trash. I began to invest time in looking at construction methods. Paying ATTENTION to the markings on patters. They are there for a reason after all.
Soon it came together. With the humility of learning proper construction, some amazing garments began to blossom. And with the addition of my slopers, man, I became unstoppable.
Now when people look at my work, and I am complimented, I take it as a student of the craft. "Thank you, but I still have a long way to go. I want to work on..." I feel better about it, and I feel I'm paying homage to the trade and those that did this before me.
It's a process, that's for sure. An always learning, some good projects, some bad, journey through life, and I love it.
How do you all think of sewing? A journey or a means to an end? Do you sew for quality or quantity?